Jharkhand has become the first state in India to launch a single-window facility for farmers, an initiative that earned the praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visited Jamshedpur on Sunday.
Chief minister Raghubar Das’ move complements the Prime Minister’s push for the Kisan Suvidha App, a farmer-specific mobile application, and eNAM, a national electronic marketing platform for agriculture products, which were launched on March 19 and April 14 respectively. Over 250 farmers from various states downloaded the Kisan Suvidha App at the agricultural exhibition here on Sunday.
“Everyone has talked and heard about the single window (facility) for industries, but your CM has come up with the novel concept of (creating a) single window for solving all the woes of farmers. You people are lucky to have a government ready to fight and die for farmers,” Modi said, launching the portal during the concluding ceremony of the National Panchayati Raj Day at the JRD Tata Sports Complex.
Jharkhand’s facility seeks to provide farmers with crucial information on government schemes, weather, pricing of agricultural products, soil health cards, seeds, fertilisers, crop insurance and loans.
“The Kisan Suvidha App is a mobile application that provides weather forecasts for the next five days, besides information on prices of agricultural products at 50 nearby mandis (agri-markets); diseases likely to affect crops; advice from agricultural experts; technologies; and dealers in agricultural equipment. Any farmer can download it for free,” said Dr Uma Shankar Singh, joint director, agriculture and farmers welfare ministry.
Dr Singh said information technology has become a key catalyst for boosting agriculture production and marketing. “After the Prime Minister launched it on April 14, the eNAM (electronic national agriculture marketing) platform has become functional in 21 mandis across eight states. By December, it will reach 200 mandis across the country – fetching farmers good prices for their crops,” he added.
Through eNAM, the government plans to create a nationwide online market for farm products by linking all mandis and agricultural market trading committees in the country. “So far, 12 states – including Jharkhand – have agreed to be linked with this network. To start with, it’s being used to trade in 25 products – including rice, wheat, potato, onion, apple, turmeric, mustard oil, pulses, soybeans, groundnuts and red chilli,” Dr Singh said.