Basic features of Kisan Call Centers (KCCs)
To harness the potential of ICT in Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture took a new initiative by launching the scheme “Kisan Call Centres (KCCs)” on January 21, 2004 aimed at answering farmers queries on a telephone call in farmers own dialect. These call Centres are working in 14 different locations covering all the States and UTs. This Scheme provides agriculture related information to the farming community through toll free telephone lines. A countrywide common eleven digit number 1800-180-1551 has been allotted for Kisan Call Centre. The number is accessible through all mobile phones and landlines of all telecom networks including private service providers. Replies to the farmers’ queries are given in 22 local languages. Calls are attended from 6.00 am to 10.00 pm on all seven days of the week at each KCC location. Kisan Call Centre agents known as Farm Tele Advisor(FTAs). who are graduates or above (i.e PG or Doctorate) in Agriculture or allied (Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Poultry, Bee-keeping, Sericulture, Aquaculture, Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural Marketing, Bio-technology, Home Science etc. offered by Agricultural/Horticultural/Veterinary Universities) disciplines and excellent communication skills in respective local language respond to the farmers queries instantly. Queries which cannot be answered by Farm Tele Advisor(FTAs) are transferred to higher level experts (Call Conferencing Experts) in a call conferencing mode. These experts are subject matter specialists of State Development Departments, ICAR and State Agricultural Universities.
Features of KCC
Restructured KCCs are now provide very reliable and efficient services due to following technological innovations and state of the art hardware/software tools:
- Voice/Media Gateways (IPPBX based decentralized system).
- Dedicated MPLS leased line network with dedicated bandwidth.
- Call barging to facilitate listeing of call conversation between Farm Tele Advisor and Farmer by the officer monitoring the quality of service provided by KCCs
- 100% Call recording And Retention of recorded calls for six months so that the call can be listened to in case of a complain.
- SMS to caller farmers providing a gist of advisories given to them on phone.
- Voice mail system for recording farmer’s queries during idle time of KCC or during call lines busy, with provision for call back to the caller.
- Soft phones in every personal computer with caller ID facility.
- Back up through Fixed Wireless Telephone (FWTs) in case of PRI failure.
- Up scaling the knowledge of CCAs by way of providing latest versions of guide books and booklets issued by the State Agricultural Department or the Agricultural Universities. Facility of video conferencing of each KCC for interaction of KCC agents with the Divisional/Zonal Level Officers of the State Agriculture and allied departments as well as on line monitoring for the working of KCCs.
- Provision for registering the farmers for receiving SMS messages on agri-advisories and mandi prices of different commodities as per their priority.