Sunita Thakur, 35, a women farmer from Aughatkhapri village, Mandla district, Madhya Pradesh has become a household name in her village. She successfully adopted the mobile technology in upgrading her farming skills and soon made profits. Thakur shares her farming journey in glimpses with R&M.
How long have you been farming?
This is our family trade. I have seen my father farming since my childhood. We grew wheat and rice. He practiced traditional farming methods and faced a lot of difficulties. I am into full-fledged farming since four years and have been supporting my family using modern techniques.
The value of using mobile technology in farming has relatively gained attention. How did you become involved?
Mobile services have been the biggest assist in the modern method of technology. One of the services is from ‘ekgaon’ that has enriched lives of million of rural households in India.
The service became a platform for leveraging mobile communications technology that is encouraging women and small farmers across India. I heard about the service during a training programme on farming in my village. I found it interesting as well as helpful. I was determined and took the initiative to use the technology and got benefit out of it.
How did you learn about modern farming methods?
I learned it out of my personal interest in order to improve my farming skills. The government conduct several agriculture programmes. I learned it from watching programmes on TV, attending training sessions and using modern methods. I leveled my land and got better yield. The ekgaon mobile technology has been a great help with regular assist through SMS and free query facility.
How do you foresee the future of technology in agriculture?
I hope that we all can learn from the international farmers the way they accept new technologies. Our ways of feeding ourselves are unsustainable and are, in fact, contributing to the degradation of our ecology. We must literally understand the concept of new farming methods. Mobile technology like ‘Ekgaon programme’ aims to make visible the knowledge for the farmers, so that we can also learn.
What is your message for the farmers?
My message to the farmers is to use modern techniques that can enhance the economic condition. Without good yield a farmer is nothing and cannot survive. These techniques might help for better farming.