Unseasonal rains destroys crops as well as it may delay some crops which in turn cause rise in prices int he market. With global climate changes, the occurrence of unseasonal rains have become quite normal in India as well as other countries. Specially in India, this has recently become a big problem as agriculture is mainly dependent on rain. There are many incidents in India of farmers committing suicide due to loss of crops due to unseasonal rains.
A simple outbound IVR can be used inform farmers in advance for any expected rains as well as educate them alternatives crops in case of unseasonal rain.
With increasing penetration of mobile phones in India, many farmers own mobile number. Also, any news can easily spread in village or rural areas by word of mouth.
In this outbound IVR for farmers, weather forecast will be recorded in voice and phone numbers of farmers would be dialed. On connection, it will play the recorded message for the farmer with weather information and alternate crop cultivation opportunities.
Apart from this, it can also give information about various government schemes, grievance redress system in case of crop damage.
Use of voice call is advantageous as t can use vernacular language instead of English texts as used in SMS, Email. Also farmers do not require to be literate to get information.
It is also instantaneous and verification of transfer of message can also be done which will help in further analysis of usefulness of this IVR service.
This kind of IVR usage could be further extended where government officials or agriculture counselors could be connected on pressing of a key during the message broadcast.
So, use of outbound IVR call could be part of e-governance or good governance initiative of any welfare state.