National Database Of Five Crore Farmers With Unique Ids By Month-End; Can Be Leveraged To Provide Agri Services

by M R Subramani - Jul 1, 2020 05:28 PM +05:30 IST
National Database Of Five Crore Farmers With Unique Ids By Month-End; Can Be Leveraged To Provide Agri Services   A lady farmer. 
Snapshot
  • The database will also be the single platform to check the eligibility of a grower for a scheme and later disburse the benefits directly.

The Union government will have in place a national database of around five crore farmers across the country with unique farmer ids (identification number) by the end of this month as part of its efforts to create an agriculture digital stack.

“The digital stack is a key enabler for the online market place and smart agriculture. The Centre is building the data stack built on the foundation of farmer database and we have already started the work,” said Sanjay Agarwal, Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Secretary.

The database of the farmers will be based on Aadhaar numbers and will include details such as bank accounts for transferring funds, eligibility for short-term funds, possibilities of credit risk mitigation, whether he/she has availed of farmers insurances scheme and what crop is cultivated.

Agarwal told a webinar “Ushering a new dawn in Agri reforms” that by December this year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare will inform industry and other participants in the agriculture sector. It plans to work with them “in what sense the farmer database could be utilised”.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare will open up the database to the industry to leverage it for providing services such as weather, technology and advisory.

Details of at least 7.5 crore farmers would be included in the database by December-end this year and by March next year, major farmers in the country will be covered in the database.

Officials in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare say that the database would also map the landholdings of the growers with satellite image of individual farmlands.

This will help the government or other agencies to provide advisory services to farmers based on the type of land they own and what crops can be grown.

Towards the creation of a digital stack, the Narendra Modi government has created a separate digital division in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.

The database is expected to help in finding solutions to agricultural challenges such as increasing productivity.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has stated that its objective to create the database is to combine refined data from various beneficiary lists around which government schemes can be implemented, besides delivering socio-economic benefits to the growers.

The database will also be the single platform to check the eligibility of a grower for a scheme and later disburse the benefits directly. It will also provide a unified view of the farmer’s loans and mortgages.

According to Agarwal, this will help the government in rescuing farmers from the clutches of “loan sharks”.

The database will help to provide agricultural crop insurance easily while helping the government make an assessment of various farmers schemes.

A pilot project was run on preparing the database in which data of farmers registered under the PM Kisan Scheme, agricultural crop insurance scheme and soil health card were gathered.

The data was collected from 10 villages of West Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh, Pune in Maharashtra, Khurdla in Odisha, Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Gomati in Tripura and Kanchipuram district in Tamil Nadu.

The pilot scheme prepared a unique list of farmers after data “cleansing and de-duplication” and field visits by officials was made mandatory to verify the list.

Following the pilot project and subsequent follow-up actions, the Centre had data ready to create over 2.25 lakh unique farmer ids.

The Centre has reached out to the State governments to help it expand the database through various measures such as updating land records.

M.R. Subramani is Executive Editor, Swarajya. He tweets @mrsubramani

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