It has been argued that shifting from traditional agriculture to e-Agriculture and the use of ICT tools can transform the agriculture scenario in India. Discuss, along with initiatives taken in this regard.
E-agriculture refers to the use of digital tools to enhance all aspects of the agriculture system, e.g production, procurement, storage, marketing, etc.
Use of Information & communication technology in Agriculture:
- Crop Production
- Weather forecasting tools like the Krishi Megh app
- Online tools to help farmers with the information on the right crop season, input availability, etc.
- Spread of information on various government initiatives taken for the agriculture sector.
- Online purchase of seeds, fertilizers, tools, etc.
- Crop marketing
- Initiatives like the National agriculture market can help expand the market for farmers.
- Initiatives like BeAM (BSE e-Agricultural Markets) and Agridex can help strengthen and develop spot & futures markets in agriculture.
- Agriculture insurance and subsidies
- Farmers can now apply via self-certification at the M-Kisan app to avail the benefits of the PM Kisan scheme.
- Direct benefit transfer.
- Farmers can avail information regarding various insurance schemes, and the best fit for their produce.
- Agricultural Exports
- Online filing for organic produce licenses can help expand agricultural exports to various countries.
- Information dissemination regarding various sanitary & phytosanitary measures to be taken up to make agricultural produce match International standards.
- AgriStack initiative of the Government of India aims at creating a one-stop solution for all agricultural data related to farmers, subsidies, and various agricultural tools, in a digital mode.
- ICT measures taken up in PDS are also making it more efficient. E.g, the Annavitran portal manages all data related to the intra-state movement of migrants and purchases via PDS.
Data line in silos is of no use, but data when used efficiently can lead to industrial revolution 2.0. Hence, the use of ICT to improve the agricultural sector in India is inevitable in contemporary times. Retaining youth in agriculture and spreading digital literacy among farmers can help them become self-sufficient at every stage of production.