Friday 21 October 2011

Tapping the digital trends for Agriculture sector

In the year 2000 or so, an imagination of having a mobile phone was even considered to be “building castle in the air”. It was due to out reach of the product and services to the common man.
However, over the years, Mobile phone has become an amenable product to the common man and now; it is with rich to even daily wage earner.
In India, mobile penetration compare to other countries is fast and satisfactory. It is due to affordable cost of the handset and different module of pricing technique which acted in favor of general user.
 While there was substantial price reduction in electronic communication device and at the same time call rate had been drastically reduced. Another aspect is new connection become much faster and a total module shift from sole post paid system to pre-paid system.
Now, there are many players competing for subscriber base so is competitive pricing and the final winner is subscriber.
In India, total mobile subscriber base is 851.70 million at the end of June, 2011 as per Wikipedia report. In India, cell phone penetration would reach 97 per cent by 2014 according to media reports.
In the world, countries such as America, China, United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, Australia, Brazil, and Argentina and many more countries are reported to have good subscriber base.
In India, mobile infrastructure is expanding very fast.  Now, virtually every block leaving some remote places is equipped with mobile tower for receiving the signal.
Another changing trend is 2G service is shifting towards 3G services. Of course, there are many developed countries that have already started using 4G services which is said to more precise in data sharing however, in India too, it would eventually come.
Now, coming to the tapping of digital trends in best use of the service of the mankind, there is no doubt that now, there is absolutely no far or nearer concept as far as communication is concerned.
 Now, you can have discussion with your friends and relative of farthest corner and it is not new to any one.
But, what I am interested to is resource utilization perhaps for the rural people.  Now, the rural artisan, farmer and daily wage earner do carry mobile phones for communication and now-a-day with enhanced services like games and music etc.
Since, our vast rural population is depending on agriculture farming, an approach in this line should be worked out.
 This electronic device which till now has been acting as communication device and entertainer should be utilized in more fruitful manner for bringing  more productivity in the rural area.
Now, precisely, how can this device help in bringing rural productivity? Take the case of farming, agriculture farming in most of the rural areas is subsistence type and farming communities are not well informed in latest agricultural farming techniques due to some weak extension mechanism. Now, this is where, this mobile phone can help create a difference in rural productivity.
However, if the things to come into success, many line department should work hand in hand for providing latest information to the farmer communities.
The followings department should come forward and help in revolutionary change:

Metrology department:

This is the department to provide daily weather updates to the public. This department will also provide daily weather updates to the agriculture department for ensuring the department to prepare the cropping scheme for a particular area.
 In addition, Metrological department will also provide weather forecast data to the agriculture department for preparation of pest and disease incidence forecast.

Revenue department:

Revenue department shall provide basic land information data of a particular region to the Agriculture department indicating types of land and land processor.
 This information will be needed by the agriculture department for preparation of different set cropping module suited to the particular region based on the specific rainfall pattern, soil condition and other facilities available in such region for better land use pattern.

Irrigation department:

 This department will act in accordance with their plan and policy but shall provide timely information to the agriculture department for ensuring the availability of irrigation facility to the particular tracts of land.


This department shall ensure smooth facilitation of plan and program of agriculture department and line department and it will act as catalyst for proper implementation of Government program and policy.

Agriculture department:

It is the department to play primary role in agriculture technology innovation and spreading of new technology or otherwise agriculture technology transfer to the farming communities.
Agriculture department will be having professionals in every sector office at block level and, they will be having several other inventories related to farming sector.
Agricultural professional being advisor to the farming communities would suggest necessary action in the event of any field level problems and also new technology transfer to farmers. Further more, the department also supplies seed materials, fertilizers, and pesticides on affordable rates to the farmers.
 The role of the agriculture department is also to formulate the specific module based on specific local condition and cropping pattern.
In addition, the department will be having geographic data of particular place indicating the suitability of different crops and present usage etc.
Now, the work is again with the agriculture professional. They will have to visit to all such regions discuss with the farmers every pros and cons of new methods of technology transfer to the farming communities.
Now, the next is agriculture professional will input specific data to the centralized information about the present condition reflecting problem and forecasting the future prospect or problems.

Information and technology department:

This department will act as carrier of information to the target group in more precise and timely manner based on the module and programming of the Agriculture department.
Based on data base available with agriculture department, Information and technology department shall provide mass SMS to the farmers as per the specific list provided to them.
On the basis of SMS information, farmer can keep updated information and act accordingly for furtherance of agriculture farming.
Of course, in this case, localized or regional language may be used for better communication and effectiveness. This is how the new digital trend should be tap for more productive use.


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