Microsoft, global forum roped in to boost farming, create jobs in state

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jan 29, 2015 00:46 IST

Software giant Microsoft and the World Economic Forum (WEF) are joining hands with the state government to improve the lives of farmers and ensure better implementation of welfare schemes, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Wednesday.

The state has worked out a deal with Microsoft to facilitate effective and corruption-free implementation of public service schemes.

At a meeting on Wednesday, the company agreed to enter into an agreement with the government to set up data centres in the state, a project that will involve an investment of Rs2,300 crore and can generate 20,000 jobs.
Microsoft is also likely to play a part in the state government’s skill distribution programme for the youth, sources said.

“The company has planned to set up two data centre projects catering to the cloud computing sector,” said Fadnavis. The software firm will help the government link the identification details of beneficiaries of various welfare schemes with their Aadhar cards. This will eliminate the need for people carrying multiple identity cards, and facilitate easy distribution of subsidies and other aid, sources said.

Fadnavis, who was part of the Union government’s delegation at the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, last week, also said the state had succeeded in grabbing the attention of global investors.

The state has managed to secure the WEF’s cooperation in the agriculture sector, where the body will provide technological assistance to farmers to improve their yield, and then also help in marketing the crops.

“This will help farmers in not only adopting advanced techniques, but will also facilitate aggressive marketing of the produce. This year we are aiming at involving 10 lakh farmers and 14 crops, with the aim of extending the number to 25 lakh in one year,” he added.

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