(The Gist of Kurukshetra) REVOLUTIONIZING INDIAN AGRICULTURE: USE OF ICT-October-2017


(The Gist of Kurukshetra) REVOLUTIONIZING INDIAN AGRICULTURE: USE OF ICT-October-2017


REVOLUTIONIZING INDIAN AGRICULTURE: USE OF ICT

The future of rural India is full of promise. By 2025 it is forecasted that 55 percent of India’s rural population will have access to the internet. The average villager living in rural India already has a basic awareness of the wonders of the world wide web and is willing to explore the internet satisfy his queries about the world and issues which impact his livelihood. It is reported that in 2016, 234 million internet users in India were local language users. This number is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18 percent. The National Policy for Farmers emphasizes the use of information and Communication technology (ICT) at village level for reaching out to the farmer with the correct advisories and requisite information.

Nepal e-Governance Plan in Agriculture (NeGP-A): NeGP-A is proposed to be implemented across the country and aims at offering Government to Citizen/Farmer (G2C or G2F), Government to Business (G2B) and Government to Government (G2B) agriculture services in an integrated manner through the Central Agriculture Portal (CAP) and State Agriculture Portals (SAPs). Objectives
• Bringing farmer centricity and service orientation to the programs.
• Enhancing reach and impact of extension services.
• Improving access of farmers to information & services throughout crop-cycle.
• Building upon, enhancing and integratingthe existing ICT initiatives of Centre, and states.
• Enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of programs through process redesign.
• More effective management of scheme of DAC.
• Promoting a common framework across states.

Information on Agriculture and Marketing Channels

India’s farmers live in rural areas and agriculture & allied activities still constitute the largest share of India’s employment. It is estimated that 72 percent farmers do not have access to reliable sources of information and this prevents them from accessing credit realizing high crop productivity. Around 94 percent of farmers in India depend upon ‘fellow farmers’ as the preferred source of information, followed by 10 percent on agri retailers, 4 percent of TV/Radio and only 3 percent on agri-extension officers information provided by extension services are perceived to be unreliable or less actionable due to lack of accuracy. This is a bottleneck for adoption of modern agri-practices, hence crop yields in India are still just 30 percent to 60 percent of the best sustainable crop yields achievable in the farms of developed as well as other developing countries.

Digital India envisions empowering citizens with e-access to government and related livelihood services. The project has 3 core components – digital infrastructure, digital services and digital literacy. Mobile phone is the preferred delivery medium under Digital India with focus on mGovernance and mServices. Out of the 7 components covered under mServices, mAgriculture and mGramBazar directly impact agriculture extension.

And end-to-end ICT led agric platform has been created:

• Pan-India, telco and handset neutral agri information services delivered through sms, voice and mobile app;
• 10,000+ information sources managed by team of 300+ on-ground market reporters and state/national level agri experts with PhDs and public/private sector agri industry experience;
• Dedicated agri call center with 90+ team members speaking 9 languages;
• Custom designed CRM and ERP solutions for Indian farmers;
• Agri e-commerce platform with agri produce aggregation and demand/supply matching capability; supported by technologically enabled on-ground agri marketing team.

National Agriculture Market (NAM)

It is a pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing APMC mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities. The NAM Portal provides a single window services for all APMC related information and services. This includes commodity arrivals & prices, buy & sell trade offers, provision to respond to trade offers, among other services. While material flow (agriculture produce) continue to happen through mandis, an online market reduces transaction costs and information asymmetry.

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