The Government of Telangana and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) have joined hands to implement Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based knowledge sharing platforms and other agricultural innovation initiatives to improve productivity and profitability of smallholder farmers of Telangana. This collaboration was launched during the Digital Telangana Week in Hyderabad toady.
A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Department of Information Technology, Electronics & Communications, Government of Telangana; Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of Telangana and ICRISAT. The MoU was signed by C. Parthasarathi, Secretary and Agri Production Commissioner, Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary, IT, Electronics & Communications, and ICRISAT Director General Dr David Bergvinson.
The partnership will explore areas of collaboration in the area of Digital Agriculture along the Agriculture Value Chain and explore the possibilities of ICRISAT playing an active role in the ‘T Hub’, incubator being launched by the Government of Telangana.
The partnership will help launch innovative digital platforms that aim to revitalise information dissemination in rural areas, expert systems for providing real time advisories and better access to market information by smallholder farmers.
“ICRISAT has been at the forefront of using the latest technology to benefit smallholder farmers of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The Digital Agriculture initiative will allow information to be precisely targeted to individual farmers. This will help farmers to access agricultural related information and keep themselves up-to-date with market related information, which gives them an opportunity to sell their produce at the fair prices, thus putting them on the path to prosperity,” said Dr David Bergvinson, ICRISAT Director General, while explaining the proposed activities under the Digital Agriculture initiative.
“Access to timely information and knowledge can be a great leveller and help millions of farmers in Telangana to improve their yields, incomes and resilience since they can now make informed choices about good farming practices,” said KT Ramarao, Minister for Information Technology & Panchayat Raj, Telangana, during the agreement signing.
Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, Minister for Agriculture, Telangana said, “It is very appropriate to launch the digital agriculture activities at a time when use of digital gadgets is on the rise in rural areas.”
The outcome of the collaboration will be to enable the Government to create new economic opportunities for rural populations through digital agriculture and enable consumers to create direct linkages to the farmers thus leading to cost savings and ensure quality.