Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday distributed 5,000 mobile phone sets among farmers while launching the scheme. "The farmers can access the market information related to agriculture through the mobile phones," Patnaik said, adding that they would get voice calls and SMS in Odia language.
Inaugurating the Digital Bazaar programme at Exhibition ground in Bhubaneswar, Patnaik said about 15,000 beneficiaries will get the free phones in the first phase at district levels soon. Farmers having Kissan Credit Cards are entitled to get this facility.
The state government has consulted service provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to send free voice SMSs related to market prices of agriculture produce and fertilisers and weather condition among other information. The state government has already allocated Rs 2 crore for the scheme in the 2013-14 budget. However, opposition Congress and BJP strongly criticised the scheme.
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