In news- The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, entered into a MoU with Microsoft Corporation to create a ‘Unified Farmer Service Interface’ through its cloud computing services. The pilot project will be started in 100 villages of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.
- The government, through this MoU, aims to provide ‘required data sets’ of farmers’ personal information to Microsoft to develop a farmer interface for ‘smart and well-organised agriculture’.
- This sets in motion the ministry’s plan of creating ‘AgriStack’ — a collection of technology-based interventions in agriculture, on which everything else will be built.
- The ministry signed four other MoUs with Star Agribazaar, Patanjali Organic Research Institute for agricultural management and services, Amazon Internet Services, and Esri India for different operations under AgriStack.
- The government has published a consultation paper called The India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture (IDEA), laying out a proposed framework for ‘AgriStack’.
- In all the MoUs, there are provisions under which the agriculture ministry will enter into a data sharing agreement with the private companies of the likes of Amazon, Microsoft and Patanjali.
- The MoU with Star Agribazaar includes ‘farmer data sanitisation’, land profiling and crop estimation using remote sensing in three districts of Kota (Rajasthan), Guna (Madhya Pradesh) and Mathura (Uttar Pradesh).
- The MoU with Patanjali involves developing a mobile application for advising farmers on soil nutrition, accurate quantification on farmer crop and yield, and fertiliser recommendations in three districts of Haridwar (Uttarakhand), Hamirpur (Uttar Pradesh) and Morena (Madhya Pradesh).
- In the MoU with Amazon Internet Services, it is discussed that the company will build a “National Agri Data Stack” that can serve as a foundational data layer on which “agri focussed solutions” will be built.
- The Esri India MoU discusses how the company will support the ministry in establishing a ‘national agriculture geo hub’, provide the required GIS tools and technologies and create and collate farmer and other agriculture data services on GIS platform.