The dream of a self-reliant and digital India can be realized by taking along the agriculture sector as India has a strong advantage in the Agriculture sector which contributes to about 15% of the GDP and livelihood for more than 50% of the population.
To acheive this, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has begun the process of establishing Agristack in the country. To develop Agristack, the department is finalising the “India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture (IDEA),” which will lay down a framework for the project.
A Task Force has been formed, and a Concept Paper on IDEA has already been circulated for public comment, not only on the department’s website, but also via emails, to subject matter specialists, Agro-Industry, Farmers, and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs).
Benefits to the farming community
The IDEA will assist in establishing the country’s Agri-stack architecture, which will serve as a foundation for developing new agri-focused solutions that use emerging technologies to successfully contribute to the creation of a better Agriculture Ecosystem in India.
This Ecosystem will assist the government in making successful plans to increase farmers income and improve the efficiency of the agriculture industry as a whole. As a first step in this direction, the government has begun work on a federated farmers’ database, which will serve as the backbone of the proposed Agristack.
There are no private sector companies involved in the construction of the Agristack. However, Leading Technology/Agri-tech/Startup businesses, were recognised and invited to partner with the Indian government to produce Proof of Concepts (PoC) based on small portions of data from the federated Farmers’ database for specific locations (Districts/Villages).
A public call for proposals for PoCs has been posted on the Department’s website. To develop PoCs, MoUs are being signed with some companies for a duration of one year. The PoCs will help in understanding solutions that can be used with the accessible data, and some of them will be scaled up at the national level if they are found to be helpful to farmers.
Significance of Digital farming technologies
By the year 2022, the Government has set a target of doubling farmers’ income. The Government has formed an Inter-Ministerial Committee to examine issues relating to doubling of farmers’ income and recommend a strategy to achieve this goal in real terms by the year 2022.
Technology deployment is critical to make the Ministry’s initiatives successful. The committee has praised the significance of digital technology in modernising and coordinating how rural India conducts its agricultural activities, among other things. Agriculture today employs advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data Analytics, Blockchain Technology, Internet of Things(IoT), GPS technology and other technologies etc.
Promising innovations in Agriculture sector are moving into the future by leaps and bounds. These latest technologies are providing significant assistance to farmers in their efforts to optimize inputs, simplify farm management, and boost productivity.