e-Technology in the aid of farmers



  • E-technology is broadly understood to include the Internet and related information technologies
  • The early intervention of e-Technology coming to farmers aid
    • It was introduced as early as in 2007, when National Policy for farmers was launched with focus on ICTs
    • Further, National Telecom Policy was launched in 2012, with focus on broadband connectivity and mobile penetration



    • Agricultural Marketing Information Network (AGMARKNET) was launched in 2000 by the Union Ministry of Agriculture
    • The Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI), under the Ministry, links around 7,000 agricultural wholesale markets in India with the State Agricultural Marketing Boards and Directorates for effective information exchange.
    • This e-governance portal AGMARKNET, implemented by National Informatics Centre (NIC), facilitates generation and transmission of prices, commodity arrival information from agricultural produce markets, and web-based dissemination to producers, consumers, traders, and policymakers transparently and quickly.


    • An initiative by ITC provides alternative marketing channel, information on weather, agricultural practices, input sales, etc.
    • It is a kiosk located in a village and equipped with computer and internet access, which is managed by trained sanchalak.

Direct benefit transfer (DBT) Central Agri Portal

    • Launched in 2013, the DBT Agri Portal is a unified central portal for agricultural schemes across the country
    • The portal helps farmers adopt modern farm machineries through government subsidies

National Agriculture Market (e-NAM)

    • The National Agriculture Market scheme (e-NAM) envisages initiation of e-marketing platform at national level and to support creation of infrastructure to enable e-marketing in regulated markets across the country
    • This innovative market process is revolutionizing Agricultural markets by ensuring better price discovery, bringing in transparency and competition to enable farmers to get improved remuneration for their produce in moving towards ‘One Nation One Market’

Kisan Call centre

    • In order to harness the potential of ICT in Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare launched the scheme in 2004
    • Main aim of the project is to answer farmers’ queries on a telephone call in their own dialect

Village Resource Centres

    • Village Resource Centres provide space-based services in the rural areas. They are one of the unique initiatives that use Satellite Communication (SATCOM) network and Earth Observation (EO) satellite data to reach out to the villages to address the needs of the local people in villages themselves.

Digital Agriculture Mission

    • The Digital Agriculture Mission (2021–2025) aims to support and accelerate projects based on new technologies, like AI, block chain, remote sensing and GIS technology and use of drones and robots

Unified Farmer Service Platform (UFSP):

    • UFSP is a combination of Core Infrastructure, Data, Applications and Tools that enable seamless interoperability of various public and private IT systems in the agriculture ecosystem across the country. UFSP is envisaged to play the following role:
      • Act as a central agency in the agri ecosystem (like UPI in the e Payments)
      • Enables Registration of the Service Providers (public and private) and the Farmer Services.
      • Enforces various rules and validations required during the service delivery process.
      • Acts as a Repository of all the applicable standards, API’s (Application Programming Interface) and formats.
      • Act as a medium of data exchange amongst various schemes and services to enable comprehensive delivery of services to the farmer


      • The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has planned creating ‘AgriStack’ – a collection of technology-based interventions in agriculture.
        • It will create a unified platform for farmers to provide them end to end services across the agriculture food value chain


Other State level Initiatives


    • ‘eSagu’ is a web-based personalized agro-advisory system which uses Information Technology to solve the unscientific agricultural practices.
    • Sagu means cultivation in Telugu-local language of Telangana Andhra Pradesh, the region in which the project started.
    • E-Sagu means electronic cultivation.
    • It exploits the advances in Information Technology to build a cost-effective agricultural information dissemination system to disseminate expert agriculture knowledge to the farming community to improve the crop productivity


    • The AGRISNET project was conceptualized with the vision of creating interconnected technology enabled network to deliver informational services effectively to the farming community.
    • The project aimed to integrate cross-functional processes of the Department of Agriculture in Tamilnadu, so as to effectively and efficiently communicate informational services to the farming community

Jio Agri(JioKrishi) Platform

    • Launched in 2020, it digitises the agricultural ecosystem along the entire value chain to empower farmers
    • The core function of the platform uses stand-alone application data to provide advisory, the advanced functions use data from various sources, feed the data into AI/ML algorithms and provide accurate personalised advice.
    • The pilot project for this initiative will take place at Jalna and Nashik (Maharashtra).


Financial Implications

    • It is a big challenge to bring rural India on a communication highway keeping in mind the diversity that they have in terms of language, culture, geographical limitations, and poor knowledge base.
    • Moreover, with limited exposure and expertise of rural populace, it is a momentous challenge to educate them in handling and usage of modern communication tools and services

Inadequate access to telecommunication infrastructure

    • Marred by poor infrastructure and flawed implementation, rural populace is still years behind their urban counterparts when it comes to comparison of quality and access level of ICT services

Access to hardware

    • The access to e-technology is primarily dependent on the availability and access to hardware equipment like smartphones and computers along with the network connectivity.
    • Further, if the equipment is available, the information access should also be available at equitable cost.
    • This creates a digital divide between those having the access and those not having the access to the digital services due to the financial constraints

Language and content limitations

    • The main hurdle in utilization of information by rural populace is the absence of content in their regional languages
    • Although, sufficient work is being done in this regards, the efforts aren’t sufficient enough to absorb the agriculture dependent population completely


  • Information technology is a tool for direct contribution to agricultural productivity and is an indirect tool for empowering agriculturalists to take informed and quality decisions, which will have positive impact on agriculture and allied activities conducted
  • In India, it has made an impact on how information is shared, and being able to use this information for the advancement of the agricultural sector gives a great positive impact that is beneficial for everyone.
  • Agricultural biotech and InfoTech together are helping to create new tools to tackle the problem of rural poverty, generate employment in farm production, exploring more income generating opportunities as well
  • Also, different IT interventions support rural and under-developed markets to become efficient and productive, for innovative methods in agriculture, such as for precision agriculture, computerized farm machinery etc.
  • Access to price information, access to agriculture information, access to national and international markets, increasing production efficiency are all the beneficial outcomes, which can eventually enhance the quality of farmers’ lives


  • As the Indian Agriculture and Allied sector is on the verge of adopting modern technologies, such as IoT, AI/ML and agri-drones for unmanned aerial surveying, Indian and foreign agritech players can play a vital role in supplying these advanced technologies to farmers.
  • Currently, there are few players in the market, but catering to ~267 million farmers in a country exhibits a huge opportunity for private and foreign entities to expand their footprint in the country.
  • However, influential factors that will define the success of digital agriculture in India are technology affordability, ease of access and operations, easy maintenance of systems and supportive government policies.
  • Adopting a holistic ecosystem approach to address challenges faced by the Indian agriculture sectoris of national interest, to achieve objectives, like doubling farmer incomes and sustainable development.
  • Thus, a multi-stakeholder approach will be required for the wide-scale adoption of digital agriculture in India, with the government playing a key enabler’s role in the ecosystem