Intuit has deployed a pilot project called Fasal, which is a free SMS based platform offering real time price information to farmers about their crops, reports PC Advisor.

How Does It Work?

For the initial registration, the farmer would’ve to call 1800 102 8767 (toll-free) to provide personal information and other related information. Following the registration, Fasal will start acting as a facilitator between the farmers and the buyers. The call centre collects the demand and price information from buyers, matches it with relevant farmers and automatically sends text messages containing the market price and buyer information to the farmer. The farmers can then decide to sell the crops to the highest bidder, negotiate with buyers or decide to take the crops to a market where the prices are higher.

Besides this, farmers will also receive relevant agricultural content through SMS. The company claimed that these messages are highly personalized to each farmer based on the crop they produce by leveraging the information captured during the initial registration, and is sent in a language they prefer.

Subscribers and Services Areas: Launched in October 2009, Intuit claims that over 700,000 farmers have used their program, with more than 8,000 farmers signing up for the service every week. The service is available for free and is currently offered in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh with a Karnataka launch expected soon.

Similar services

– Government Initiative: In November 2011, India’s agricultural ministry had deployed a project to send SMS alerts to 2.8 million farmers informing them about sudden climate variations that can cause damage to their crops in 100 vulnerable districts in the country and had reportedly invested Rs 350 crores in the project. Following this, there were also reports of a voice-based service where farmers could get their agriculture and weather-related queries answered in a jiffy.

– Handygo: Last month, Mobile VAS solution provider Handygo Technologies has partnered with non-profit organization CABI to provide mobile based agriculture solutions to Indian rural population.

– BSNL: had also partnered National Fertilizer Limited to launch a pilot project offering crop information services, weather forecasts, soil testing as well as health information in local languages.

– Nokia Life (previously Nokia Life Tools) offers information related to agriculture, horticulture, dairy farming and fisheries on Nokia’s feature phones

– IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL), a joint venture between Star Global Resources Ltd, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) and Bharti Airtel, offers agricultural information to farmers via SMS.