OST Business Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 2:
In order to provide quick and timely information on weather, potential fishing zones (PFZ), fish conservation and cultivation to fishermen, the Odisha government today signed an agreement with IFFCO Kissan Sanchar Limited (IKSL) for implementation of a new scheme “Empowering Fishermen through Mobile Advisory Services and Establishment of Toll Free Call Centre for Fisheries Extension Service”.
Director, Fisheries P Krishna Mohan inked the agreement with S Srinivasan, CEO of IKSL in the presence of Fisheries & Animal Resources Development Minister Devi Prasad Mishra and secretary Bishnupad Sethi.
About one lakh fishermen, out of a total of 12 lakhs fishermen in both costal and interior areas in the state, would be provided SIM Cards in phased manner to receive 4-5 free voice messages in Odia daily, said an official of the department.
The total cost of the scheme, including implementation charges, has been pegged at Rs 3.48 crore for the 2013-14 financial year, sources said.
IKSL, the partner agency, will recharge the SIM regularly as per approved EoI. The fishermen are not required to pay any additional cost towards the services offered by the agency. However, they have to pay for their normal communication needs exceeding the proposed amount of talk time for their personal use as per prevailing tariffs of service provider, said the official.
The department hopes that illiterate and semi-literate fishermen will get benefit from advisories from experts in the form of voice messages.
“Information and advisories would be provided to fishermen in the form of brief one minute capsules, which are focused on an area of local and contextual importance which is easy to remember. Weather alerts, tsunami alerts and cyclone alerts will help the fishermen to save their lives. Besides, they will also get information about fish market price, fish conservation, government regulatory and government schemes,” said the official.
All the fishermen enrolled will have access to a helpline, which would provide clarification on the voice messages and expert help. If necessary, the helpline experts may connect the fish farmers to specialists on a conference if required. Normal local tariffs may apply for calling the helpline.