Maha to dig­i­tally track 1.5 crore farm­ers

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTMETRO - Faisal Ma­lik

MUM­BAI : The Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment will on Mon­day launch an am­bi­tious ini­tia­tive that will help dig­i­tally track the farm­ing ac­tiv­i­ties of each and ev­ery farmer of the state and make farm­ing more sus­tain­able and pre­dictable. The farm­ing ac­tiv­i­ties will be tracked with the help of satel­lite, drones and groundtruthing.

Called ‘Ma­ha­rash­tra Agritech Pro­gramme’ , the scheme will help the gov­ern­ment un­der­stand the dif­fi­cul­ties faced by farm­ers dur­ing each farm­ing sea­son and im­ple­ment reme­dies im­me­di­ately. Chief min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis will launch the first

phase of the ini­tia­tive dur­ing his ‘Lok Samwad’ pro­gramme on Mon­day.

The es­ti­mated num­ber of farm­ers in the state is around 1.5

crore. ‘Lok Samwad’ is a di­rect in­ter­ac­tion held by Fad­navis with the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the gov­ern­ment wel­fare schemes. The aim of the ini­tia­tive is to un­der­stand dif­fi­cul­ties or com­plaints, if any, in get­ting ben­e­fits of the schemes and get sug­ges­tions for fur­ther im­prove­ment.

“To make farm­ing more sus­tain­able and pre­dictable, we have de­cided to use dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy,” Fad­navis said at the CII (Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian In­dus­try) Part­ner­ship Sum­mit 2019 on Sun­day. “The gov­ern­ment will launch ‘Ma­ha­rash­tra Agritech Pro­gramme’ from to­mor­row, which will help us in manag­ing the vir­tual life cy­cle of ev­ery farmer. Through this dig­i­tal plat­form all their farm­ing ac­tiv­i­ties — right from sow­ing to har­vest­ing will be tracked and man­aged, which will bring ad­van­tage to the agrar­ian com­mu­nity,” he said.

“It is a first-of-its kind ini­tia­tive in the coun­try where ev­ery sin­gle farmer in the state will be tracked dig­i­tally and his com­plete life cy­cle will be man­aged through this pro­gramme,” said a se­nior of­fi­cial from the chief min­is­ter’s of­fice re­quest­ing anonymity. “For in­stance, what has been sowed by a farmer and on how much area, when the crop is ready for har­vest­ing so what help will he need to get bet­ter prices for his pro­duce, or in case the crop is af­fected by some dis­ease then pro­vid­ing him best fa­cil­i­ties, are some of the salient fea­tures of the pro­gramme.”

The ini­tia­tive will be im­ple­mented in three phases over the next six months. The project will be mon­i­tored by the chief min­is­ter’s war room, he added.

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