The government of India back in 2015 kicked off the Digital India initiative. Now to boost the initiative, the Gujrat government has announced that it will provide financial assistance of up to Rs 1,500 to farmers in the state for buying a smartphone. The financial aid programme was revealed via a state agriculture department notification, where it is mentioned that with this scheme the government is looking to bridge the digital divide that farmers are suffering from even though agricultural technology’s scope is growing every day. Also Read - "Mobile payments exceeded ATM cash withdrawals for the first time" in India last year: PM Modi
Note, the scheme is valid only for the cost of the smartphone and will not cover any other accessories including power banks, earphones, chargers and more. Also Read - Micromax to launch new smartphones in India on December 15: Report
With the help of this scheme, the government is looking to encourage farmers to purchase and use smartphones for multiple things like increasing their farm income or getting the benefit of agri-tech services. It has stated, smartphones will help farmers access information about the weather forecast, possible pest information, advanced farm techniques, usage of technological tools, expert opinions on the personal level, and much more. Also Read - Gujarat loses over 13 lakh mobile subscribers in September
Smartphones will also allow farmers to apply for various schemes of the central as well as state governments related to farming.
Who are eligible for the scheme?
According to the Government Resolution issued by the state’s Agriculture, Farmers Welfare and Cooperation department, any resident of Gujarat having their own land can apply for the assistance of 10 percent of the total cost of a smartphone with a maximum cap of Rs 1,500.
The scheme is valid for all landholding farmers, however, only one beneficiary per joint holding farm is eligible to avail the benefit.
How to apply?
Landholding farmers in Gujrat can apply for the assistance via the i-khedut portal. Once the application is approved, the farmers will then be required to submit a copy of the purchase bill of the smartphone, mobile IMEI number, a cancelled cheque and other required documents.