Improving access to entitlements and government support services at FPO level and strengthening governance of agricultural programs is the primary purpose of the Kisan Mitra helpline. A helpline number 8500983300 is made available to all famers in all the Farmer Producer Organisations across the districts. A centrally located team answer queries, provide information and to direct farmers to the relevant resource or government department. Any calls that require action will be issued a ticket and sent to the relevant government department in real-time through a custom-developed ERP system. Field coordinators will be employed at the block level, or for a cluster of blocks. Any cases that require physical presence and hand-holding of farmers, are supported by these coordinators. At the local level, staff at FSCs, Kisan Mitra Field Coordinators, and staff of departments of agriculture/horticulture/animal husbandry/revenue will also provide assistance in raising tickets and providing extension services for resolving issues. At the district level, an inter departmental committee chaired by the District Collector/Magistrate will meet every fortnight to review the status of actionable calls and complaints, and to resolve issues as necessary.
Access to government services: Despite various schemes and benefits being put in place by the government, knowledge of and access to schemes is often missing among farmers. As policy implementation is crucial to reducing farmer distress, Kisan Mitra has been envisioned as a project that bridges the gaps between the farmer and the implementing agencies.
Psychological Wellbeing: The project aims to empower the farmers through improving their psychological health, knowledge and access where their entitlements are concerned. Field presence and outreach of Kisan Mitra coordinators is an integral part of the project operation. Field coordinators, employed at the block level (or a cluster of villages) are crucial for identifying and counselling for farmers in severe distress and for the resolution of cases that require intervention or support that may not be offered by government departments. Volunteers trained in clinical psychology have made interventions as needed when cases of severe distress were identified.
Research and dissemination: The research and advocacy department functions to understand the various facets of farmer distress by analysing the data collected by the field and counselling staff. This analysis is then disseminated to various stakeholders. Kisan Mitra also hopes to create a transparent data system, educational workshops and multimedia content for knowledge dissemination.