Agricultural development is the most powerful intervention to end extreme poverty, boost shared prosperity, and feed a projected 9.7 billion people by 2050. Growth in the agriculture sector ensures effective economic growth. But agriculture-driven growth, farm productivity, farmer empowerment, poverty reduction, and food security are at risk due to multi-faceted shocks – from pandemic disruptions to extreme weather, pests and conflicts. So a nation’s development is deeply rooted in the well-being of the farmer and farm productivity. It is needless to say that farmer empowerment is a priority for any government that intends to push the nation to greater heights. As aptly mentioned in the SDG indicator 2.4.1- “If a farm is not economically sound or not resilient to external shocks, or if the well-being of those working on a farm is not considered, then a farm cannot be sustainable.” rightly explains the importance of farmer’s wellbeing.
Efforts are made to design schemes for doubling farmers’ income, securing them and their endeavours, making them tech-savvy, boosting agriculture research and education, and building farm-related infrastructure are some of the major goals set and being worked upon for the growth of the agriculture sector and farmers’ welfare. Government schemes and subsidies are key for farmers to set up or expand their practices in the agriculture and allied sector. Delivery of these schemes & services is an aspect of governance that touches almost every farmer in the state multiple times in their lifetime. But the biggest challenge of implementation is the identification of real farmers or beneficiaries. The following are a few challenges of the government.
• Lack of unified data source on farmers & schemes- data is disaggregated
• Farmers need to authenticate multiple times for availing scheme benefits
• Absence of a seamless, unified portal where farmers/agri-sector stakeholders can apply for approvals, and avail benefits
A Unified portal that integrates different agriculture and allied services and schemes in one platform, with all its information and eligibility criteria is not only an enabler for the farmers but facilitates government with a golden database of farmers. An aggregated data is a great enabler for the government in framing policies, schemes and interventions with accurate targets and effective implementation for the achievement of desired goals.
Online Application: Farmer-facing web portal and mobile app for application of all schemes and services in the agriculture and allied sector. Relevant information such as guidelines and eligibility criteria for all schemes is available on the platform.
Status Tracking: Applicants can track the real-time status of their applications on the portal or the app using their mobile number. They will know exactly who is responsible for processing the next stage of their application.
Proactive Status Notification: Applicants also get notifications on SMS or E-mail as their application is approved or rejected at each stage. They are also informed about any activity that needs to be undertaken at their end.
Single Window Service: Necessary service applications from different government departments such as water supply and electricity connection have been integrated with the platform, thereby streamlining the application process and making it a single window for the farmers.
Online Application Processing: End-to-end processing of applications including uploading of verification reports and geo-tagged photographs is enabled online on the web portal and mobile app for block, district, and state-level officers.
Reports & Dashboards: Scheme-wise reports and dashboards for department officials to track application pendency status and delivery performance in respective jurisdictions. Access to real-time information allows officers to debottleneck implementation challenges and make data-backed decisions.
The design, development and implementation of the web-based, user-friendly and transparent Farmer Facing Scheme System, is instrumental in managing and providing online services to the farmer for easy accessibility to all schemes and subsidies in one unified platform.
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