Tuesday, June 25, 2024
HomeNewsAgriculture Ministry partners with Jio, ITC, and NCDEX to develop agritech

Agriculture Ministry partners with Jio, ITC, and NCDEX to develop agritech

On Tuesday, the Agriculture Ministry signed agreements with Reliance’s Jio Platforms, ITC, Cisco, NCDEX e-markets, and Ninjacart to develop agritech solutions based on the Agriculture Ministry’s National Farmers Database, which contains information on 5.5 crore farmers. Microsoft, Amazon, and Patanjali are just a few of the companies that signed agreements earlier this year for similar pilot projects.

This is part of an effort to modernise agriculture by infusing new technologies to help farmers increase their income, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said while signing the Memorandums of Understanding with the companies’ representatives. The Ministry previously stated that if the pilots are successful, they will be scaled up to a national level.

JioKrishi is a service offered by Reliance that enables creating a data-driven farmer ecosystem by analysing farmers’ specific soil conditions and irrigation requirements and connecting them to experts and educational videos. As part of its agreement with the Agriculture Ministry, it will pilot a primary intervention module in the Maharashtra districts of Jalna and Nashik.

ITC has proposed developing a customised ‘Site Specific Crop Advisory’ service through the use of digital crop monitoring hosted on its existing e-Choupal platform and complemented by an on-ground handholding ecosystem. According to the statement, the pilot will be implemented in identified villages in Madhya Pradesh’s Sehore and Vidisha districts to support wheat crop operations.

Cisco, the world’s largest Internet infrastructure provider, has developed a platform that integrates data from the government, farmers, sensors, and satellites into a single dashboard, providing real-time updates on crop forecasting, weather patterns, plant disease patterns, soil quality, and moisture content. It will now conceptualise a ‘proof of concept’ for effective knowledge sharing between farmers, administration, academia, and industry in the Haryana district of Kaithal and the MP district of Morena.

NCDEX, the commodity exchange, has proposed a digital marketplace project that will provide farmers in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur, Karnataka’s Devanagere, and Maharashtra’s Nasik districts with market linkages, demand aggregation, financial linkages, and data sanitisation services.

Ninjacart, a fresh produce supply chain company with operations in 11 major cities, will develop a platform to connect all participants in post-harvest market linkages, aligning processes for multiple supply methods based on specific produce requirements. It will conduct ‘proof of concept’ projects in the MP towns of Chhindwara and Indore and the Gujarat town of Anand.

These pilot projects are part of the Digital Agriculture Mission and will make use of the National Farmers Database, which already contains information on 5.5 crore farmers identified through existing national programmes. The Centre has requested that States add their land records to the database in order to increase its size to eight crore farmers by the end of the year. Concerns about corporate access to such a database and the exclusion of tenant farmers have been raised by some activists. According to the Centre, it is developing a data policy for agriculture to ensure farmers’ personal data privacy shared with private organisations.

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