Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has distributed at least 59,282 mobile phones among farmers free of cost in order to provide market information to them, Cooperation Minister S N Patro told the Assembly here on Wednesday.
In a written reply to a question, he said the phones were distributed through Regulated Marketing Committees (RMCs).
While 18,000 mobile phones were distributed among farmers in 2013-14, 41,282 units were provided to women farmers holding Kisan Credit Cards in 2016-17, the minister said.
Moreover, 15,000 mobiles were receiving messages in Odia language on market price of different agricultural produce, he said.
The market price of agri produces were being given under "Digital Mandi" scheme. The farmers have been taking advantage of these messages, the minister said.
Patro said the state government has meanwhile made budgetary provision to distribute free mobile phones among farmers in the 2017-18 fiscal.
"We will go for tender for mobile distribution among farmers soon," he said.