Telenor Pakistan in partnership with Punjab Livestock and Dairy Development Board (PLDDB) have launched a dedicated free of cost IVR service for female farmers in Punjab called ‘Khushaal Aangan’. Female farmers will simply need to dial 727251 to subscribe to the service and get information regarding livestock rearing, family health, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation.
Women play a massive role especially in rural areas and their contribution surpasses that of the male counterparts as it extends to farm support and animal rearing in addition to ensuring well-being of the family. Currently more than 4 million farmers in Punjab are using Telenor Pakistan’s agriculture service ‘Khushaal Zamindar’ and over 10% of them are females. Keeping in view the large number of female workforce in today’s rural society and their immense contribution towards agriculture, it’s imperative to have a service which caters specifically to their needs.
“The statistics from our flagship mAgri program Khushaal Zamindar revealed that an encouraging percentage of users comprised women.” said Irfan Wahab Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor Pakistan. “Since the majority of the female workforce in Pakistan is also associated with agriculture, it makes logical and business to cater to them better through a service tailored to their specific working needs. Based on our learning, we designed Khushaal Aangan that is aimed to be a perfect lifestyle partner for the rural woman, educating her on agriculture, livestock rearing, family health and much more. As we continue to be driven by our mission of empowering societies at Telenor Pakistan, through Khushaal Aangan we are aiming to empower the Pakistani women further by equipping them with the knowledge that will make them more productive and improve their livelihoods.” he added.
Talking on the launch ceremony of Khushal Aangan service, Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, Minister Labor and Human Resources, Punjab & Chairman, PLDDB said, ”PLDDB is working to facilitate small-scale farmers and has launched a couple of projects in this regard. Khushaal Aangan is also designed to educate small-scale farmers especially focusing on women. It is a positive and encouraging step towards empowering the Pakistani women as it extends the benefits of the industry-leading Mobile Agriculture service Khushaal Zamindar to women in a more focused way. We congratulate Telenor Pakistan on the launch of this exclusive, female-friendly advisory service, and also thank them for continuing to supplement the Government’s efforts for a digital and empowered Pakistan. Information Communication Technology (ICT) is the way forward when it comes to digital advancement in developing countries like Pakistan.
While talking on the occasion, Ms. Saira Iftikhar, CEO PLDDB, said, “It’s a trend-setting and much needed initiative taken by Telenor Pakistan & PLDDB and it t will help thousands of rural women improve their agriculture and livestock management practices. Pakistan’s livestock sector is contributing significantly to the national GDP and playing a major role in the country’s economic growth and poverty alleviation. With ‘Khushaal Aangan’, the rural woman will be empowered and equipped with the knowledge she requires for rearing healthier livestock and to improve health of her family members. Telenor Pakistan and PLDDB are revolutionizing the information dissemination system of agriculture and livestock sectors, enabling every male and female farmer to contribute their best to the country’s socioeconomic development and lead healthier and more prosperous lives.”
‘Khushaal Aangan’ was designed after comprehensive on-ground researches and surveys to gather all insights necessary for a tailor-made, female-only IVR service for rural women. In-depth interviews were also conducted with female farmers of distinct personas in different villages of Punjab in the pilot phase.
‘Khushaal Aangan’ will also feature female-only live shows to foster awareness about the usefulness of mobile techology vis-a-vis the agricultural growth and household management. Female farmers will be able to call and ask questions to access real-time information from female agriculture experts and nutritionists at the show.