Farmers in Dakshina Kannada can now get information on horticultural crop management through SMS.
The Department of Horticulture launched the service about 10 days ago, according to Yogesh H.R., Deputy Director.
Farmers would have to register their names and cellphone numbers with the department by calling 0824-2412628 or sending SMS to 9480354968, he told The Hindu .
They would get information on seasonal crops on a daily basis — one SMS a day on a particular crop. For example, now it is the season of growing mangoes and cashew. If tea mosquito bug hits cashew or mango hopper attacks mango orchards, a 10-line SMS, mostly in Kannada and sometimes in English, would be sent to the farmers on the disease or pest control measures for cashew on one day and for mango the next day. Pepper, cocoa and arecanut too were covered under the service, Mr. Yogesh said.
During monsoon, farmers would be informed about steps to control ‘kole roga’ (fruit rot disease) and black pod disease (pot rotting).
Information would be provided on containing areca palm bugs too. He said this service would be used for providing information on drip irrigation and about any new horticultural schemes or any programmes of the government.
“With changing technology and times, it is the fastest way of communicating with farmers. The farmers’ portal of the Union government will be used for providing the service. The rights of using the service and uploading content reserves with the Deputy Director,” Mr. Yogesh said.
He said that farmers could also use the numbers to seek information about the management of any particular disease or report about spread or diseases in their plantation.