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Assam agricultural competitiveness project : community procurement of pump sets and using SMS for communication (英语)

Although Assam has an abundance of rainfall in the monsoon season and the land is fertile, farmers are unable to maximize the income from their fields because they lack access to water during the long dry winter months. With Assam being a northeastern state, few qualified manufacturers were willing to bid. Moreover, to ensure that the pumps were of good quality, only manufacturers who had the requisite turnover and capacity were allowed to bid, reducing the number of bidders even further. The cost of the pump sets is not only lower; farmers also receive better after-sales service because the pumps are delivered by local dealers. Based upon the success of this project, the state's department of agriculture has mainstreamed the process of community procurement into their regular operations. The project team plans to upgrade the system to allow for two-way interaction between officials and farmers. Once in place, this system will be used to answer farmers' queries, inform farmers of the daily price of key farm products in certain markets, and collect data from some select farmers on agricultural production, etc. The system will also be used to collect data from district officials on the project's physical and financial progress.