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Ministry of Agriculture signs MoU with Microsoft for pilot project in 100 villages in 6 states
New Delhi, April 16, 2021
The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Microsoft India on Tuesday inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a pilot project in 100 villages of six states.
Microsoft has come forward to start a pilot project in selected 100 villages in 10 districts of 6 states (Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh) to develop a farmer interface for smart and well-organized agriculture, including post-harvest management and distribution, an official press release said.
For this project, Microsoft has joined in with its local partner, CropData, it said.
The MoU and tripartite agreement were exchanged in the presence of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. The project is for one year and both sides inking the MoU will bear the cost on their own.
This project will carry out various tasks for the betterment of farmers in the selected 100 villages, which will enhance their income. This project will reduce the input costs for farmers and make farming easy. It is proposed to undertake similar pilot projects with other public and private players to create a vibrant digital agro-ecosystem in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Tomar stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's idea of digital agriculture is now taking shape.
"After taking over as Prime Minister in 2014, he has laid great emphasis on the use of modern technologies in the farming sector so that farmers get benefits including enhanced incomes.
"With the use of technology, farming will be a profitable venture for the farmers and the new generation will also get attracted towards agriculture. Funds of various schemes including Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM Kisan) was being deposited directly in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. Similarly, MNREGA also was on the priority list of the Prime Minister.
"Though progress used to happen under MGNREGA earlier, it was difficult to explain the scenario properly when asked. Also, this scheme used to encounter several complaints. But thanks to the use of technology, it was a matter of great pride that all the data related to MNREGA is now available to the government.
“This enables wages of the labourers going directly to their bank accounts. Today, around 12 crore households are having job cards under MNREGA. Of this, seven crores keep getting jobs under the scheme,” he added.
Union Ministers of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala and Kailash Chaudhary, Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal, Additional Secretary Vivek Agrawal, President of Microsoft India Anant Maheshwari, Executive Director Navtej Bal, Director (Strategic Sales) Nandini Singh, Managing Director of CropData Technology Pvt. Ltd. Sachin Suri, Director Ramakant Jha and other officials attended the function.