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Thomson Reuters Expands its Mobile Information Service for Farmers in India to the Punjab State


Reuters Market Light launched in Punjab state with over 3,000 subscriptions sold

Follows success in Maharashtra where RML has sold over 60,000 subscriptions

Chandigarh, India – Thomson Reuters today announced that it has expanded its ground-breaking mobile information service for India’s agricultural community to Punjab. Reuters Market Light, which brings commodity prices, crop and weather data to Indian farmers via mobile phone, launched today with over 3,000 subscribers signed up in Punjab, the birthplace of Green Revolution in India.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Parkash Singh Badal inaugurated the service that provides information on 17 crops/commodities including varieties in 60 Mandis spread across the state of Punjab. Sardar Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, Chairman of Punjab State Agricultural Marketing Board, was also present at the function.

Thomson Reuters plans to expand to a third Indian state by the end of 2008. Following its early successes, Reuters Market Light is now finding that increasingly subscribers opt for 12 month contracts, as opposed to the original three month option.

Amit Mehra, Managing Director of Reuters Market Light at Thomson Reuters, said: “India’s farming community is one of the largest in the world but yet it remains a relatively opaque market. RML provides crucial customised agricultural information to help farmers maximise their productivity and increase their returns. This innovative service plays to the heart of Thomson Reuters strengths of providing accurate, timely and unbiased information.”

Reuters Market Light (RML) was launched in October 2007 in the Maharashtra state where RML has sold over 60,000 subscriptions. It is estimated that the benefits of RML’s accurate, timely information have achieved up to Rs. 100,000 of additional profits on the sale of crops in the state.

In a country where approximately eight million new mobile phone users connect to networks each month and where 60 per cent of the population is dependent on agriculture, RML is leading the way to provide easy-to-use information to a vast farming community.

Reuters Market Light is an example of Thomson Reuters commitment to empowering the world’s markets with intelligent information, blue-sky thinking, technological innovation and fast, responsive implementation.

Details of Reuters Market Light service in Punjab
RML offers customized, localized, personalized, timely and accurate information to farmers that help them make informed decisions. The information is sent via text messaging in Punjabi language. The RML service is independent of mobile operators and handsets. RML has signed a Memorandum of Understand (MoU) with Punjab Mandi Board for sourcing market data from APMC Mandis across the state.

RML subscribers receive:

* Daily weather updates for the next 24 hours and covers: minimum temperature, maximum temperature, probability and precipitation of rainfall and relative humidity. Farmers can plan inter-cultural operations accordingly as the weather forecasts address the production risk.
* Price updates and arrival information of select commodities from the regulated markets in the state. Farmers can subscribe for two commodities and receive market data from three markets of his choice. They can change the markets on demand according to specific needs. This helps farmers decide where and when to sell their produce.
* Presently, RML is covering 17 crops including varieties: cotton, maize, paddy (Basmati and PUSA), wheat, potato, cabbage, pea, cauliflower, green chilli and kinnow. It provides market data on these crops from 60 markets across the state.
* Crop Advisory Tips are sourced from the Indian Council for Agriculture Research and/or Punjab Agricultural University. RML is in the process of becoming associated with PAU to offer best-in-class advisory tips in the most timely manner.
* The service provides news related to agriculture, state government schemes, price trends and commodity movements.


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