STAFF REPORT ISB: USAID has partnered with the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and an international mobile phone company to create and deliver tailored mobile solutions to get information to peach and potato growers as well as fisheries in Swat Valley.
Under this agreement, by delivering real-time information about market prices and new techniques in farming sector, weather forecasting, and diversified financial services via mobile technology, the service helps Pakistani farmers and hatchery managers improve productivity and get better returns on their investments.
“As many as 1,500 people are included in the pilot project, which is focused on testing and scaling up what works to ensure that the programme’s digital development tools meet participant’s needs,” said an official involved in the project.
He said that the project provides two basic services. First, it sends alerts to mobile phones to provide farmers with tips and advice in their local language, helping them to increase the quality and quantity of their production.
In a country where the literacy rate is low, voice-based services address the difficulties faced by those unable to read or write. These text and voice services provide a wide range of information.Farmers would also receive technical advice on how to fight pests or diseases, improve farming practices for more sustainable agriculture, and apply processing techniques that reduce food wastage.
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