India Ramps Up Adoption of Mobile Apps and Data Capture
Digital agricultural transformation through smart phones and remote-sensing services can help drive rural development and increase food production to meet the global challenge of feeding 9.1 billion people by 2050, according to a report by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Tens of thousands of applications are now available for agriculture and smart phones will play a significant part in meeting the 2050 target, especially in rural areas. Affordability and connectivity, however, will be crucial in unlocking their full potential, said Samuel Varas, director of FAO’s IT division.
He cited the example of smartphones that can reshape rural, agricultural areas through better access to information, extension services, access to markets and funding capital.
The impact of digital tools on the agri-food sector and small landholders is already visible; value chains have become more transparent and efficient, and are less manipulated by intermediaries, he added.
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The Indian scenario
In India, the impact is already visible at the ground level. Varas pointed out that use of mobile apps are on spot, citing the example of mKisan, a popular government portal, which offers a variety of mobile apps for agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry.
Digital Green is also operating in India as an information provider with a focus on agricultural extension services. The international development organisation carried out a pilot in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, as part of the Zero Budget Natural Farming, to which an interactive voice response system (IVRS) was introduced last year.