From technology to crop insurance, from easier credit access to modern irrigation methods, the NDA government is implementing a comprehensive action plan to empower farmers throughout the farming cycle. The need to find technological solutions to problems faced by the farmers is understood well by Modi government. In a clarion call, PM Modi had urged researchers to think about “an inch of land and a bunch of crops” and provide solutions.
The most important technological intervention for farmer welfare done under the Modi government is e-NAM. The electronic market platform has integrated markets across various states and union territories to create one single platform for selling produce. More than 2.31 crore tonnes of farm commodities worth Rs. 61,098 crore have been transacted on e-NAM and more than 1.47 crore farmers and sellers have been registered. Thus, it ensures direct access to the market for the farmer, cutting down middlemen in agriculture trading.
Farmers often struggle for basic information like weather updates, crop prices and expert advice, ending up often relying on hearsays. A new mobile app—Kisan Suvidha, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is proving helpful for farmers in this regard. The app provides information on five critical parameters—weather, input dealers, market price, plant protection and expert advisories. It also connects the farmer with the Kisan call centre where technical graduates answer their queries. The portal also provides assistance to farmers from district agriculture officials and state universities in their local language. These primarily deal with crop management practices based on the prevailing situation.
Knowing the nature of soil and understanding it helps farmers immensely in agriculture. Considering that the health of the soil plays a fundamental role in agriculture, the Modi government has used Soil Health Cards to make farmers aware about aspects of soil health. More than 18.5 crore soil health cards have been dispatched to farmers. Soil Health Cards carry crop-specific recommendations for nutrients and fertilizers to help farmers improve their productivity.
Earlier, farmers used to suffer from urea shortage because it used to be diverted for non-agricultural purposes. With a simple technological solution of 100% neem-coating of urea, its diversion for non-agricultural purposes has been stopped. Since the government has implemented 100% neem coating of urea, it not only resulted in preventing diversion but also has been improving the soil quality.
The upcoming, Indian Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology in Ranchi and two new centres of National Agriculture Research Institutes - one each in Assam and Jharkhand – will boost research and technology.
Earlier, after suffering the crop loss, there was little technology to handle the insurance claims. It took farmers months for farmers to get their due. Modi government has used technology to get immediate data to process claims under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. Through smart phones and agri apps, states send yield data to the insurance portal. The money is directly sent to the accounts for the farmers so that no middleman can delay the process.
Special emphasis has been laid on giving boost to organic farming in the country and for that an e-marketing portal for organic products. The current position of organic farming area covered across the country is 23.02 lakh hectares under the scheme Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, among others.
The vision of technology for farmer welfare is aiding farmers across the agricultural cycle and impacting their lives positively.