New Delhi. Prof MS Swaminathan, Father of Indian Green Revolution, today launched the ICFA Working Group on ICT in Agriculture at ICT CEOs Conclave on the subject at India International Centre, New Delhi. India is an IT superpower but ironically, the tremendous progress made by the IT sector has largely bypassed the domain of agriculture in India during the last three decades.
There is a humongous potential for Information and Communication Technology in Agriculture to enhance the efficiency of farming operations, monitoring of diseases and pests, price discovery, farm advisories, resource management and market connectivity, which can expeditiously escalate farm profitability.
Speaking at the occasion, Prof Swaminathan said that for evergreen revolution technological empowerment is necessary with special emphasis on pro-nature, pro-poor and pro-women interventions. He affirmed that this ICFA working group would provide a platform for ICT enabled services and solutions to empower farmers optimise their incomes.
Dr M Moni, former DG- NIC, who chairs this working group spelt out the detailed road map for rural digitization and extending benefits of ICT to farming community.
Dr Anand Bhaskar Rapolu, Hon’ble Member of Parliament underlined the urgent need to provide fast and timely solutions to farmer and farm based problems which can only be possible by integrating ICT in all farm services, policy support and technology interventions. He stressed on the need to analyse the gap between schemes and their implementation.
Dr Ashok Dalwai, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare who chaired the conclave felt, that the extension system of the country needs to be revamped with ICT and private sector needs to supplement the same. He also underlined the importance of post-production activities for doubling of farmers’ income and the role ICT can play. He hoped that ICFA Working group would bridge this critical service gap.
Dr MJ Khan, Chairman ICFA emphasized that this working group will be a holistic alliance of policymakers, agricultural scientists, extension specialists, industry and progressive farmers to address the magnitude of challenges and facilitate a comprehensive growth of ICT in agriculture. It mandates to act as a coordinator across stakeholders for a meaningful and impactful intervention.
e forum will follow up on important recommendations with concerned national and international agencies; facilitate farmer’s sensitization; promote ICT applications for farmers’ empowerment and international collaborations.