The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare on Tuesday signed 5 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for pilot projects with five private companies CISCO, Ninjacart, Jio Platforms Limited, ITC Limited and NCDEX e-Markets Limited (NeML).
According to the Agriculture Ministry, Jio Platforms Limited will conduct its pilot project to provide advisories to farmers in two districts of Maharashtra– Jalna and Nasik. The ITC Limited has signed the MoU for building a “Customized ‘Site Specific Crop Advisory’ service.”
“The proposal will be implemented in identified villages of Sehore and Vidisha districts of Madhya Pradesh and support Wheat crop operations,” the Ministry said sharing the details about the MoU done with the ITC Limited.
According to the Ministry, Cisco will “conceptualize a Proof of Concept in effective knowledge sharing between farmers, administration, academia and industry” in two districts–Kaithal (Haryana) and Morena (Madhya Pradesh).
Under its MoU with the Ministry, the NCDEX e Markets Limited (NeML) will work on four services–Market Linkages, Aggregation of demand, Financial Linkages and Data Sanitization– across three Districts–Guntur (Andhra Pradesh), Devanagere (Karnataka) and Nasik (Maharashtra).
The statement said that Ninjacart will develop and host the Agri Marketplace Platform (AMP), which will enable bringing together all the participants in the post-harvest market linkage.
“The locations where Proof of Concept (POC) will be conducted are Chhindwara (Madhya Pradesh), Anand (Gujarat) and Indore (Madhya Pradesh),” the Ministry said sharing details of the MoU with the Ninjacart.
The Ministry said, “Based on these pilot projects farmers will be able to make informed decisions on what crop to grow, what variety of seed to use, and what best practices to adopt to maximise the yield.”
The latest round of MoUs is part of the Agriculture Ministry’s Digital Agriculture Mission, which has been for a period of five years (2021 -2025) by the government for “projects based on new technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, remote sensing and GIS technology, use of drones and robots etc.” Earlier, the Ministry has signed MoUs with Microsoft, Star Agribazaar, Esri India Technologies Private Limited, Patanjali and Amazon.
“Recognising the importance of Digitisation in Agriculture the Department is creating a federated Farmers Database and building different Services around this Database so as to built Digital Ecosystems of Agriculture,” it said.
“Federated farmers’ database will be linked by the land records of farmers from across the country and unique Farmer ID will be created. Under this unified database for all farmers, the information of all benefits and supports of various schemes of Central & State Government can be kept and this can be the source for accessing information for providing benefits to farmers in the future. So far, the database is ready with details of around 5.5 crore farmers,” it added.
The MoUs were signed in presence of Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. On this occasion, Kailash Chaudhary, Union Minister of State for Agriculture; Ms. Shobha Karandlaje, Union Minister of State for Agriculture; Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Aggarwal Secretary; Vivek Aggarwal, Additional Secretary (Digital Agriculture); Harish Krishnan (Managing Director, Public Affairs & Strategic Engagements) CISCO; Thirukumaran Nagarajan (Co-Founder and CEO Ninjacart); Shanker Adawal (President and Head of Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, JIO) Jio Platforms Limited; Rajnikant Rai, (Divisional Chief Executive of ITC) ITC Limited; and Mrugank Paranjape, (Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer) NCDEX e-markets Limited (NeML) were also present.