CHENNAI: The Union government has selected 10 villages in Kancheepuram as a pilot project under the Integrated Farmer Database Scheme, according to state agriculture department sources.
Official sources told Express that sample studies are being undertaken by the Union government officials to identify the beneficiaries under PM-KISAN, the government’s income transfer scheme under which every farmer household qualifies for a yearly cash hand out of Rs 6,000, and Soil Health Cards to build a new farmers’ database, which will give unprecedented insights into the rural economy and aid precise targeting of subsidies.
They have been selecting a district from each state across the country and they have zeroed in on Kancheepuram from Tamil Nadu, sources told Express.
Farm subsidies worth thousands of crores including cheap insurance, fertilisers and credit-to-cash transfers suffer from leakages because very little information about individual farmers is centrally available at the state level. It is learnt that the massive data bank on the farmers would be ready for release by June 2020.
“Once the exercise in Kancheepuram is completed, then the entire state will be selected under the scheme,” official sources said.
It is learnt that the project is being jointly done by the agriculture department in tandem with the Information and Technology Ministry and its National e-governance Division (NEGD) wing, to meet the deadline of the mega data project.
With the help of this database and the use of technology, the life of the small and marginal farmers of the country would witness a sea change. The data will empower the farmers as well as the state to access all financial and farming-related information, ranging from soil testing to flood alerts, and from satellite imagery to land revenue records.
This also comes after an internal working group of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had voiced concerns over lack of a database of the Indian agriculture sector due to which the planning or policy formulation
lacks effectiveness and is difficult to monitor. It had suggested that the Union government with the help of state governments should develop a centralised database capturing details related to crops cultivated, cropping patterns, output, sown/irrigated area, the health of the soil, natural calamity, etc. It also suggested that the database should also capture farmer-wise details like identity, land records, loan availed, subsidy given, insurance and details of crop cultivated.