The Agriculture sector in India is the core basis for food security and poverty alleviation. It also has an important role in nutritional security and sustainable development. The contribution to the GDP although declining is still the largest and around 60 per cent of the population dependent on agriculture as the primary means of livelihood. Thus, development of this sector has been very crucial. As a nation some milestones of this development would include:
Why is Penetration of technology so Important?
Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, mentioned doubling farmers’ income by 2022. He said, “We need to think beyond food security and give back to our farmers a sense of income security.” An Indian farmer's average income over a decade (2003-2013) rose only five per cent according to India spend analysis. Over 70 per cent of farmer' spend more than they earn, of which 62.6 million households are marginal farmer' with land holdings of one hectare or less. Nearly 85 per cent of all operational farm holdings in the country is smaller than two hectares in size, NSSO data show.
So if there has to be any progress at all in the agricultural sector it will have to start by empowering these marginal farmers. While modern technology can be easily adopted by big farmers, it is the penetration within the marginal sector which will make the difference. Efforts have already begun. The Central government, as well as state governments along with private organisations, are already on the move. They have deployed Information & Communication Technology (ICT) measures for agriculture extension.
My Farm Info: an initiative
How does My Farm Info help with penetration of technology?
MyFarmInfo.com is basically an agriculture information and farm management system to digitally equip farmers in cultivating their crops more efficiently thereby improving productivity and stabilising their earnings. This is an open portal and can be used by anyone with access to the internet. Once you geo-tag your farm the rest of the data is instantly available and does not require special skills of usage.
It helps improve yield by providing information on:
Crop Feasibility: Farmers can find out the most feasible crop according to soil type and loss estimates.
Crop Management: Here farmers get information to deal with pests & diseases, nutrition, water, weeds, etc.
Farm Management: Farmers have access to all details about their farm and use it for planning and crop scheduling, they also have access to weather forecasts, flood risks, wind risks. Services such as Soil Doctor- to improve soil health, Plant Doctor- fighting plant diseases, Crop Secure- Securing your crops with Insurance.
Nimbu Mirchee: High-tech transport and storage services. It helps farmers get a better price for their products by delivering the best prices in nearby Mandis and also shares nearest export points and storage units. All of these services are based on extensive infrastructure spread across the country by Weather Risk Management System (WRMS) over decades. It is years of work and technological placement that allows any farmer anywhere in India to access this portal and get such kind of detailed information in the easiest way possible. This is one of the best examples of taking world-class technology infrastructure to the masses to enable and empower them with decisive information.