The Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation, and Farmers Welfare signed an MoU with Microsoft on April 13, 2021, to create a ‘Unified Farmer Service Interface’ through its cloud computing services. The plan is to create ‘AgriStack’, a collection of technology-based interventions in agriculture, on which everything else will be built. It has also been decided to start this agreement with a pilot project in 100 villages of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Andhra Pradesh.
The Central Government is focusing on the agricultural sector, particularly India’s farmers, to provide an incentive to get India digitized from land titles to medical records. Under the program, each farmer will have unique digital identification (farmers’ ID or FID) that contains personal details, information about the land they farm, as well as production and financial details. Each ID will be linked to the individual’s digital national ID Aadhaar.
The MoU aims to prepare a database by linking the land records of farmers across the country that would integrate data from the PM Kisan program, the official Soil Health Cards provided to farmers, and the Pradhan Mantri Crop Insurance Scheme as well as other data such as geo-tagging of agricultural assets. The government also visualizes post-harvest management solutions and capturing and structuring agriculture datasets such as crop yields, weather data, market demand, and prices, which is something many agritech startups and others catering to the sector have called for in the past.
“With these MoUs, agriculture has become the newest sector getting a lift of technological solutions by the government.”
However, there could be a lot of pros and cons of having AgriStack set up in India. There is no denying that there is potential in data and technology in empowering farmers but only when the flow of information is balanced. Read our next article to understand the possible advantages and limitations.