Bharti Airtel forms JVC along with IFFCO
Bharti Airtel, India's largest mobile operator, has formed a joint venture company christened “IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Ltd (IKSL)” with state-run Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd (IFFCO), to provide telecom products and services to farmers in rural areas.
The joint venture Company will harness the power of telecom to add value to the farm sector and empower the rural farmer by giving him access to vital information, which will enhance his livelihood and quality of life.
IKSL with the help of Bharti Airtel has created a platform to offer free daily voice updates on mandi prices, farming techniques, weather forecast, diary farming, animal husbandry, rural health initiatives and fertiliser availability etc.
In addition, the farmer will be able to call a dedicated helpline, manned by experts from various fields, to get answers to their specific queries.
Apart from this, Bharti Airtel will also offer competitive calling rates @ 50 paise/minute for calls between IFFCO members. Bharti Airtel will also set up towers at sites provided by IFFCO societies to provide quality services to farmers.
IKSL will roll out its services in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh in the first phase.
The second phase will see the partnership being extended to Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. The rollout of the second phase is expected to begin by May 2008.