(BOGOR, Indonesia) 17 August 2023 - The intersection of technology and agriculture was celebrated on August 17th as the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Infoline was successfully launched. This collaborative effort between the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Viamo, marks a significant milestone in reaching and empowering Indonesian rice farmers. The IVR Infoline is designed to deliver science-based advisory directly to rice farmers through voice messages in the local language. This platform also promotes the utilization of accessible digital tools such as Layanan Konsultasi Padi (LKP).
The IVR Infoline is part of alternative pathways to deliver actionable information to farmers through the Rice Crop Manager Indonesia project. IVR Infoline works through scheduled calls to known numbers of farmers and presenting them with a menu of options through pre-recorded voice messages. Farmers can interact with the system using their phone's keypad to access key messages about crop management advisories for irrigated rice farms. IVR Infoline delivers concise actionable information about the following 10 key messages: rice variety selection, planting method, fertilizer dosage, fertilizer type, fertilizer application timing, alternate wetting and drying, brown plant hopper, stem borer, combine harvesting, and threshing machine. It is now available for rice farmers in West Java and South Sulawesi.
During the launch, the system called 952 mobile numbers of farmers and about 67% of farmers picked up the calls. Out of the 10 key messages, the top five key messages accessed by farmers were: rice variety selection (36%), fertilizer application timing (19%), planting method (18%), fertilizer dosage (14%), and fertilizer type (11%).
Prof. Dr. Ir. Hasil Sembiring, MSc., IRRI Indonesia Liaison Scientist, expressed his contentment with the launch, stating, “I am delighted to witness the successful launch of the IVR Infoline. This significant achievement underscores the partnership between IRRI and Viamo in propelling the enhancement of rice farmers' access to agricultural information. The IVR Infoline is poised to unequivocally empower rice farmers in Indonesia, while also charting the course for the adoption of more sustainable farming practices.”
Alongside the Infoline, the WhatsApp Chatbot offers interactive content access, while IVR Surveys facilitate valuable data collection, feedback, and enhancement to LKP. Through these technological endeavors, Indonesian rice farmers can access crucial insights to make informed decisions and contribute to the broader goal of sustainable farming practices.