Tvm: NABARD will fund a project to consolidate ICT initiatives for the agriculture sector. Mr. K C Shashidhar , CGM, Kerala Regional Office, NABARD said this while addressing the GTech conference on ‘Re-Engineering the Kerala Agriculture Sector: Information and Communication Technologies in Agriculture’ at the Park Centre in Technopark, Trivandrum today.
Inaugurating the conference, State Minister for Agriculture, Shri Mullakara Ratnakaran said that IT should be made farmer friendly and should empower farmers and Government will support any initiative that does this.
In his special address, Dr. Ajay Kumar IAS, Principal Secretary IT, Government of Kerala said one of the areas where IT can be beneficially applied is agriculture but the challenge remains that the lowest IT implementation is in agriculture. He highlighted the two initiatives of the Kerala government – Kissan Kerala and the eKrishi project in Malappuram. The database of all the farmers in 4-5 districts has been done and this will be rolled out soon in other districts. Government has sanctioned the Agrinet project for Kerala. Kerala has achieved 100% connectivity but computer penetration remains extremely low in rural areas. According to him, mobile phone has to take over e-literacy.
Mr. K C Shashidhar, Chief General Manager, Kerala Regional Office, NABARD said NABARD would fund an IT project to consolidate ICT initiatives for the agriculture sector. He asked IT companies to handhold ICT initiatives for the agriculture sector and at the same time farmers should have interaction with corporate sector. He wants ICT to reach financial services to farmers, projects on financial inclusion and networking of ICT innovators in Kerala.
Rajeev Srinivasan, Professor, Corporate Strategy, IIM Bangalore said India can be world’s food superpower by proper implementation of ICT in agriculture as food security can be a huge problem. In his welcome address Mervin Alexander, CEO, Technopark said ICT can play a critical role in Agriculture and we should start using more IT in this area. Agriculture will be able to attract talented professionals if ICT is implemented.
Satish Babu, Secretary, GTech & President, InApp Information Technologies announced that his event would be an annual event where innovations in ICT for agriculture can be highlighted. GTech wants to contribute to the society and this is one initiative in this regard. Arrangements were done by GTech to bring 55 farmers from different parts of Kerala to attend this one day conference.