Farmers of Kerala, India will obtain the benefits of IT as e-Krishi Projects in various districts of the state. The project site, e-krishi.org, becomes a platform for farmers to get a variety of farm-related information ranging from the best agriculture practices to commodity prices.
The website will also provide trading facilities in agriculture commodities. The project is already under implementation on a pilot basis in Malappuram district. The project has created a network of 12,500 farmers there with links to more than 100 institutional buyers. The Kerala State Information Technology Mission and the Department of Agriculture has proposed to expand the project in seven more districts by next month. Around 700 Akshaya e-Literacy centres spread across the grama panchayats in Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod will be the facilitators. The State Govt. has already launched a trade call centre (phone no: 1800-425-1661) and upgraded the e-Krishi website. The government hjas also integrated it with the Karshaka Information Systems Services and Networking (KISSAN) developed by the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Kerala and the Virtual University for Agricultural Trade (VUAT) attached to the Kerala Agricultural University. The project will enable farmers to interact with agriculture service providers in the private, Government and non-government sectors through agri-business centres. The web site and call centre are intended to provide the farmer with information on market demand, prices, good agriculture practices, quality agriculture inputs and expert advice. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has funded the project, while National Institute of Smart Government (NISG), Hyderabad is supervising the project.