Odisha government is going to allocate Rs 3 crore to distribute free android phones to the farmers (both male and female) of the state by July-end in a bid to woo them before the next general elections.
This was informed by Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Surya Narayan Patro. He further said that the Cooperation Department has written to the Agriculture Department for detailed information in this regards.
A committee will be constituted at the district level headed by the concerned district Collectors to finalize the list of farmers (beneficiaries).
Notably, the Naveen Patnaik-led government had sanctioned Rs 300 lakhs earlier in 2017-18 for the same cause. Farmers who have already received free mobile phones under the scheme earlier will not be eligible again.
The objective of distributing the free android phone is to empower the peasants with up-to-date market information at the finger tips through voice call and SMS in Odia language. This will help them for better price realization and production planning under the project Digital Mandi.
According Patro, Odisha State Agricultural Marketing Board shall call for tender to procure smart mobile phones with android facilities suitable for the scheme centrally and finalise tender through a committee constituted for the purpose by the Director Agricurtural Marketing-cum-Member Secretary, OSAM Board.