Agriculture ministry to bring data policy for farm sector

Agriculture ministry to bring data policy for farm sector
Representational Image [File]Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

New Delhi: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday said the government aims to create a national database of farmers and is also in the process of bringing out a data policy for the farm sector.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Tomar said, "The government aims to create a federated National Farmers Database and the digitised land records will be used as data attributes for creating this database. To bring dynamism to the farmer's database, the linkage with digital land record management system is essential."

As of now, he said, the federated farmers' database is being built by taking the publicly available data as existing in the Department of Agriculture and in various data silos in government and linking them with the digitised land records.

"This consultation with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is in the process of bringing out a data policy for the agriculture sector," Tomar said.

The database is envisaged to facilitate online single sign on facilities for universal access and usher in personalised services to farmers such as direct benefit transfer, soil and plant health advisories, weather advisories, irrigation facilities, and seamless credit and insurance facilities.

It will also provide information pertaining to seeds, fertilisers and pesticides, nearby logistic facilities, market access information and peer to peer lending of farm equipment, among others.

"The aim is to increase farmers' income by leveraging the available data and developing solutions based on the data so that the input costs are reduced, ease of farming is ensured, quality is improved and farmers get better price for their farm produce," Tomar said.

The Unified Farmers Service Interface/Agristack will have a data exchange which would bring in all data related to agriculture sector in a federated platform with the federated farmers database as its core.

In order to create UFSI/Agristack, the department is in the process of finalising 'India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture (IDEA)' which will lay down a framework for the digital agriculture sector in the country.

"A Task Force has been constituted and in furtherance, a concept paper on IDEA has already been floated for comments from the general public not only through department's website but also through emails especially to subject matter specialists, agro-industry, farmers, Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs)," Tomar said.

The IDEA would help in laying down the architecture for the Agristack in the country and that would serve as a foundation to build innovative agri-focused solutions leveraging emerging technologies, the minister added.

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