Farmers’ Portal: Technological innovation in agriculture

Farmers’ Portal: Technological innovation in agriculture

December 14, 2020
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About Farmers’ Portal

The Farmers’ Portal of the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation is a platform designed for farmers to seek any information related to agriculture. Detailed information on crop insurance, agricultural storage facilities, crops, extension activities, seeds, pesticides, farm machineries, and other farm inputs is provided. Relevant information on various government sponsored welfare schemes is also provided on this portal.

Farmers’ Portal works on a granular level to empower farmers with block level information related to factors of production like soil health, weather details etc. through an interactive map. This information is delivered in the form of text SMS, email and audio/video in the language that the enquirer understands. It also facilitates the farmers to ask specific queries as well as give valuable feedback through the feedback module.

Advantages of Farmer’s Portal

Framers’ Portal was a significant step in information and technological intervention in agriculture. Over tens of thousands of SMS queries were received daily from the users. Owing to its mass adoption a new domain was launched to provide mobile based services without internet connection on a unified portal .

One of the key features of these portals is the tailoring of information as per the user’s requirement. I.e. Instead of generic advisories & information, area and crop specific information and technical inputs are provided. Apart from the advisories and information, many government services have also been integrated to the portal. Some of them are e-Payment, Licensing of Dealers (Seeds, Fertilizers and Pesticides), Soil Testing and Soil Health Cards, Commodity Price Alerts etc.

Key Features of Farmer’s Portal

The farmers’ portal is a two way communication platform that is also being extensively used by the farmers for feedback. This feature is crucial to reach out at grassroots level at low operational cost and improve the schemes and services accordingly. Currently, over 70 lakh farmers have opted to receive advisories & services on their mobile phones, receiving information from over 5000 experts from reputed government organisations like Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHDF), Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC). Over 20 web based services are integrated to this portal and many other such services are in the pipeline.

mKisan and Farmers’ Portal are a big leap to integrate the farmers database from State Governments, Universities, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Kisan Call Centres and other avenues of interaction with farmers. The information received is not only useful to resolve farmers’ queries but also acts as a basis for policy formulation by government bodies. These initiatives will improve integration in the agriculture ecosystem.

FocusAgritech’s Outlook: Since its launch over 152 crore SMS messages have been sent to the farmers which is the largest electronic transaction aggregation and analysis layer (e-taal) transaction. Authorities are consistently working on new technologies that would lead to better penetration and ease of use. Collaborations are done with IIT Madras for technology on accurate conversion of text into voice based advisories so that the same message can go in the form of a text/voice advisory as per farmers’ preference without internet connection. There is a huge opportunity area for budding entrepreneurs to come up with a technology that can aid the government’s objective of easy knowledge dissemination to farmers.

Partner Institutions/Organisations: State Agriculture Universities, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Agromet Forecasts Units of India Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHDF), Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), IIT Madras, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY)

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