LAHORE: More than 7,000 farmers have been registered by Land Record Management Information System (LRMIS) during first eight days to get interest-free loans through smart phones, under mobile-assisted farming initiative started by the Punjab government.

According to the official sources of LRMIS, the registration process was started on Sept 19 at all the land record centres working in 144 tehsils.

In the first phase, an amount of Rs 80 billion will be distributed among the farmers while 144 LRMIS’s land record centres working in almost all the tehsils are working from 4 to 8 pm for registration process.

The initiative is a part of Chief Minister Kissan Package 2016, aimed to increase farmers’ income.

The loan distribution would be increased to Rs 100 billion and smart phones would be given to over five million small farmers during next five years.

Around 4.5 lakh small farmers, having less than 12.5 acres of land, will get interest-free loan in the province and input finance of Rs 25,000 per acre for Rabi season (October-March) and Rs 40,000 per acre for Kharif season (April-September) will be given to farmers through mobile phone-based transactions.

Punjab Information Technology Board is taking care of mobile technology related aspect of the planned initiative.

Under the Kissan package, the idea of providing farmers with an e-credit facility was based on the notion that it would enable farmers to buy necessary inputs with much ease.

It can also be dubbed as agricultural reformation through smart use of technology. The mechanism will surely facilitate farmers and at the same time will improve business prospects for fertiliser, seed and pesticide companies. As per PITB, the end goal of this tech-based intervention is to increase the farm yield and bring financial benefit to the farmers through the indigenous decision-making system.

A systematic way of communication would be established among farmers and other stakeholders through easily-accessible applications with a view to disseminating timely and relevant information about best farming practices. Latest rates of inputs and various crops would also be informed to farmers though smart phones coupled with weather and other advisories.

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