MUMBAI, India, Dec. 20 - Reuters today announced a partnership with Maharashtra's Postal Circle, to distribute, sell and support Reuters Market Light ('RML'). Reuters Market Light is a unique mobile information service for Indian farmers from Reuters, and is now available in local post offices across Maharashtra state. Reuters Market Light has been designed to support India's 250-million-strong agricultural community and has over 10,500 subscribers since its launch in October 2007.
o Reuters Market Light offers Indian farmers up-to-date, local and customised commodity pricing information, news and weather updates
o Officially launched in October 2007, the service already has over 10,500 farmers signed-up and is being actively supported by The Government of India
o RML helps farmers to enhance their crop yields and improve their productivity over a very wide range of produce including onions, cotton, soybean, pulses, pomegranates and oranges
o This relationship with the Maharashtra Postal Circle expands the reach of Reuters Market Light across the state, providing local access and support
Local farmers in Maharashtra will now be able to access Reuters Market Light directly from their nearest post office. This new distribution platform will significantly expand the presence of the service across the region, and will allow farmers to easily and conveniently learn about Reuters Market Light, view demonstrations and subscribe to the services. Reuters will provide RML service training to Maharashtra Postal Circle, to ensure that knowledgeable local help and support for farmers is at hand.
Amit Mehra, RML Managing Director said:
"The farming community in India is one of the largest in the world. The rural and often remote nature of the community makes it incredibly difficult for farmers, especially those with small holdings, to get even the most basic information."
"Through this new partnership with the Maharashtra Postal Circle, farmers will now be able to easily access Reuters Market Light in their local area. The crucial marketing, sales and support that the local post offices provide will significantly help the service reach the furthest rural agricultural communities. The aim is to facilitate greater transparency in the Indian agricultural markets allowing individual farmers to increase their productivity and maximise their revenue, and this new distribution channel helps to meet those goals. Reuters aims to roll the service out in post offices across all of India in 2008."
RML, a mobile phone-based service, was lauched by the Honourable Union Minister of Agriculture, Govt of India, Mr. Sharad Pawar in Maharashtra State in Western India on 01 October 2007. RML helps farmers achieve better yields and secure better prices by allowing them to receive accurate weather forecasts and local price information direct to their mobile phones, in their own language.
Before RML, farmers had very limited information on current and local market prices for their crops or timely information that would help them decide the best time to harvest their crops. This hindered market efficiency, reduced yields, increased wastage and could severely impact upon a farmer's earnings and livelihood. Importantly, as well as helping farmers to get the best price, RML's accurate and timely information has the potential to reduce crop wastage, which across India runs into billions of dollars each year.
The service is available for Rs.60 per month. Although currently only in Maharashtra, Reuters Market Light will be available at post offices in rural areas across all of India in early 2008.
About Reuters Market Light:
Reuters Market Light has its origins in a project-idea conceived by a Reuters employee whilst on a year's Fellowship at Stanford University. The employee was being sponsored by The Reuters Foundation on Stanford University's Digital Vision Program. From this initial idea, the project was taken on by Reuters development team, implemented and this year successfully trialled in India. Reuters Market Light is an example of Reuters commitment to empowering the world's financial markets through blue-ski thinking, technological innovation and fast and responsive implementation.
Reuters ( www.reuters.com/ ), the global information company, provides indispensable information tailored for professionals in the financial services, media and corporate markets. Through reuters.com and other digital properties, Reuters now also supplies its trusted content direct to individuals. Reuters drives decision making across the globe based on a reputation for speed, accuracy and independence. Reuters has 17,500 staff in 94 countries, including 2,400 editorial staff in 196 bureaux serving 131 countries. In 2006, Reuters revenues were GBP2.6 billion.
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