Jaipal, Remote Rural Community, India
Jaipal is 27 and lives in remote, rural India. He cultivates crops such as sugar cane, potatoes, mustard and wheat. Because his livelihood is entirely dependent on his crops doing well, he values his ability to keep them safe and help them thrive tremendously. “To start with, good pesticides are essential”, he says, “to ensure that what I’m growing isn’t consumed by insects.”
He used to rely on elder farmers’ knowledge for such things, assuming that they had learned what they know through years of experience.
Jaipal learned that there is another, more accurate and reliable, way to get farming related information: mKisan (which means ‘mFarmer’ and is part of HandyGo’s Behtar Zindagi service), available through his mobile phone. “At that time, I had only recently started using my mobile”, he recalls. “It had been quite an expensive investment, though both handsets and calls are very cheap now.”
After subscribing to the service, Jaipal quickly began finding it really useful, and it has become the main thing he uses his mobile phone for. “It’s really helped me”, he says with conviction “Though I trusted my elders before, they weren’t right 100% of the time. Thanks to mKisan, I can be a lot more certain about which pesticide I should use when insects and other pests affect my crops.”