Thomson Reuters Expands Mobile Crop Service for Indian Farmers

Thomson Reuters today announced that its ground-breaking mobile information service for India’s agricultural community Reuters Market Light (RML) has sold over 100,000 three- month subscriptions since its launch just over a year ago.

Since its celebrated launch in October 2007, farmers from the State of Maharashtra and Punjab have reaped the benefits of accurate, timely and customised information. Hundreds of farmers have reported making additional profits ranging from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 200,000 following RML.

Reuters Market Light, a pioneer in this field, provides customised and localised market intelligence to farmers in their local language including crop prices from local markets, local weather forecasts, and relevant agricultural news and crop advisory information. RML has built an end-to-end value chain from sourcing through to rural distribution to meet the decision-critical needs of the farming sector over mobile phones. It currently covers over 50 commodities and over 250 markets in the two states.

Amit Mehra, Managing Director of RML at Thomson Reuters, said: “Every six weeks we poll between 400-700 customers and we are consistently informed that RML delivers value, customers feel empowered in their negotiations and that the direct financial returns have been phenomenal. Thomson Reuters has invested further in its technology and processes to continuously improve RML’s user experience, delivery timing, customer support, and relevant content. We look forward to building on this success and expanding further across the country.”

Earlier this year, RML was selected by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as one of six business initiatives that have the potential to contribute to the Millennium Development Goals. Currently, RML and its impact on the farming community are being studied by various global academic and research institutes.

Reuters Market Light was launched in October 2007 by the Indian Minister of Agriculture. The mobile phone-based information service has its origins in an initiative conceived by a Reuters employee whilst on a year’s Fellowship at Stanford University as part of the university’s Digital Vision Program.

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