Technology has aided farmers get a more effective market access and a grater selling price, with adequate initiatives, and it can still do better.
The troubles farmers in India battle nowadays are unlike the ones battled 20 years ago. Fruitfulness is no longer the problem, but surplus output and its repercussions — boosted supply and fall in food prices — these is where their attention is focused on now.
With the aim of multiplying farmers’ income by two in 3 years time, the Centre has taken lots of initiatives, and the central to many is technology.
Market Places Go Online
One important facility that assures direct market access and higher selling price is the electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM). At several market places across India, farmers today enjoy the reward of finding out about better prices via eNAM. The platform has automated auctions and aided end price-fixing by cartels. At eNAM market places nowadays, scales weighing are done electronically and connected to the eNAM platform via Bluetooth, stopping commission agents from tampering with weights and deceive farmers.
Also, several of the market places have organised assay laboratories to categorize the produce. Assessed commodities ensures farmers clinch a better price. The Directorate of Marketing and Inspection is in charge of printing out quality requirements for commodities and also issuing rules on how the required quality can be checked.
Quality-testing machines from the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and companies like Nebulaa and FOSS have been tested in a few market places. Nebulaa makes use of AI and machines seeking knowledge of how to grade grains and pulses, remarkably cutting short the evaluation time.
Another encouraging initiative is electronic Negotiable Warehouse Receipts (eNWRs). Since the tool aids in real-time tracing of stocks, and ensures better risk management for warehouse service providers and banks, it can become the option credit establishments opt for to loan out to farmers. Digital innovations also do well to
diminish weather dangers for farmers. Even though the government have its own way of issuing out weather forecasts, various start-ups that utilize satellite imagery data have popped up in the space.
The Centre’s crop insurance scheme, which is currently being criticized due to delays and flaws in loss assessment, can also look into making use of the technology.
SatSure, a Bengaluru-based analytics company, focuses on satellite advancements and basically proffering solutions to problems in the insurance industry.
Aiding farmers and value-chain partakers to accept technology will have greater effect in lessening farm suffering than getting rid of farm loans.