Helpline on prices of agri-produce soon in Bengal

Kolkata, July 6 (IANS) Farmers in West Bengal will soon be able to get information on prices of agricultural commodities by just dialling a number.

Developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) here, the “speech-based access for agricultural commodity prices in Bengali” technology would enable farmers and other interested users to obtain the latest price of agro-products in each district.

“The Bengal government will launch it soon. It is user-friendly and does not require internet connection or computers.

“Anyone with a landphone or an ordinary mobile can use it. There is no need to type or touch… it converts speech into text,” said C-DAC’s executive director, Col. A.K. Nath (retd.) on Monday.

C-DAC, under the ministry of information and communication technology, is partnering the government in implementing the ‘Digital India Programme’.

The voice-query system allows users to key in specific numbers, say aloud the name of the agricultural produce and get the required data.

“It is based on voice samples of 1,500 farmers in Bengali. The query is routed through a server which fetches the price and conveys it,” Nath said.

The novel technology covers languages such as Assamese, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. C-DAC is responsible for the system development in Bengali. The helpline number will be revealed with the launch, said Nath.

The Socio Economic and Caste Census, 2011 finds that the number of mobile-phone connections outnumbers that of landlines in rural India.

As many as 68 percent of households own only a mobile phone, one percent own only a landline phone, and 2.7 percent own both.



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