Agriculture forms the mainstay of the people in Indian Economy. The dependency of large share of India’s populace on agriculture, thus comprehends its inevitability to be realized as an imperative MMP under NeGP. At present, there are various e-Governance initiatives, which have been launched both at State and Central levels to deliver the benefits of G2C services to the famers. The main aim of the Agriculture MMP is to consolidate these IT initiatives under one single parasol, in order to provide integrated services to the stakeholders.
Over the years, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC) has taken several IT initiatives such as AGMARKNET, SEEDNET, DACNET etc for the cause of farmers.
- DACNET is an e-Governance Project of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, which is being executed by National Informatics Centre. The main focus of the project is to integrate various G2G, B2B, and C2C services in the agriculture sector so as to empower employees, enhancing Government productivity and value and financial services. The solutions are intended to provide the highest levels of consistency, scalability and functionality. This will facilitate to produce showcase products of next generation applications. The innovative .NET Platform has been used for this purpose, which facilitates adoption of XML, SOAP, UDDI and Web services amongst the software architects and developers community. The Web Based Application Software for DACNET includes: messaging and workflow applications, Portal services (Directorates and Field Units) and Decision Support Systems, which forms the part of DACNET Intranet Solution.
- AGMARKNET has been developed for strengthening the interfaces among Government organizations, farmers, academic institutions industry, policy makers, and other beneficiaries. The portal caters to the varied needs of these stakeholders by providing up-to-date agricultural marketing related information as a single window World Wide Web service over internet. The portal provides easy access to commodity-wise, variety-wise daily prices and arrivals information in respect of various wholesale markets, spread all over the country.
- SEEDNET has been developed for providing information related to quality seeds so as to boost the agricultural yield through the Seed Management Information System. It also provides extensive information related to the Seed Testing Laboratories flecked all over India.
The other e-Governance initiatives taken by the Department include:
- ICT Infrastructure for Headquarters
- Networking of Directorates and Field Units
- Development of Agricultural Informatics and Communications (DAIC) and Kisan Call Centers
- Agricultural Resources Information System (AgRIS)
- Agricultural Census
- Registration of Pesticides
Another Central Scheme launched by Government of India is “Strengthening / Promoting Agricultural Informatics & Communications” of which one component is AGRISNET. This project will be implemented in all the States/UTs of India. It aims to provide improved services to the farming community through use of ICT. Since, the scheme is going to be implemented in the projected mode, the State Governments shall determine the output and deliverables for each project in terms of G2C services. Provision of G2G services would be treated as an intermediate output.
All the applications related to agriculture sector across the country will be integrated with the Central Agri Portal (CAP) and the State Agri Portals (SAPs) envisaged under Agriculture MMP. The Central Agri Portal (CAP) and State Agri Portals (SAP) will also facilitate receiving the online feedbacks by the stakeholders. This would improve transparency and help in efficient monitoring.
On completion of the project, the overall Solution Architecture will have an estimated 18 portals / websites, which need to interact with each other for seamless delivery of information / services to farmers. This will be done through Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) framework. The interoperability is built on XML (eXtensible Markup Language) and Web services standards.
Additionally, multiple delivery channels such as the internet, Government offices, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Kisan Call Centres, touch screens, Agri-Clinics, Electronic media, Common Service Centres and mobile phones (broadcast, Interactive Voice Response System, interactive messaging using Voice Recognition and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data), will be used for delivering the information to the stakeholders.
There are more than 100 services that have been identified to be delivered in the first phase of the project and out of these 22 services will be delivered on priority basis. Besides this, detailed field study with end-users and beneficiaries in six states and in various departments and organizations of DAC was carried out. These 22 services were then finally clustered into 12 services from the point of view of application development and implementation. These include G2F (Government to Farmer), G2B (Government to Business) and G2G (Government to Government) services. These services include Information on pesticides, fertilizers and seeds, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) related information such as good soil health, farm machinery, training etc., Market related information for the farm produce, Weather forecasts, Drought release and management etc.
The phase I of the project will be implemented at the Central level and in 7 identified states of the country that include- Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Assam and Jharkhand. The National Rollout of the project in other states of the country would be taken after this and it is expected to be completed within 18 months. The total approved outlay for the project is Rs. 227.79 Crores.