A documented information was given by Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Mr Narendra Singh Tomar in a written reply in Rajya Sabha. In his note, Mr Tomar mentioned, that the the government has taken various initiatives/steps to enable digitalisation of agricultural sector in the country and to promote agri-tech business, which are given below:
- Government has finalized an India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture (IDEA) framework which would lay down the architecture for the federated farmers’ database is being built by taking the publicly available data as existing in various schemes and linking them with the digitized land records. The IDEA would serve as a foundation to build innovative agri-focused solutions leveraging emerging technologies to contribute effectively in creating a better Ecosystem for Agriculture in India. This Ecosystem shall help the Government in effective planning towards increasing the income of farmers in particular and improving the efficiency of the Agriculture sector as a whole. Further, Technology/Agritech/StartUp companies were identified and invited to collaborate with the Government of lndia and develop Proof of Concepts (PoC) based on the federated Farmers’ database. A public notice through the Department’s website was also issued inviting proposals for MoU. Companies were invited to sign MoU on purely pro bono basis for a period of one year and develop PoCs. The PoCs will help in understanding solutions that can be built using available data and some of them, if found beneficial to the farmers will be scaled up at National level.
- Under plan scheme viz. National e-Governance Plan in Agriculture (NeGP-A) wherein, funds are released to the State(s)/UT(s) for project involving use of modern technologies viz. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Robotics, Drones, Data Analytics, Block Chain etc.
- Government of India has launched National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Scheme with the objective of creating online transparent competitive bidding system to facilitate farmers with remunerative prices for their produce. As on 29th November, 2021, more than 1.72 crore farmers & 2.05 lakh traders have been registered on e-NAM platform. Also, 1000 mandis of 18 States and 3 UTs have been integrated with e-NAM platform as on 29th November 2021.
- To make provisions of subsidy for farm machinery more transparent Government has developed Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) portal, Centralized Farm Machinery Performance Testing Portal and FARMS Mobile App.
- A Central Sector Scheme of financing facility under ‘Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’ for investment in digital Connectivity and optic fibre infrastructure is an eligible activity for the projects covered under the scheme. The scheme provides following support for creation of post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets.
- Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Bhopal (ICAR-CIAE) under Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR) has developed Krishi Yantra App to augment research, operations and technology dissemination process in the field of agricultural engineering. In order to ensure that appropriate mechanization technology is selected by the entrepreneurs, a web-portal has been made available by ICAR-CIAE on their website. This helps prospective and existing entrepreneurs in selection of machines and available choices for procurement. Option of interaction between user and specialists is also available in the portal. Besides, ICAR-CIAE has also developed the following Mobile Apps:
- ‘Farm mech’ App: The App is related to decision support for selection of suitable farm machineries for five major crops of Tamil Nadu. It also has dynamic Networking of 2250 Custom hiring service operators in Android platform.
- ‘Farm Safety’: Provides information about Safety Guidelines and Safety Gadgets to avoid accidents while using different type of agricultural machinery.
- Water Balance Simulation Model for Roof Water Harvesting (Mobile App): It is helpful to decision makers to make recommendations for design requirements where roof water harvesting system adoption may lead to water saving and water security.