Day 14 – Q 5.Use of ITC in agriculture can achieve the troika of empowerment, enablement and expansion. Elucidate.
5. Use of ITC in agriculture can achieve the troika of empowerment, enablement and expansion. Elucidate.
कृषि में आईटीसी का उपयोग सशक्तीकरण, सक्षमता और विस्तार के ट्रोइका को प्राप्त कर सकता है। स्पष्ट करें।
The relevance of ICT for Agricultural Development in general and for Agricultural empowerment and enablement in particular is extremely high for a country like India. E-agriculture involves the conceptualization, design, development, evaluation and application of innovative ways to use information and communication technologies in the rural domain, with a primary focus on agriculture.
- Strengthen and empower farming community: ICT technologies can help for strengthening farming communities through wide networking and collaborations with various institutes, NGO’s and private sectors. Further, farmers may enhance their own capacities through updated information and wide exposure to scientific, farming and trade community.
- Empowerment of women: In rural India, the percentage of women who depend on agriculture for their livelihood is as high as 84%. Women make up about 33% of cultivators and about 47% of agricultural labourers, making them an important client for ICT. It is recommended that appropriate digital strategies designed where Women Self Help Groups (like Jeevika in Bihar) can take advantage to enhance their competencies for its utilization.
- Rural development: Safe rural life with equivalent services to those within the urban areas, like provision of distance education, telemedicine, remote public services etc.
- Digitization of Land Records: Maintenance of land records and the availability of easily accessible land information. Some of the initiatives in various states include, Rajasthan: Apna Khata; Chhattisgarh: Bhuiyan; Haryana : Jamabandi; Himachal Pradesh : HimBhoomi; Karnataka: Bhoomi; Kerala; Madhya Pradesh; Odisha: Bhulekh; Uttar Pradesh; Uttarakhand: Dev Bhoomi and West Bengal: Banglar Bhumi
- The timely availability of right information: The timely information and practical solutions of the agricultural problems allows the farmers to adopt good agricultural practices, make better choices of inputs and to plan the cultivation properly. Its proper utilisation is indispensable for agriculture. Ex: Kisan Call Centres, M-Kisan etc.
- Improve farm management and farming technologies: Help farmers carry out economical farm management, risk management considering off-farm factors like environmental impacts, market access, and trade standards with IT based call web support analysis on optimum farm production, disaster management, agro environmental resource management etc., through tools like geographic Information systems (GIS), remote sensing for soil quality assessment.
- Allows detection of animal disease: Management and recovery choices of animal diseases enables the farmers to make quick decisions and safeguard their livestock from further health problems. Ex: National Animal Disease Referral Expert System (NADRES) which is a forewarning animal disease system.
- Facilitate the outreach of agricultural extension system in the country: ICT based initiatives can be taken for propagation of information, transfer of technology, procurement of inputs and selling of outputs in a way so that farmers can be benefitted.
- Widen Market Access: One of the major drawbacks in Indian agriculture is complex distribution channels for marketing of agricultural produce. Farmers do not get acquainted with the updated prices of commodities, proper place for selling their inputs and consumer trends also. ICT has the great potential to widen marketing horizon of farmers directly to the customers or other appropriate users for maximum benefit. This can improve a farmer’s source of revenue; empower farmers for making good decisions about appropriate future crops and commodities and marketing channels to sell their produce as well as to get inputs
- Initiate new agricultural and rural business: like e-commerce (Ex: E-choupal, AGMARKNET) realty business for satellite offices, rural business, and virtual corporation of small-scale farms, Agricultural Commodity Trading through NCDEX, NMCE etc.
- NIC, apex body for digital India has a dedicated department for agriculture, which can be used to promote ICT in agriculture by providing cloud services and etc. Further, channelizing things through one gateway will also avoid duplicity of efforts.
Technological empowerment is essential for evergreen revolution and E-agriculture has the potential to put India on the higher pedestal of ’Second Green Revolution’ by making Indian agricultural sector self-sufficient. However, digital agricultural interventions need to be pro-poor i.e. technology should be economical and affordable in adoption and implementation.