The Internet has benefitted everyone from rich to poor. Guess who are the latest benefiters of it! The farmers. With the help of India’s postal department, farmers will now be able to sell paddy, cotton, pulses or any other farm products directly to the traders online that too without spending even a single buck on transport.
For this novel plan the postal department is going to launch a pilot programme first that will seek to help farmers sell their produce online. Based on the results of pilot project, the postal departments will then look on and take a call on extending the service across the country.
India Post will act as a facilitator amid the farmers and traders and the project initially will start in two locations. “The project will soon start in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana over the next couple of weeks,” said the chief postmaster general of the circle covering the two Telugu-speaking states, BV Sudhakar.
This project is clearly a smart move by the Indian post which will kill two birds with one stone i.e. put to use its vast network of post offices and employees into use at a time when the advent of e-mails and proliferation of mobile phones, instant chat apps and express courier services made its core service of delivering letters mostly irrelevant and also help the farmers sell their products to their traders.
“While it is free for farmers, India Post will collect a nominal fee from the buyers, apart from stipulating a condition that buyers should use the services of India Post for transporting the farm commodity to the required destination,” said Sudhakar.
Telangana we see is taking Modi government’s digital India campaign a bit too seriously. The move by the government is worth an applaud as it is doing its best by even providing Internet connection to each house in the state. They government has aims to make atleast one person in each family computer literate. This programme will too be one of the highlight of the Digital Telangana project. Also we see that the Indian Post is exploring new-age business opportunities to generate revenue.
This is how it will work
Postmasters will be appointed in villages to collate details from farmers about their produce and upload the data online for traders to read and make decisions.
They will also be given smartphones, so that they can take photos of the farm commodities and upload the details on a website that which will act as a trading platform.
The initiative seems to be an ambitious one, aimed at encouraging the postmasters in villages to be a part of the new initiative, thus generate more revenue.
With the advent of Internet and e-mail, the post offices in the country seem to be fraying off. This initiative by the Indian Post, is sure to get revenue to the Indian Post from the very source which killed its revenue a decade ago!