US-KP-Telenor partnership helps Swat farmers use mobile technology

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ISLAMABAD: Peach and potato farmers in Swat will be able to increase their incomes, improve their access to markets and fight crop diseases more effectively on back of a new United State Agency for International Development (USAID) funded programme conducted in partnership with the Khyber Pakhtunhwa (KP) government and Telenor Pakistan. The programme will use Telenorís mobile network to send farmers SMS messages and interactive voice recordings that provide customised information on crop prices, market access and disease prevention. The project will establish trading centres to help farmers increase sales by improving the way they market their goods.

Equipped with a better understanding of market prices and trends, Swat farmers will now be able to maximise their profits by selling their crops when the market price is up, said USAID Mission Director Jock Conly at the official signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between USAID, the KP government and Telenor.
Through programmes like these, the US government through USAID is improving the livelihoods of farmers in Swat.

We know information systems can help play a vital role in developing Pakistanís agriculture sector and we would like to thank the government of KP and USAID for extending resources and invaluable support to make this venture possible, said Irfan Wahab Khan Vice President of Telenor Pakistan. This programme will not only help bring economic prosperity to the region, but also encourage technological advancement, which is fundamental to the progress of our nation, said KP Agriculture Secretary Afsar Khan.

Courtesy: Daily Times

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