The Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare on Tuesday signed MoUs for pilot projects with CISCO, Ninjacart, Jio Platforms Limited, ITC Limited and NCDEX e-Markets Limited (NeML) for running pilots for various digital services for farmers.
Based on these pilot projects, the farmers will be able to take informed decisions on what crop to grow, what variety of seed to use and what best practices to adopt to maximise the yield. The agriculture supply chain players can plan their procurement and logistics on precise and timely information while the farmers can take informed decisions about whether to sell or store their produce and when and where and what price to sell, a release from the Ministry of Agriculture said.
“Modernisation of the agriculture sector will continue by infusing new technologies so that farmers can increase their income,” Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said at the MoU signing ceremony held at Krishi Bhavan, the ministry headquarters.
A ‘Digital Agriculture Mission’ has been initiated for 2021-2025 by the government for projects based on new technologies like artificial intelligence, block chain, remote sensing, GIS technology, use of drones and robots etc.
Establishing a digital ecosystem for agriculture needs to take a long-term view of aspects like interoperability, data governance, data quality, data standards, security and privacy, besides promoting innovation. A significant requirement is adoption of a decentralised, federated architecture that assures autonomy to the service providers and all other actors and ensures interoperability at the same time.
Recognising the importance of digitisation in agriculture, the Department is creating a federated ‘Farmers Database’ and building different services around this database, so as to build a ‘Digital Ecosystems of Agriculture’.
The federated farmers’ database will be linked to the land records of the farmers from across the country and a unique Farmer ID will be created, the release said.
Under this unified database for the farmers, the information of all benefits and supports of various schemes of Central and state governments can be kept and this can be the source for accessing information for providing benefits to the farmers in the future. So far, the database is ready with details of around 5.5 crore farmers.
Union Ministers of State for Agriculture, Kailash Chaudhary, Shobha Karandlaje along with other senior officials were present in the event.