Agriculture- ICT Model

ISSUES RELATED TO SOLVING THE PROBLEM OF LACK OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION GAP THROUGH MICRO LEVEL AGRO ECONOMIC ZONING

It is mainly to focus on the issues related to agriculture and allied practices in platuae regions. Since the issues faced by farmers of this region especially in the eastern platuae are entirely different to that of other regions. Untapped potentials and huge hidden opportunities provide a pasture ground related to information and management al activities using modern tools and knowledge as well opportunity to work as a direct linkage between ground level and modern concerned institutions.

In summary we can say the issue of lack of information and communication gap between agriculture producers and concerned institutions which results into drastic ignorance about farming activities and it’s potentials.

We can broadly categorize the problems and facts which can be tackled through focusing on above mentioned broader issue of information and communication gap.

  1. Scattered land holding The main problem in the concerned region is the scattered land holding which causes lack of innovation, underutilization, disinvestment and alienation of land holders. It is also difficult to manage scattered land since land utility inventory differs vastly within a region it becomes very difficult to make right decisions and carry out required activities.

  2. Varying land utility inventory due to variation in input parameters In these regions the topography, soil quality, slope, water holding capacity of soil, water logging, and other key parameters which decide the land productivity, utility and appropriate technology and procedure differs within a short distance

    The land utility inventory should be varied according to the parameters but farmers seems to hang on with main stream farming of that region. This not activity not only giving futile results but also creating havoc in the ecological system

  3. Almost no or underutilization of existing infrastructure Though there are some facilities mainly related to irrigation and related infrastructure but farmers seem completely ignorant about these facilities. There are large water holding structures which needs little investment and efforts from farmers side to be optimally utilized.

  4. Weak linkage between farmers and input and output managing units There is lack of units which supply appropriate inputs like high yielding seeds,livestocks and other related inputs. This can be attributed to indefinite cultivation patterns. And ignorance from farmers side.

    Also there is lack of organised units to buy agricultural products from farmers. It prevents large scale production and grading up of production by individual farmers.

  5. Lack of information regarding support institutions and trust on them

    In short farmers don’t bother about supporting structure, and only some time turn towards government institutions to get charity type facilities. Credits are rarely used by them for agricultural practice because there is a tendency to go for minimum investment and just to ensure two square meals or not keep the agricultural land barren

  6. No clear cut categorisation of land type Due to very weak linkage between inputs and output the focus is on staple food production which could at least prevent starvation though Varying land scape require different utilisation patterns

These mentioned problems seems complex and unrelated but we can see that the origin of the problems is the same and solution for all problems is the same we can relate all the problems to lack of information and weak communication between farmers and concerned institutions.

Farmers simply don’t know what could be the best agricultural activity within the input parameters (Land type{ barren forest land},Soil quality,water availability,soil topography,and other environmental factors). what are the facilities available to them, how to utilize them, how to practice an appropriate agricultural practice what is the economy, how to get optimum and trustworthy inputs, where is the market for their output and all short of things.

There are the attributes of the common problems arising from the main issue and/or having solution in the same dimension as of the main problem faced by almost entire mentioned region.

The problems arising due to lack of information and weak communication with concerned institutions and units or which could be tackled through same approach can be mentioned as follows tough the problem may vary with place to place but nature of problems remain the same and can be solved through same approach of filling the information gap and strengthening the bonds between farmers and concerned institutions.

  • Same farmers have to deal with different type of land: In this region land scape is diverse that a farmer may have land which is at high and rocky, another may be facing the water logging. Farmers usually tend not to diversify and adopt different activities because it requires more emphasis on management and they lack the information and linkage for the same as mentioned above.

  • Changing soil quality: varying soil quality requires different type of cultivation as well as different breeds as well as cultivation methodology in the same place. Same issue makes the farmers ignorant about it.

  • Non consideration of farming practice as profitable: In this region farming seems to be burden for farmers which have other source of income, It is prevalent that farmers having dozens of acres of land but having other source of income give their lands to tenants or just hang with it as the symbol of their ancestors, which completely sieges the investment and innovations. This problem can be solved through the same approach through helping them manage the things as well as making them aware of them about the economy and other facts of agricultural practices.

  • What are the agricultural infrastructures for?: an example, we can find so many check dams in a region but it is almost impossible to find a farmers who knows utility of these structures.

    We can find large watershed structures having almost no use irrigating paddy in the rainy season and catching some fishes. We can find pump sets provided with high subsidy, rusting . These are just examples we can find numerous similar cases.

    There is no doubt the reason behind it can be traced back to the main Issue.

  • Lack of replicable of white spots: No doubt there are some places doing well by using adaptive methodology specific to the region, there are also some farmers who have done well individually, but it is hard to replicate them due to geographical and socio-economic constraints. The same main issue solving mechanism can be used to facilitate the replicability.

