More and more farmers are seeking expert advice from Kisan Call Centres (KCCs) using the free phone facility available throughout the country.
In 2011-11, over 20 lakh calls were received by the Kisan Call Centres as compared to 9 lakh calls in the previous year. Since its inception in 2004, KCCs have received more than 62 lakh calls. At present, 25 KCCsare operating in the country.
Farmers can use toll free number 1800-180-1551 from any telephone and seek expert advice on different aspects of farming and allied activities in their own language. All KCC locations are accessible through the toll free number from 6.00 A.M to 10.00 P.M. on all days, nationwide. This number is accessible through all land lines and mobile phones.
Significant Jump in Calls Handled by Kisan Call Centres – Over 62 Lakh Calls Received so Far
When a call is received by a KCC representative, he/she answers the query based on his/her knowledge and a computerized knowledge database created over the years. Call centre representatives are of various levels ranging from Agriculture graduates / post graduates to subject matter specialists and scientists. In case a higher level of expert advice is required, the representative arranges for a call-conference with the expert and also sends the query to his/her nodal officer. Nodal officers are senior agricultural scientists and experts located in the government system, agricultural universities and ICAR institutes.
In order to monitor the activities of Kisan Call Centres, a State-level monitoring committee has been constituted comprising Secretary (Agriculture), Directors in Agriculture and allied Departments, a representative of local BSNL office, and the nodal officer. The committee reviews the issues related with organization of training programmes, publicity and telephone connection issues, and ascertains the authenticity and accuracy of answers given by KCC representatives to farmers.
Keeping in mind the huge inflow of calls, Agriculture Ministry has decided to increase the number of seats of KCC representatives at the call centre so that every call can be received and answered. Efforts are also being made to involve Common Service Centres to answer farmers™ queries with the help of Kisan Knowledge Management System and other portals developed by the Ministry.
States have also been requested to support the KCCs in all possible ways. Block, District and State level officers will reply escalated queries of farmers from KCCs/Common Service Centres in a time-bound manner.