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June 2020 – Digital Agriculture

Timely access to credible information has been one of the most critical needs of diverse farming communities – those involved in agriculture, horticulture, fishing, livestock and others. For instance, advisories/information related to farm Production, Climate forecasts and market realities.

Spread of mobile technologies, remote-sensing services and ICT tools are already improving smallholders’ access to information, inputs and markets, increasing production and productivity, streamlining supply chains and reducing operational costs. Some of the ICT – friendly measures include echoupal, e – krishi, e-aid and many more. And, numerous mobile applications have also been launched by the Government of India for the same including Mandi trades, Mpower social, Kisansuvidha, Crop insurance, Agri market and m – Kisan application.

Research shows that, globally, digitization will lead to higher productivity and wealth. Digitization and smart automation are expected to contribute as much as 14 percent to global GDP gains by 2030, equivalent to about US$15 trillion in today’s value. It is expected that over the next 10 years there will be dramatic changes in the agri-food system, driven by advanced digital technologies and innovations. However, there are issues such as data protection, labour replacement, cyber security. This may also lead to another inequity through creating a greater digital divide among communities with different  abilities to adopt new technologies. Large agribusinesses may take control over digitisation affecting other organizations, such as governments, public sector agencies, civil society organisations and local agripreneurs, who are currently involved in tackling societal challenges.Despite these issues, there is no doubt that digital transformation in agriculture is here to stay.

In this June issue of LEISA India we would like you to share your experiences on using digital media in farming. What are the various digital measures or applications developed to help farmers? Are farmers able to make use of these technologies?  Are these technologies affordable to farmers? What is the role of various institutions in reaching out digitally to farmers? Has digitisation further added to the socio economic and rural urban disparities? Are they equally accessible by the poor and disadvantaged communities? What is the impact of digital technologies on farmers and farming? How is the skill building process addressed? Are they able to make the best use of natural resources? What are the challenges in accessing digital technologies?

 

Send in your experiences/articles to the Editor at leisaindia@yahoo.co.in before 20th  July 2020.