  • Absence of attitude to tackle the opportunities through modernising: an example: Prices of fish in our region is almost sky rocketing(100 Rs./ Kg)

    an aquaculture fish cultivation can be practices with high profitability by selling the fishes @ Rs.40/ Kg . There is no dearth of water tanks input cost is also lower in this reason. But it is hard to find farmers harvesting the opportunities(figures narrate the fact).

    As there is no need for specialisation, the reason behind it can be shorted out to be the same.

  • Lack of linkage to market, input ( Technology, material ) , lack of information and know how are the problems which are concerned with the core issues

Thus we have to tackle the core issue in order to deal with almost all the major problems for this we have to analyse the major causes find out it’s features and find out the point of intervention .

As mentioned earlier problems are interrelated geographical social and economical factors weakened the communication and linkage of farmers with concerned institutions. It may take too much time to let the farmers solve this problem themselves as the inter linkage between the problems slow down the process to a drastic extent. So intervention at the right point which can provide the path for employment of modern technology and management aspects will be the best option.

As the issue is concerned with the information and linkage it is best to take the help of information technology for both the purposes. Using the modern method of information boom .At the central level we have to find a economically viable mode to facilitate the farmers to utilize information gathered and establish linkages.

The crucial thing is that the information gathered should not be only for farmers purposes but it should be used also by the concerned institutions and organisations so that the purposes of strengthening linkages can be full filled . The interrelation between two factors (information and linkage strengthening) can be clearly understood and can be solved through the same tool with slight alternation.

The first step towards the solution is the software development for the purpose. The purposed software will include the features of micro level agro -economic zoning it will be focused mainly on mapping the parameters on local level and for individual purposes mean while it will have the feature to utilize secondary data to maximum possible extent for fulfilling the different purposes. It will also have feature to precisely specify the problems and parameters so that the solution can be transmitted through proper source to farmers if required. It will also have the feature for up gradation and collection of data from farmers and concerned institutions i.e. market conditions, quality requirements for particular product, availability and price of particular suitable hybrid seed. Government supports and credits available for particular activities and conditionality for that etc. for farmers. Similarly production trends, major hurdles faced by farmers, possibility of contract type farming to concerned institutions.

SHORT DESCRIPTION OF DATA FLOW IS AS SHOWN BELOW

(First of all we have to broadly categorise the utility of land as

Horticulture, crop cultivation,suitability for fisheries,fodder production etc. )

.

Retrieval

As shown above in the flow chart the whole operational process is based on information technology After categorizing the land on the basis of field of utility.

The field will contain the map or tabular form of land holding and their identification codes (mostly available with the concerned departments)

Now parameters for the land contained in field will me prepared based on available data base like rain fall precipitation average temperature and observation Soil testing direct inquiries. This data will be continually added and updated.

Now we will obtain the data related to requirement of inventory for particular activity (data base).

Now this data base can be used to find out suitability,input requirements, facilities available and market opportunities to give information to primary users (Individual farmers, Self help groups or Panchayts as a whole). They will also be linked with concerned institutions. In particular cases problems and inquiries of farmers can be precisely send with ground factors to reliable sources so that users can get the optimal solutions.

The data regarding land utility ,other grass root factors ,extracted informations etc. can also be send to secondary users ( organizations who want to intervene, suppliers, purchasers etc.) . In this regard purposed model will work as intermediate.

POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS

Individual farmers

Cooperatives

Self help groups

Village level local governments (Panchayts)

NGOs

Suppliers of input materials

purchasers of agricultural and allied products

(processors, retailers and traders)

Contract farming firms

FINANCIALS

The fixed costs involved will be in developing the software, procedures for accessing the data and making essential initial contacts and networking. So fix cost may vary to a large extent.

Operational costs will be advertisement, rent for office training employees and their salaries charges of experts for providing solutions. It will be better to work with an NGO initially to minimize advertisement cost and in finding first customer.(approximate initial cost Rs. 200000-400000)

REVENUE Revenue will be generated from potential customers defined earlier in the form of

  • Registration fee for primary users.

  • Margin charged for different consulting services.

  • Charges to suppliers: For as a marketer intermediate.

  • Charges from purchasers as supplier intermediate.

  • Charges for providing extracted results and other informations to other related institutions(i.e. NGO and contract farming units)

SCOPES OF SCALING UP Horizontal scaling can be achieved through intensive advertisement and practicing market discipline to create the trust . Vertical scaling can be achieved by playing a larger role i.e. working as a market intermediary model, recruiting the professionals to analyze and give solution to users without outsourcing the activity etc.

SOCIAL IMPACT As described earlier filling the information and communication gap will mitigate the related problems and will result in practice of higher productive agricultural and allied practices .

Impact can be indirectly measured through measuring the revenue generation of the model.

 

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