Free agricultural updates
Telenor-owned dtac in Thailand runs a project called *1677 Farmer Information Superhighway, aimed at empowering farmers through access to essential agricultural information from their mobile phones for free. Three categories of information are available to the farmers: Rice and Grain, Fruit and Vegetable and Cattle, Livestock and Fishery.
By using this service, farmers gain knowledge to advance their farming skills and techniques that help them improve productivity, reduce costs, and increase income while also getting maximum benefits from mobile phone usage.
“After I got information from *1677, I started using bio fertiliser instead of chemical fertiliser. The outcome is the cost of fertiliser has been reduced from 15,000 baht to only 4,700 baht for me, and I have increased my product from 85 bags of jasmine rice to 115 bags, and sticky rice from 50 bags to 60 bags,” said Ms Rungnabha yodmai, 36 years old.
*1677 empowers the farmers with knowledge
The service was introduced in 2008 as an SMS-service by the Telenor-owned Thai mobile operator dtac together with the Rak Ban Kerd foundation and the Ruam Duay Chuay Kan DFM Radio Station. Since then the project has evolved into MMS, videos over 3G, mobile phone apps and a mobile marketplace.
Subscribers of the service may also access the information through the farmers’ help centre. The information centre, accessible across the nation, provides access to the network of over a hundred successful farmers and academics for experts’ consultation. dtac and partners have also organized seminars and workshops all over the country.
Since its inception, the Farmer Information Superhighway project has increased its number of partners from three to more than 40 partners from state agencies and business organisations. The number of service subscribers has increased from 40,000 and will soon reach 200,000. dtac’s target for 2013 is to reach 250,000 subscribers.
“The “1677* Farmer Information Superhighway” is an excellent example showing how we successfully extend information and telecommunication technologies to the benefit of the society as a whole,” said Perapong Klinla-or, Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility at dtac.
Samnuek Rakbankerd Farmer Awards
Once a year, dtac and its partners Samnuek Rakbankerd Foundation and Ruamduaychuaykan DFM Radio Network is handing out the Samnuek Rakbankerd Farmer Award. The award is granted to ten farming communities from every region of Thailand innovating agricultural products. In 2011, there were more than 30 farming practices that submitted the applications for consideration. The winners of the award will be part of the network sharing knowledge and agricultural practices through the *1677 Farmer Information Superhighway services.
Award winning service
dtac and the *1677 Farmer Information Superhighway service has won several awards: