Dr. Seema Dhawan (Research Supervisor)
Kissan Call Center
A Kissan Call Center consists of a complex of telecommunication infrastructure, computer support and human resources organized to manage effectively and efficiently the queries raised by farmers instantly in the local language. Mainly, Subject Matter Specialists (SMSs) using telephone and computer, interact with farmers to understand the problem and answer the queries at a Call Centre. This is a functional area within an organization like Research Stations, ATICs, KVKs Agricultural Colleges, or an outsourced, where separate facilities exist solely to answer inbound calls or make outbound telephone calls, to resolve the queries of pending calls. Usually it refers to a sophisticated voice operations center that provides a full range of inbound or outbound call handling services including customer support, direct assistance, multi-lingual customer support and other services. This is a new dimension in Agriculture Extension Management, which takes account of, and makes full use of on-going information and communication revolution, by optimally utilizing the communication bandwidth to serve the farming community in remotest areas of the country by connecting them to best of the agricultural scientific community. This is an important value multiplier for the existing extension mechanisms, which find it otherwise difficult (in terms of infrastructure and finances) to reach their desired clientele. This will enable establishment of close linkages and seamless communication mechanism among the key stakeholders in the extension system namely – Agricultural Scientists, Extension Functionaries, Farmers and Marketing Agencies. Concept of Kissan Call Center
The challenges before Indian Agriculture are immense. This sector needs to grow at a faster rate than in the past to allow for higher per capita income and consumption. It is an accepted fact that the sound agricultural development is essential for the overall economic progress. About two thirds of workforce directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture. This sector generates about 28 percent of its GDP and over 15 percent of exports. Rising consumer prosperity and the search by farmers for higher incomes will simultaneously drive crop diversification. Export opportunities for agricultural products are also expected to continue to grow, provided India could meet the stability, quality and presentation standards demanded by foreign trade and consumers and maintain its comparative advantage as a relatively low cost producer. Given its range of agro-ecological setting and producers, Indian Agriculture is faced with a great diversity of needs, opportunities and prospects. The well endowed irrigated areas which account for 37 percent of the country's cultivated land currently contribute about 55 percent of agricultural production, whereas, rainfed agriculture which covers 63 percent accounts for only 45 percent of agricultural production. In these less favorable areas, yields are not only low but also highly unstable and technology transfer gaps are much wider as compared to those in irrigated areas. If it is to respond successfully to these challenges, greater attention will have to be paid to information-based technologies. Strengthened means of dissemination will be needed to transmit this information to farmers. Both technology generation and transfer will have to focus more strongly than ever before on the themes of optimization in the management of their available resources by producers, sustainability, coping with diversity by adapting technology more specifically to agro-ecological or social circumstances and raising the economic efficiency of agriculture. To make information transfer more effective, greater use will need to be made of modern information technology and communication among researchers, extensionists...