There is a wealth of information carefully curated by various departments of the government, which can be very relevant to the farmers but on different platforms and not in a manner comprehensible to them.
A component of Kisan Mitr, a national digital platform that caters to farmers, focuses on filling this gap by combining data from various government ministries/departments like Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC), and others and making it available to the farmers through the Atmanirbhar Krishi app.
“The Government of India has seamlessly worked to have a robust system to support local manufacturing, market and supply chain, and empower farmers and migrant workers, two sections that were disproportionately affected during the pandemic.
With the Atmanirbhar Krishi app of the KisanMitr initiative, farmers will have in their hands, evidence-based information generated by our research organizations like IMD, ISRO, ICAR, and CGWA.
This information, when used by the farmers to make decisions on cropping patterns, mechanization of small farmers’ holdings or stubble burning, will ensure that decisions are made factoring in the importance of sustainability of water and environment, and judicious use of resources. An app available on a basic phone with information in a language comprehensible to farmers will also enhance inclusivity during the decision-making process,” Prof. K. VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India said during the launch of the app.
The Atmanirbhar Krishi app was created to equip farmers with actionable agricultural insights and early weather alerts. Data related to soil type, soil health, moisture, weather, and water tablewere aggregated and analysed to generate personalized insights related to crop selection, fertilizers requirements, and water needs for each farmer at the farm-holding level.
The app was envisioned in 5 stages:
- Data aggregation
- Building centralized insights
- Enable local expertise (KVK) supported interactions and insights
- Deriving Machine Learning inferences
- Continuous improvement
Salient features of the app:
- The data has been made comprehensible for farmers by simplifying the language. The app is also available in 12 languages.
- The Android and Windows versions of the app are available on Google Play Store and are free of cost for farmers, start-ups, KVKs, SHGs, or NGOs to use.
- Considering the connectivity issues in the remote areas of the country, the app has been designed to work on minimal bandwidth.
- The app does not collect any inputs from the farmer. It relies on the geo-location of the farm to provide relevant data (see figure). Data relevant to another location can be collected by entering the PINCODE of that area.
In the currently live Stage 1, the Atmanirbhar Krishi app brings together data relevant to the farmer and his farm, from various agencies and departments of the Government of India (Table 1).
The launch of the app was lauded by Dr. U. S. Awasthi, MD and CEO, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative(IFFCO). “The Atmanirbhar Krishi App is a great initiative by the Government of India which provides realtime useful and appropriate information to farmers digitally,” he said.
“Indian CST is happy to play its part in the digital Transformation in the country and spreading the culture of excellence through this National Digital Repository hosted at CSIR Fourth Paradigm Insitute (CSIR 4PI), Bengaluru,” said Raja Seevan, Founder Trustee of the Indian Centre for Social Transformation, one of the major stakeholders in the development of this app and KisanMitr.
KisanMitr was developed by Indian Centre for Social Transformation, a Bengaluru-based Public Charitable Trust.
ICST’s platform epashuhaat launched on 26th November, 2020 for improvement of indigenous milch cattle was repurposed to create KisanMitr.
Shedding light on what this app means for Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in India, Dr. A. K. Singh, Deputy Director General, ICAR said, “The Atmanirbhar Krishi App by aggregating data on soil health, water table and weather, will facilitate KVKs to interact with farmers more specifically as per the existing ground realities. KVKs may also integrate the information available with them on existing cropping systems and agronomic practices while interacting with farmers.”
Tech Mahindra Makers Lab team has designed and built the Atmanirbhar Krishi App. Nikhil Malhotra, Global Head – Makers Lab, Tech Mahindra, said, “Agritech is an important focus area for Tech Mahindra and as a leading provider of digital transformation, we are focused on effective use of digital tools and technologies to improve the productivity of agriculture sector which is India’s largest livelihood provider. In line with our NXT.NOW charter, we are leveraging research and innovation to bring this easy to use and informative app to the farmers of India to empower them and thereby take part in scripting India’s digital growth story.”
Watch the demonstration and find out more about the Atmanirbhar Krishi App in this video: