e-Agriculture & Ecology, Winner 2015
Automating paddy procurement system in Odisha
IPE Global Pvt. Ltd, a for-profit development consultancy, has developed a Paddy Procurement Automation System (P-PAS) for the Odisha government. Funded by the Department for International Development, UK, the software is integrated with a farmer registration software of the FS & CW department, government of Odisha. It can import farmer information from the software through Web services. The software can be used by Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS), which are the commission agents for Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC) and agents of other state procuring agencies. The software generates all the paper work needed throughout the process of paddy procurement from farmers at paddy purchase centres of primary agricultural cooperative societies and other state procurement agencies to transport of such paddy to rice millers for de-husking, payment of farmers for the paddy purchase, etc. Two separate software components have been developed – a desktop component works at PACS/PPCs, which are mostly in rural areas where Internet connectivity is often not available, and a Web portal component for concurrent access to information by all stakeholders through MIS reports down from the procurement level to the level of administrative departments of the state government. The automation has not only streamlined operations and brought in transparency but has also reduced the time taken to do the manual paper work and the consequent harassment to farmers in getting payment for their paddy. The system has already been implemented in 700 PPCs of 600 PACS of 60 high paddy procuring blocks of 24 districts. Monitoring of farmer registration is being done at civil supplies offices of all 30 districts. The system is also being used by 20 branches of District Credit Co-operative Banks. In the 2014-15 kharif season, 3,10,018 farmers registered in 60 P-PAS blocks while 1,22,851 farmers registered during the 2014-15 rabi season.
Online platform enables people to plant trees, help farmers
Launched in July 2012, SankalpTaru Foundation is a non-profit organisation that initiates, develops and manages reforestation and environmental conservation projects across India. It has developed an online portal and a mobile application to enable individuals and corporates to plant and track trees online. The online portal enables individuals and corporate wishing to plant trees to login, buy ECOdes (coupon code to plant a tree) for the trees, plant trees in any of the various locations, view the various locations and survey them. Once a planter plants a virtual tree, SankalpTaru plants a real tree on ground. The on-ground operation team uploads photographs and videos of the tree planting through a mobile app called G1. Virtual planters can also locate their trees and even navigate to their tree through a Google maps plug-in. The application enables one to calculate their carbon footprint through a ‘green quotient’ feature and suggests the number of trees to be planted in order to neutralise this carbon footprint. The corporate dashboard enables corporate users to effectively manage their CSR programmes and receive regular updates from SankalpTaru’s on-ground users. At present, the foundation has developed locations in six states – Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. A virtual planter may choose to plant trees at any of these locations. As explained above, once the virtual planter plants a tree, a farmer plants a real tree at the on-ground location which will provide livelihood to the farmer who plants the trees and looks after them. Thus, the online platform allows virtual planters from anywhere in the world to plant trees in India which provides livelihood to on-ground farmers while enabling reforestation
Name of Project: e-KrishakSahyogi
Project Website: www.e-krishaksahyogi.org
Name of Organization: Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP)
Organization Website: www.isapindia.org
Applet helping farmers get timely advice on crops
ISAP, a non-profit, has developed an applet-based decision support system (DSS) called e-Krishak Sahyogi (e-KS) for extension agents. The applet can be installed in tablets that extension agents carry while visiting farmers. The applet has two components. The first component helps in diagnosing problems of probable pests or disease infestation in the farmers’ field. The agent can access high-resolution pictures of diseases and pest infestations for various crops along with description of symptoms and control measures. These pictures help in identifying problems in the field of the farmers. On diagnosis of the problem, the extension agent can provide on-the-spot solution to the farmers. In case the problem is not identified with e-KS, the extension agent can send pictures of the infested crop part to a KCC (Kisan Call Center) expert. The KCC expert can see these pictures on a Web interface along with complete details of the farmers, like location (GPS coordinates), crop, phone number of farmer, etc. The experts accordingly provide advisory to the concerned farmers. The second component comprises animation videos on proven cropping techniques and advance farm technologies. Using these videos, agents can educate farmers depending upon interest and need of farmers in a manner commensurate with their comprehension levels. The system is very user friendly, and farmers with basic knowledge of operating mobile phones can handle this tool easily. At present, ISAP is providing agriculture extension support to 9,600 farmers in three districts of Rajasthan. The support includes rendering farm advisory, conducting field demonstrations and exposure visits, value addition at the farm gate, and market integration. Extension agents are using e-KS to assist farmers in diagnosing problems in their fields and providing solutions for the identified problems on the spot. Timely farm advice and information on modern farming techniques have helped farmers reduce costs and get higher yields of their crops.