National e-Governance Plan in Agriculture (NeGP-A)
National e-Governance Plan in Agriculture (NeGP-A)
The Government of India aims to expand, strengthen and implement the Sub Mission on Agricultural Extension under the National Mission on Agricultural Extension and Technology (NMAET). Approval of the NMAET ensures that all the IT schemes implemented by the Department of Agriculture Cooperation (DAC) fall in line with the Mission. Furthermore, the Mission Mode Project of the National e-Governance Plan in Agriculture (NeGP-A) was introduced for the rapid growth in the agricultural sector with the help of Information and Communication Technologies.
Objectives of the Project
The following are the key objectives of the National e-Governance Plan in Agriculture:
- Bringing in farmer-centric plans and service orientation programs.
- Improving outreach of the extension services.
- Providing farmers with greater access to information, as well as various services coming under the scheme with the help of the crop-cycle program.
- Enhancement and integration of existing Information.
- Communication Technologies’ initiatives of both the Center as well as the State Governments.
- Redesigning processes to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness.
- Effectively managing various schemes coming under the DAC.
- Promoting common frameworks for the project across different states.
Implementation of the Project
Stakeholders, especially farmers, can avail different services under this project through multiple channels including Government offices, Kiosks, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Kisan Call Centers, Agri Clinics, Common Service Centers and web/mobile applications among others. Besides these, they can also avail services using various Center, and State Agriculture portals fall under the project. These portals ensure standardisation of the processes and allow for a smoother flow of data.
The project also includes various other components for its smooth functioning, such as Data and Disaster Recovery Centers, block-level computer hardware components, preparation of project sites, project management software, development of various applications, customisation, digitisation, capacity building, and training and change management among others. One of the primary objectives of the project includes identifying and implementing the best e-Governance practices across the country and upgrading the same to incorporate different types of applications to build a national platform while keeping in mind the adaptability of the same for the states.
The program provides financial assistance for all development activities which are not covered under the NeGP-A, to all the participating states under the Agriculture Resources Information System Network (AGRISNET) scheme, coming under the Central Sector Scheme of ‘Strengthening/Promoting of Agricultural Information System.’ However, the states would still have to adhere to the norms prescribed by the AGRISNET scheme if the farmers need financial assistance from the Government of India.
There are 12 clusters of services under the project, consisting of 23 services. Common applications for these services would be deployed down to the block level across these 12 clusters, 23 services, as well as the 75 components.
Benefits of the Project
The project provides various services including Government to Business, Government to Consumer, Government to Government and Government to Employee, among others. The key benefits of the project are as follows:
- Farmers get access to information and various services.
- Online agricultural services would be provided across the states.
- Grievances of the farmers would be addressed in a faster and more efficient way.
- Provision and use of email services across the department.
- The department would become more transparent and efficient.
- The farmers would be able to give feedback to the decision-makers.
- Various Governments schemes made for farmers would be monitored in a better and more efficient way.
- Resources can be managed more effectively.
- Farmers can reap higher benefits and profitability.
- Stakeholders can use information more effectively for decision making.
- The project lays the foundation for the development of various e-businesses in the agriculture sector.
- The organisation would become better and more efficient.
Benefits for Farmers
Following are the key benefits of the program for farmers:
- The program is expected to bring uniformity in governance to the stakeholders of the agricultural sector, especially the farmers.
- Implementation of quality and efficient delivery of services.
- Streamlining of various Government processes and procedures, thereby increasing the efficiency of the delivery of services.
- Integrating new initiatives with existing ones using ICT to create a sustainable balance.
- Improvements in compliance monitoring, MIS and the use of public funds.
- Transparency and accountability in the delivery of existing services and access to various services using different service delivery channels.
- Allocation of costs according to the type of service being delivered to the various stakeholders.
- Greater efficiency in the system, thereby offsetting the costs of the project over a period of time.
Methodology to Avail the Services
The National e-Governance Plan in Agriculture is a centrally sponsored Mission Mode Project. Phase I of the project has been implemented in seven different states across the country, in line with the 11th plan, during the year 2010-11. The project has now been extended to the rest of the 22 states of the country, including the 7 Union Territories.
Major services under the plan include pesticide registration, seed testing results, prices, and arrival details, GIS-based systems for prices and arrival details, information on pesticides, information on fertilisers and seed and district-level agro-met advisories. Farmers can avail the benefits of the services of this project using two distinct methods.
Various mobile applications have been developed for this project. Some of the major mobile applications developed include:
- Kisan Suvidha – This application gives information about the weather, dealers, market price, plant protection and expert advisories, among others.
- Pusha Krishi – It provides information on the latest farming and crop technologies.
- Crop Insurance – The Crop Insurance application provides information about various insurance schemes that are present for crops and their premium rates.
- Agri Market – Using this application, the farmer can know about the existing market prices of various crops.
- India Weather – It provides information on the weather prevailing for the next three or four days in 300 different cities across the country.
Besides mobile applications, there are also plenty of web applications that have been developed. These applications include:
- Farmers’ Portal – The website is exclusively meant for farmers and provides information about various seed, fertilisers, pesticides, dealers, and ethical farming practices.
- mKisan Portal – The platform enables scientists and other officials to send targeted text and voice messages to the farmers, advising them about various issues persisting in agriculture and the sectors related to it.
- Crop Insurance Portal – This website provides information related to getting crops insured and various crop insurance schemes available throughout the country.
- Participatory Guarantee System of India (PGS) Portal – This portal helps farmers to take an organic approach towards farming.
The various schemes are coming under the NeGP-A, or the National e-Governance Plan of Agriculture offers plenty of benefits for farmers. Additionally, farmers also have a wide range of options to avail these benefits, including different types of web and mobile applications.