Lucknow, Feb 12 (IANS) From basic technical knowhow to information on advanced techniques in agriculture -- farmers from various states are registering for an SMS service through which their queries will be answered by scientists, an official said Saturday.
'It's been just over a month since the SMS service started,' Sanjay Kumar, a scientist with the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) Technology and Business Development, told reporters here.
'Today we have over 800 farmers from states like Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Bihar registering themselves for the agro advisory service,' he added.
'From basic technical knowhow to information on advanced techniques that can boost the production of aromatic and medicinal plants, are provided by us through the SMS service,' he said.
For availing the SMS service, farmers just need to register their mobile phone numbers.
'After the registration, any farmer can call on the helpline numbers - 0522-2718598, 2718595, with their query that is answered by a dedicated panel of CIMAP scientists through an SMS, later sent on the farmers' mobile,' Kumar said.
'As of now, the calls made by the farmers are not toll-free. Still, as soon we get a call from the farmers, we ask them to disconnect the line from their end. Later, we call them up and note down their queries,' he said.
'Thereafter, we respond to them through an SMS that is sent to their mobile number,' he added.
With the satisfactory response to the service, CIMAP officials said that in later phases the institute might introduce a toll-free service for the agro advisory.source