shurjoMukhi Limited has been working in the ICT for Development (ICT4D) sector in Bangladesh for the last nine years. Improving livelihood and financial access of livestock farmers using technology is one of them. Recently a contract has been signed to implement a project titled Creating Cattle Insurance Market by Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Tracking in Bangladesh among shurjoMukhi and Phoenix Insurance and Business Finance for the Poor in Bangladesh (BFP-B) aided by UKaid in this regard.
The goal of the project is to create a digital platform named shurjoMukhi praniSheba using IoT (Internet of Things) and RFID technology in rural areas of the country to improve record keeping on cow species, genetic development, information conservation, reproduction, dairy management and provision of primary treatment. Most importantly, a cattle insurance policy to safeguard cattle farmers is part and parcel of the platform. Above all, the praniSheba platform aims to implement the government's mission and vision for rural socio-economic development through the use of ICT in livestock extension activities.
In order to create market awareness on the new technology, shurjoMukhi, in collaboration with Pheonix insurance, arranged a seminar on Creating Cattle Insurance Market by Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Tracking in Bangladesh on 23 January 2018 at Krishibid Institution Bangladesh Complex, Farmgate and a day-long practical demonstration session on 24 January 2019 at shurjoMukhi praniSheba R&D Farm, Dampara, Paragram, Ashulia.
The chief guest of the occasion Dr. Nathu Ram Sarker, Director General of Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI) commented: "This technology is timely and very relevant to Bangladesh. The Government of Bangladesh and Livestock Research Institute will closely observe the development of this platform. However, he advised that the product pricing should be appropriate for the small and medium enterprises.
In the seminar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of shurjoMukhi Limited, Fida Haq said, "A biosensor is placed in the stomach of cattle shurjoMukhi praniSheba. This biosensor or bolus transmit data to cloud though radio frequency identification (RFID) from the stomach. This bolus and associated hardware are made by smaXtec company in Austria". While discussing no side-effects of the new technology, he affirmed, "smaXtec bolus is functional for at least five years in the stomach of cattle and does not cause any adverse effect in the animal body. This technology has been tested and approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Communications Commission and the German Agricultural Society (DLG) Laboratories in Germany. "
As co-organizer of this seminar, Mr. Rafiqur Rahman, Executive Director of Phoenix Insurance, said in his speech that media should publicize the usefulness of the solution more without getting caught in the novelty factor of the solution.
The special guest of the seminar Syed Almas Kabir, President BASIS commented that he was delighted to find out the fourth industrial revolution is already taking place in Bangladesh through shurjoMukhi praniSheba.
Mr. Md. Fazlul Quader, Deputy Managing Director (Programme), PKSF, Mr. Md. Arafat Hossain, Challenge Fund Manager, BFP-B and Richard Schober, Business Development Manager, smaXtec animal care GmbH were present as special guests in the seminar.
On the following day, at the daylong hands-on training at shurjoMukhi praniSheba R&D Farm in Ashulia, about 40 veterinary doctors and animal husbandry practitioners from the Department of Livestock Services, universities and NGOs learned about the digital platform that shurjoMukhi praniSheba is on a first-hand basis. Learning directly from Mr. Richard Schober, the Austrian expert from smaXtec animal care, the participants learned how to administer RFID boli into cow’s rumen, the role of the hardware and software comprising the system and many other tips and tricks that are necessary to make the most of the praniSheba platform.