DTAC, Thailand’s second largest GSM mobile phone provider, is striving to extend digital-based technology to transform small farmers into ‘smart farmers’, reports The Nation.
The cellular operator signed a memorandum of understanding with the Agricultural Extension Department of the Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives Ministry, and the “Ruam Duay Chuay Kan Sam Nuek Rak Ban Kerd” Foundation (’hand-in-hand with recognition of love you hometowns’ foundation), to promote the use of communication tech for agriculture development.
Under the collaboration guideline, the three parties aim to create smart farmers through mobile learning centers in all regions in Thailand where a smart-farmer mobile training course will provide knowledge on ecommerce for agricultural products.
According to On-uma Vattanasuk Rerkpattanapipat, DTAC’s senior vice president and head of corporate communications,
Although Thailand had experienced rapid development of mobile-phone technology from mobility to data and then digital service, most people still primarily used smart phones for basic communications.
DTAC’s mobile training course
At the workshop, farmers learn tips and techniques to develop effective online markets via website and social media, including product descriptions, optimal posting times, uploading photos and connecting with shops on Facebook. The class also extends to packaging, distribution, brand building and financial transactions via smartphones.
This year, DTAC will arrange 30 training classes for 40-60 farmers to participate in the workshops, which are held in provincial agricultural centers.
In addition to the mobile learning centers, DTAC has partnered with the Ruam Duay Chuay Kan Sam Nuek Rak Ban Kerd Foundation to develop the Farmer Info application.
Through this express information channel on mobile phones, farmers benefit from real-time data on agriculture and other useful information on farming that they can share with fellow farmers in their communities.
DTAC has also planned to initiate agri-tech by supporting a startup under the DTAC Accelerate program to develop the Freshket application as a marketplace to form a bridge between suppliers of fresh products and restaurants.
A version of this appeared in The Nation on August 14. Read the full version here.