Seeding a data revolution in Indian agriculture – The Hindu


However know-how repaires and agri-enterprise fundings alone Will not be enough To reinformationrce farmers’ livelihoods

In June this yr, two vital docs Referring to the Indian agriculture sector have been launched. The primary is a session paper on the India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture (Idea) from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&FW) and the second on Indian Agriculture: Ripe for Disruption from A private organisation, Bain and Agency. The primary talks A few digital revolution Inside the agriculture sector and later predicts a revolutionary funding progress in agri-logistics, offtake, and agri-enter supply by 2025; these are, surprisingly, extremely complementary. The very actuality is That every half of current-day life is knowledge-hungry. The MoA&FW report describes creating knowledge to gasoline The enlargement predicted by Bain and Agency.

The forecast

The Bain report is A information-based mostly prediction on agri-enterprise circumstances, anchored to the agricultural set-up at current and predicting its future trajectories in ancompletely different 20 yrs. It consists of concentrating on the manufacturing Of completely different proteins, and meals cell-based mostly meals/components and initiating ocean farming, and so on. The report has a ‘right now forward– future again strategy’ and predicts a drastic funding alternative enhancement by 2025. The agriculture sector (presently worth $370 billion), is estimated to acquire An further $35 billion funding. The two enabling circumstances for such funding alternatives are the modifications Inside the regulatory framework, particularly current modifications Inside the Farm Acts and digital disruption. The report argues that revenueing from The huge fundings into the agri-ecosystem, doubling farmers’ income targets Might be achieved in shut to future.

Additionally study | ‘Centre’s digital agri proposals enhance considerations of farmer exploitation’

The thought of integration

The Idea-consulting paper Is predicated on The obligation Strain And dealing Group report constituted by the MoA&FW to design the blueprint of “digital agriculture” — Which is analogous to the digital disruption talked about Inside the Bain report. Finally, the farmer and The event of farmers’ livelihood is the purpose of the Idea concept and It is proposed to happen by way of tight integration of agri-tech innovation and the agriculture enterprise ecosystem to farming and meals methods. To be exact, the Idea concept profounds the creation of second enabling circumstances (which is described Inside the Bain report). The Idea guidelines explicitly Converse about openness Of information, Which suggests open to companies and farmers, indicating The Sort of integration it purposes at.

Value-added revolutionary providers by agri-tech industries And start-ups are an integral An factor of the Idea structure. Past the structure, these providers listed Inside the doc (to be out there on the platform) are equally important knowledge for farmers and companies. The Indian agriculture sector in future will embody farm to fork and pave The biggest method for a single nationwide market with a nationwide platform with greater connection between producer and consumers. Through their work, the administration specialists, Parijat Jain, Prashant Sarin and Shalabh Singawne (the authors of the Bain report) have depicted the agriculture reforms introduced by the union authorities as a recreation-changer Inside the agriculture sector.

A thstudy of digital disruption

The IT enterprise has opposition to Idea primarily As a Outcome of of ethics Of making A singular Farmer ID based mostly on one’s Aadhaar quantity And in addition the potential for knowledge misuse. Past The mannequin information safety Regarding the prospects of attaining the objective of Doubling Farmers Income on which The current authorities has virtually misplaced its hope, the Bain report has not been extensively talked about — A minimal of Inside The general public area. The assumptions Utilized by authors of the Bain report, particularly for its ‘future again strategy’, want Type of Specializing in widespstudy meals manufacturing in managed environments. Little question, the emission, power, and completely different useful resource footprints and sustainability factors round these methods Need to be rigorously studied To confirm the projected trajectory (Which Isn’t Part of the report). However, the report has convincingly demonstrated the enterprise alternative out there in current chains between farm to Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandi and mandi to The client, which Might be realised with the assist of digital disruption and The latest agriculture reforms.


Each these reviews closely Depfinish upon digital disruption To reinformationrce farmers’ livelihoods, with out discussing how a lot farmers Shall be studyy To revenue from these newly rising enterprise environments. Hinting that the Union authorities is critical about this digital assist to the agriculture sector — the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narfinishra Singh Tomar, has emphasised The significance of the farmer’s knowledgebase being studyy and has sought the assist of States.

An unconvincing ‘how’

However, the actuality is that a majority of small and marginal farmers Aren’t know-how-savvy. That the majority of them are beneath-educated for performance constructing is ignored amidst these formidable enhancements. The Bain report depfinishs on the widespstudy assumption that extra fundings into the agriculture sector Shall revenue farmers; ‘but how’ has not been convincingly anshave beend. Equally, how the know-how repair will assist resolve All of the 9 Issues with Indian agriculture listed Initially of the report is unclear Inside the Idea concept. Collectively, the two reviews Look forward To revenueing from the current agriculture legislature modifications with out perceiving the performance-constructing required at a farmer’s finish. Politically, these two reviews ignore the protest of farmers in the direction of the reforms with out contemplating it as a barrier or hazard problem Ensuing in a repealing Of these new farm legal guidelines.

Think about the farmer

Whereas agreeing on The fact that A information revolution is inevitable Inside the agriculture sector, given its socio-political complexities, we can’t simply rely on know-how repaires and agri-enterprise fundings for enhancing farmers’ livelihoods. There Need to be immense efforts To reinformationrce the capacities of the farmers in India – A minimal of till the educated youthful farmers substitute The prevailing beneath-educated small and medium farmers. This performance constructing Might be carried out by way of a mixed strategy – ideally constructing the capacities of particular person farmers or Dealing with The mannequin new state of affairs by establishing assist methods, by way of FPOs and completely different farmers associations the place technical assist Is out there for farmers. Think abouting The measurement of the agriculture sector of the relyry That is not going to be An straightforward process but Would want a separate programme throughout the relyry with appreciable funding.

Jayahari K.M. is India Nation Coordinator of the Food and Landuse Coalition. A. Arunachalam is Director of the Indian Council of Agricultural Evaluation (ICAR)-Central Agroforestry Evaluation Institute


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