Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar stated on Friday that the government intends to create a national database of farmers and is in the process of implementing a data policy for the agricultural sector.
Tomar stated in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, ‘The government intends to create a federated National Farmers Database, with digitized land records serving as data attributes. The linkage with a digital land record management system is critical for bringing dynamism to the farmer’s database.’
As of now, he said, the federated farmers’ database is being built by combining publicly available data from the Department of Agriculture and various government data silos and linking it to digitized land records.
‘Department is in the action of developing a data policy for Agri and allied sectors’ in association with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology,’ Tomar said.
The database is intended to enable online single sign-on facilities for universal access and to usher in personalized services for farmers such as soil and plant health advisories, irrigation facilities, weather advisories, direct benefit transfer, and seamless credit and insurance facilities.
It would also provide detailed information on seeds, fertilizers, and insecticides, as well as nearby warehouse and logistic facilities, market access information, and peer-to-peer lending and borrowing of farm equipment.
‘The idea is to maximize farmers’ earnings by effectively utilizing available data and developing data-driven solutions so that input costs are reduced, farming ease is ensured, quality is improved, and farmers get a better price for their agricultural produce,’ Tomar explained.
The Unified Farmers Service Agristack/Interface will have a data exchange that will pull in all agriculture and allied data in a federated platform with the federated farmers’ database as its core.
In order to generate UFSI/Agristack, the department is making final the ‘India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture (IDEA),’ which will lay out a foundation for the country’s digital agriculture sector.
‘A Task Force is already been formed, and in addition, a concept paper on IDEA has been floated for responses from the general public not only through the department’s web portals but also via personal/official emails, particularly to the subject matter experts, farmers, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), and agro-industries, the minster said.
According to the minister, the IDEA would aid in the establishment of the country’s Agristack architecture, which would serve as a foundation for the development of innovative agri-focused solutions leveraging emerging technologies.