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Digital Ecosystem for Agriculture

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September 16, 2021

Why in news?

Government has launched an initiative called  India Digital Ecosystem for Agriculture (IDEA) that would place the farmer in the centre of the agriculture ecosystem leveraging open digital technologies

What is the scheme about?

  • The scheme aims to develop “evidence based” policy for the agriculture sector, driven by big data and analytics and powered by information technology
  • It  will incorporate the National Farmers Database which is being built by Microsoft under the aegis of Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare (DoAFW)
  • It will include farmers’ digitised land records and information from running schemes like PM Kisan, soil health cards, PM Fasal Bima Yojna, etc.
  • Land records database is to be crosslinked  with Aadhaar to create an unique FID  or a farmers’ ID where an user can access virtually the entire universe of a farmer’s activities
  • It also aims to create Agristack that would serve as a foundation to build innovative agri-focused solutions using emerging technologies
  • The government is hoping that agristack  will help eventually to achieve the goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022

What are the challenges in the implementation of this scheme?

  • Complicated land records
  • Leaves out the tenant farmers who comprise about 12 per cent of agricultural households
  • No legal recognition of land tenancy agreements in India
  • Doesn’t solve the problem of women farmers where  substantial portion of landholdings are managed by women but land titles continue to be held by men
  • Suspicions on whether agristack is the precursor to a complete privatisation of agriculture since government has signed MOUs with Amazon, Patanjali, ESRI, StarBazaar, etc.
  • Formation of ‘Agristack’ also implies commercialisation of agriculture extension activities as they will shift into a private sphere.
  • Concerns over data privacy in the absence of a data protection law


Source: The Hindu Businessline, Down To Earth

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