BENGALURU: The Agriculture Department has launched a centralised call centre for farmers where they can get details of all central and state government schemes. All existing eight call centres have been merged, and farmers can now call the dedicated tollfree number (18004 253553) with queries, said Agriculture Minister N Chaluvaraya Swamy.
The minister on Thursday said the centralised call centre was mooted as farmers were finding it difficult to contact each call centre to get details on schemes and farm-related information. “We would get around 500 calls a week from all these eight call centres, which we are hoping to increase with one dedicated number,” he said.
According to him, the centralised system will likely help more farmers address their problems and get the benefits of schemes. The government is also planning to include interactive voice response and artificial intelligence to reach more farmers.
He said between June 1 and August 16, there should have been 601 mm of rainfall in the state, but only 474 mm was recorded, which is a 22% deficit. He said July alone recorded rain deficit of 29%.
Vigilance team has 12 staff
According to a press release from the Agriculture Department, out of 33 sanctioned posts in the vigilance team, 21 are vacant. There are only 12 staffers across the state. The team has seized 385 quintal of sub-standard seeds and 3,200 quintal of fertiliser. They have also cancelled the licences of 10 agencies for selling substandard seeds, fertiliser and other material.