Ama Krushi – Scaling advisory services to millions of farmers in Odisha, India

PxD's Ama Krushi service, delivered in partnership with the Government of Odisha, is our largest and most comprehensive service. Ama Krushi currently serves over two million farmers with customized information on over 20 crops, fisheries, four types of livestock, poultry, and kitchen gardens.

Ama Krushi (meaning “Farmer’s Friend” or “Farmer’s Companion”) is a two-way digital agricultural advisory service provided free of charge by the Government of Odisha’s Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment (DAFE). Ama Krushi provides farmers with free advisory information to optimize crop cultivation, and livestock and fisheries management.

This includes the following types of information: 

  • Weekly Advisory: Ama Krushi’s outbound service pushes weekly customized calls to farmers. Calls contain customized advisory information tailored to each farmer’s crop choice, type of livestock reared, land type, and location. 
  • Farmer Queries and Answers: Farmers can place a call to Ama Krushi’s inbound service and leave a question to be answered by expert agronomists. 

What makes Ama Krushi unique: 

  • Farmers call in and access the service through an integrated toll-free shortcode 155 333. This allows them to access an IVR menu and gives them the option to speak with a live agent. 
  • All information provided to farmers – weekly advisory and answers to queries – is tailored to each farmer’s needs and farming preferences. Customized information that is pushed to farmers via their weekly advisory call is saved and linked to their Ama Krushi farmer profile. This means that a farmer can call the service via short-code and access historic information at any time
  • Ama Krushi currently provides customized answers to farmer queries on over 40 crops and distributes weekly advisory on 21 crops, including all of the major crops grown in Odisha during the Rabi and Kharif seasons.
  • Ama Krushi disseminates information regarding the cultivation of kitchen gardens, a form of farming traditionally practiced by women for the benefit of the household. Kitchen garden advisory promotes nutritional and other non-agricultural information in addition to agricultural advisory.
  • In 2021 Ama Krushi began disseminating content on livestock. 
A women farmer registered to the Ama Krushi kitchen gardens content presents her garden

Reach and characteristics: 

  • Ama Krushi services farmers in all 30 districts of Odisha, including among indigenous communities and in hard-to-reach areas.
  • Over 2 million farmers were registered and active on the platform in 2021.
  • An average of ~ 50,000 inbound calls are logged to the hotline every month. 
  • Weekly advisory information is broadcast across 12 community radio stations in Odisha, in addition to calls placed to farmers registered on the service. 
  • One-third of our farmers are smartphone owners. 
  • Over 20.5% of users are women farmers 

Ama Krushi is delivered in partnership with the Government of Odisha’s Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment (DAFE) and with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Ama Krushi has been developed as a Build, Operate and Transfer project. Day-to-day management of the service will be handed over to a company contracted to the Government of Odisha through the course of 2022. 

Examples of Advisory Content

 

Namaskar. Welcome to the Ama Krushi, a free Agriculture Information service of the Department of Agriculture, Government of Odisha. This week we are distributing technical advisory for paddy [rice] cultivation. This advisory will assist in you controlling, and preventing, pests such as gall midge, stem borer, caseworm and leaf folder pests for up to three weeks after transplanting paddy from the nursery. It is advised to apply Chlorantraniliprole pesticide, available as Ferterra and Enfuse @ 400-gram, or Fipronil pesticide, available as Sergent and Reagent @ 1-kg per 10 decimal of the nursery area seven days before transplanting. To obtain more information about this advisory, to access information on kitchen gardens, or to ask any questions please call to our toll-free number 155333. Thank You.

The audio above is an example of a weekly advisory call placed to farmers tending kitchen gardens. The translated information is as follows:

Namaskar. Welcome to the Ama Krushi, a free Agriculture Information service of the Department of Agriculture, Government of Odisha. This information is for women farmers. Today we learn about some basic concepts for kitchen gardening and reasons for doing it. Every adult individual should consume 400 grams of vegetables per day to maintain their health. Vegetables and leafy greens bought from the market carry pesticide and chemical fertilizer residues which are harmful to our health. These vegetables are often not fresh and lack quality. To include healthy and fresh vegetables in our diets and to boost our health, we should opt for a kitchen garden in the backyard of our houses and vacant spaces. An area of 200 square meters is sufficient for providing optimum vegetables for a family of 5 or 6. At this time of the season you can cultivate varieties of vegetables such as amaranthus, chilis, brinjal [eggplant], tomatoes, pumpkins, bottle gourds, ridge gourds, okra, bitter gourd, colocasia, yam, coriander, cowpea etc in the kitchen garden. In addition to these seasonal crops,  you can grow perennial plants like drumstick, lemon, papaya, and curry leaf plants near the fences. To obtain more information about this advisory, or to ask any questions please call to our toll-free number 155333. Thank You.