Agriculture ministry signs 5 MOUs to promote digital agriculture

Agriculture ministry & farmers welfare signs 5 MOUs with private companies for taking forward Digital Agriculture, increasing farmers income & protecting their produce
Agriculture ministry signs 5 MOUs to promote digital agriculture

Agriculture should be connected to technology: Agriculture Minister

Photo - rawpixel.com

Modernization of the agriculture sector will continue by infusing new technologies to increase farmers' income. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar stated this at the MOU signing ceremony at KrishiBhavan on 14 September 2021. MOUs were signed for pilot projects with CISCO, Ninjacart, Jio Platforms, ITC and NCDEX eMarkets (NeML).

According to the press statement, based on these pilot projects, farmers will decide what crop to grow, what variety of seed to use and what best practices to adopt to maximize the yield. The agriculture supply chain players can plan their procurement and logistics on precise and timely information. Farmers can make informed decisions about whether to sell or store their produce and when, where, and what price to sell.

The government initiated a digital agriculture mission for 2021 -2025 for projects based on new technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, remote sensing and GIS technology, use of drones and robots. Any attempt to transform the agriculture sector needs to imbibe an ecosystem thinking and a digital ecosystem. The agriculture value chain extends from crop selection to crop management and the market; it involves public and private players in agricultural inputs and services and also logistics. Establishing a digital ecosystem of 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 the adoption of a decentralized, federated architecture that assures autonomy to the service providers and all other actors and ensures interoperability at the same time.

Recognizing the importance of digitization in agriculture, the department is creating a federated farmers database and building different services around this database to built digital ecosystems of agriculture. A Federated farmers' database will be linked by the land records of farmers from across the country and a unique Farmer ID will be created. Under this unified database for all farmers, the information of all benefits and supports of various Central & State Government schemes can be kept. This can be the source for accessing information for providing benefits to farmers in the future. So far, the database is ready with details of around 5.5 crore farmers.

Kailash Chaudhary, Union Minister of State for Agriculture, Shobha Karandlaje, Union Minister of State for Agriculture, Sanjay Aggarwal Secretary, DA&FW, Vivek Aggarwal, Additional Secretary (Digital Agriculture), Harish Krishnan (managing director, Public Affairs & Strategic Engagements) CISCO, Thirukumaran Nagarajan (co-founder and chief executive officer Ninjacart) Ninjacart, Shanker Adawal (president and Head of Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, JIO) Jio Platforms, Rajnikant Rai, (divisional chief executive of ITC) ITC and Mrugank Paranjape, (managing director & chief executive officer) NCDEX eMarkets (NeML) were also present on this occasion.

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