MICROSOFT VIETNAM GETS SUGAR MILL WIRED
HANOI, Apr 28, 2009 (AsiaPulse via COMTEX) --
Microsoft Vietnam LLC and Nghe
An Tate & Lyle (NAT&L) Sugar Cane factory met on Thursday and
declared the initial stage of their automatic short messaging
system (SMS) pilot project a success.
The pilot project sponsored by Microsoft began this past
February at the NAT&L sugar cane factory. Instead of having
farmers come to the company's representative offices or making
phone calls to give and receive information, the usage of
mobile phone text messages has been introduced to improve
efficiency. The project aims to improve collaboration between
factory and farmers, help farmers minimise their risk, reduce
communication costs and improve the productivity and efficiency
of both factory and farmers.
"The SMS usage idea comes from Microsoft's Unlimited
Potential program, which aims to fill the IT gap between
country-dwellers and city-dwellers in Vietnam in order to
improve their living standard", said B Rimes Mortimer, GM
Strategic Alliance, Microsoft Corporation.
Approximately 25,000 households spread out over six
districts in the northwest of Nghe An Province grow and supply
cane to the NAT&L company. Via SMS, farmers have been receiving
information regarding the harvesting timetable, accounts
receivable, transport timetable and the information about
Every two minutes from November to April, a truck carrying
10-12 tonnes of cane rolls into the factory. This represents an
enormous amount of harvesting and transport co-ordination
between factory and farmers to meet production goals.
In a survey given to 200 group leaders and farmers, who have
directly used the SMS application in harvesting and
transporting processes between cane fields and the factory, the
results were quite positive. Out of the group leaders, 95 per
cent saw benefits already from the new communication method,
and 100 per cent of farmers were in support.
The general consensus in the survey was that using SMS has
helped group leaders and farmers get information from the
factory conveniently and easily. Every 7 of 10 said that the
service exceeded their expectations. Ninty-eight per cent of
the interviewees said that they would continue to use this
Hoang Van Dung, a sugar cane grower, said that with the
support of this SMS system, he was able to be much more
proactive in arranging his work, harvesting plan and
transportation with less time and effort than before.
NAT&Ls general director, Michael Goonew Ardene said:" We are
always concerned about the efficiency of our business and are
happy we decided to co-operate with Microsoft to improve it."
"The first success of the pilot project at Nghe An Sugar
Cane factory has opened opportunities to apply SMS in many
other circumstances such as collecting and distributing
agricultural products price information, informing farmers of
environmental and disease information (storm forecast, areas
under impact of poultry flu epidemic)," said Mortimer.
In addition, SMS is also now being used in an e-Government
program to enhance the communication flow between state
officials and farmers about policies, regulations, and for the
government to answer peoples question, according to Mortimer.
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