Government to distribute 100,000 smartphones among farmers

By Shehryar Ahmed on
March 19, 2018
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The Punjab Government has embarked on yet another population-welfare project. The project falls under the umbrella of the Khadim-e-Punjab Kisaan Package and is labeled the Connected Agriculture Platform Punjab (CAPP).

Farmers who have subscribed to the Kisaan Package will be provided with roughly 110,000 smartphones equipped with a special suite of apps meant to improve agricultural standards. The apps will contain live weather updates, tips on improving harvest quality and the quantity in addition to content on how technology is being integrated throughout the world. Moreover, the app will also guide farmers on when and how to harvest in addition to where they should sell their yield.

Speaking on the matter, the Agriculture Information Assistant Director Naveed Asmat Kahloon stated that the lack of a devised training scheme of farmers prevented them from combatting the lack of efficiency throughout the province and that CAPP will now enable farmers to receive world-class training right in their palms.

Farmers will also be given on-ground training on how to use the mobile phones and the built-in suite of apps through 72 facilitation centers spread throughout the 144 tehsils of the province.

The entire project is the fruit of a collaboration between the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) and Telenor. The primary app has been designed in collaboration with Telenor’s engineers as well. Both parties mutually agreed on the need of a simple, easy-to-use interface for the app considering the target market for it.

One major benefit of the app is the ability to apply for Government sponsored Agri-loans, eliminating the need for intermediaries such as patwaris and bank agents. These loans are interest-free and have a total budget allocation of Rs.100 Billion.

Tenants will be expected to pay Rs.500 to get the smartphone, whereas farm owners will have to pay Rs.1000.

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