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Major Steps

• Establishment of Advisory Lab: A multimedia advisory lab is established at the premises of College of Post Graduate Studies, CAU Barapani, Meghalaya.

• Collection and Compilation of Authentic Information on Crop Cultivation Aspects: Authentic information from various sources (ICAR, CAU, State Departments, KVKs, Commodity Boards etc) for agro advisory and other services has been collected under the guidance of the faculties of the concerned partner institutions.

• Selection of Villages:  Total 50 villages will be covered from 3 districts namely Ri-Bhoi, East Khasi Hills and West Garo Hills of Meghalaya  in 2 phases.

• Recruitment of Field Coordinator: The coordinator will aware the farmers and register them to avail the services in the identified villages. Also he will act as a facilitator and trainer for farmers who does’t have smart phones and required personalized advisory by sending images of their farms. The coordinator will be equipped with 3G enabled Smart Phone / Tablet for two-way information flow.

• Need Assessment: The agricultural information and technological needs of tribal farmers’ and  mobile use pattern is being assessed through surveys, focus group discussions, participatory rural appraisal (PRA) and key informants techniques, which will be serving as the basis to design the content for the mobile based extension services.

• Bench Mark Survey: The bench mark (base line) survey is being conducted in the selected villages with appropriate techniques. It will be useful at the final evaluation stage of project to analyze and compare the impact. For Project impact assessment “before and after” and also control group experimental design will be used. For comparison of treated and control group impact assessment, 10% of M4AgriNEI registered farmers will be selected. For control group 100 farmers are selected from the same villages.

• Content Development: Location specific contents on crop advisory is being developed / customized by the multidisciplinary team of experts from the CPGS as per the requirement of the farmers. Location specific information on financial services, inputs, market and weather will be collected from the reliable sources.  

• Creation of Multimedia Database: Multimedia data base will be created in local tribal dialects like; Khasi & Garo (Meghalaya). The voice based advisory services can be accessed both by landline phone and mobile. Smart phones will be required to seek advice in multimedia format.

• Registration of Farmers: The farmers are being registered by the project team to get the desired services by providing required details e.g to get the crop advisory service they need to provide their farm details with farm history, similarly to get information service, they have to select the desired information with time and mode of delivery. Each farmer will get a unique ID number and all the transactions will be recorded in the database.

• Delivery of Crop Advices (Pull Based): To get the advice / information the farmers will call to the lab through a Toll Free Number, call lands at main server i.e CPGS Barapani, IVRS would guide the farmer through recorded menu (In local language). The farmer will get prerecorded location specific information (static and dynamic information) on selected areas, In case farmer query is not available in database farmer can exit the call and connect to a live support personnel. Farmers queries will be answered by the technicians at advisory labs who will also record and tag the different types of queries for creation of IVR database. If the expert at center is unable to answer the query, he will record the query and transfer to the subject matter specialist at concerned centre of the University and the specialist can answer the query virtually.

• Delivery of Information Services(Push Based): The system will also aggregate location specific data from various reliable information sources and disseminates it to the registered users depending on the user’s specified (as mentioned during their registration to the service) time and mode. These information would be aggregated by the system as well as manually by the project staff.

• Capacity Building and Training for Village Tribal Youth: From the selected 40 villages, 40 number of village youth (one each from the project village) will be selected based on key informants technique for m4AgriNEI project. They will act as an “Farmers facilitators” for creating agricultural developmental awareness in general and M4AgriNEI project in particular. They will be given quarterly capacity development and awareness training at the m4agriNEI-advisory lab at CPGS, Barapani. These trained farm youth facilitate the project co-ordinators and farmers in the respective village.

• Monitoring & Evaluation: One Quality Control & Assurance team will also be placed to ensure the quality of the service. They will randomly pick up any successful call and analyze it on various parameters. Periodically third party monitoring and evaluation will be carried out to assess the progress of the project.

E-northeast award 2013

Media Lab Asia (DeitY, MoC&IT, GoI) and Central Agricultural University (CAU)'s collaborative m4agriNEI Project team received the e-North-East Award 2013-WINNER -Mobile based Agro-Advisory Services for North-East India (m4agriNEI)

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