Agriculture in India has discarded its old avatar. Many opportunities have been created such as promotion of allied activities to double the incomes of farmers. Especially in the time of Corona crisis, many market reforms and allocations were made to this sector that provide farmers with opportunities to think and act like entrepreneurs.
Now, farmers can sell their produce anywhere – they are not restricted to local markets. They can also think about beekeeping and herb farming to improve their commercial prospects. Under the reforms package, the government has unveiled for the formalisation of micro food enterprises that also helps agriculture, while fisheries has received a new focus with the aim of achieving a blue revolution. All these have created a new set of opportunities, and to reap the benefits of these new emerging trends, technological interventions are needed. Here comes the world of apps in Indian agriculture.
The New Possibilities and Apps Govt Created for Farmers
The government in recent years has created many apps that help farmers in different aspects.
Take the example of e-Gopala app. You may be surprised to know that India with its large population of livestock had not offered an information portal for the use of farmers. e-Gopala has bridged this gap. It will help farmers in managing livestock including buying and selling of disease free germplasm in all forms (semen, embryos, etc); availability of quality breeding services (Artificial Insemination, veterinary first aid, vaccination, treatment etc), guiding farmers for animal nutrition, and treatment of animals using appropriate ayurvedic medicine/veterinary medicine. The app is also useful in sending alerts (on due date for vaccination, pregnancy diagnosis, calving etc) and inform farmers about various government schemes and campaigns in the area.
In April 2020, the Kisan Rath app was lauched by the government to facilitate agri-produce transportation.
The app was developed to help farmers and traders in searching transport vehicles for Primary and Secondary transportation of Agriculture and Horticulture produce. Primary transportation would include movement from Farm to Mandis, FPO (Farm Produce Organisations) Collection Centre and Warehouses etc. Secondary Transportation would include movement from Mandis to Intra-state & Inter-state mandis, processing units, Railway station, warehouses and wholesalers etc.
Back in September 2019, two other apps were launched by the government: CHC Farm Machinery App and Krishi Kisan App.
Indian agriculture is dominated by small and marginal farmers who can’t invest in buying machineries. Hiring for the season is a better and economical option for them. Here comes the role of the CHC Farm Machinery App. Through the CHC Farm Machinery App, farmers can select and order the required machinery at the rates feasible for them from the Custom Hiring Centers located in the radius of 50 Kms.
On the other hand, this multilingual app helps custom service providers for registration and uploading with geo-reference photographs of agricultural machinery available with them for hiring.
Krishi Kisan App is providing farmers information of the best demonstration of high-yielding crops and seeds in their nearby area. Any farmer with high quality of crops can utilise this platform to demonstrate best practices of cultivation to other farmers to help other farmers who wish to adopt these methods. The App will also help in geo-tagging and geo-fencing of crop and give weather forecast message to farmers.