'Govt to soon launch one stop shop on agri data'
SME Times , Oct 8, 2020
CEO, PMFBY and Joint Secretary (Credit), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Ashish Kumar Bhutani, said that the government is putting up a common data infrastructure of all the farmers in the country.
"PMFBY, PM-Kisan, the Soil health Card, are all being integrated through a common database along with land record details over the period of time. This will act as a one stop shop for data, including access to finance by farmers, start-ups, and researchers for developing new apps, so that the benefits reach the grassroots," he added.
Addressing a webinar, Bhutani said that the data will be reliable, and that the government is targeting to launch this soon. "The government acting as an enabler is a critical factor in faster adoption of AI," he said.
Bhutani further stated that developing standards for sharing and improving the quality of data will be monitored closely by the government.
"The government is working to provide an enabling environment where the private players and government can work together to bring the benefit of AI to all the farmers and the consumers. This will also help in bringing down the price for the consumers as well as getting the best price for the farmers," he emphasized.
Bhutani added that India has about 145 million farmlands with very small holding size, which is around one hectare per holder. The target of doubling farmers' income is a massive task to be achieved.
"Artificial Intelligence would play a major role in ensuring that targets are met. There is a need for digitalization in the agriculture sector," he added.
Elaborating on the PMFBY (Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna), he said that since its launch, the scheme has been a radical shift in the way crop insurance is implemented in the country.
It is the third biggest program in the world after the US and China's programs. "Technology is the way forward for implementation of the program.
While highlighting the initiatives of the government, Bhutani said that the biggest challenge is to increase the production by 50 percent over the next 20-30 years with limited scope of increase in the farming area.
"The entire focus has shifted to using technology for managing the food security and other aspects of agriculture. AI can be effectively used in soil monitoring, predictive data analytics and improving supply chain inefficiencies. The National e-Governance project on agriculture, which has been revisited this year, has given focus on using information technology, AI, Machine Learning etc.," he noted.
Market size of AI in agriculture expected to reach $ 8.4 billion by 2030 from $ 0.85 billion in 2019: FICCI-PwC Report