Technology-enabled solutions will help farmers grow

By   |  Published: 15th May 2017  9:47 pmUpdated: 16th May 2017  3:18 pm
Dr David Bergvinson.

The annual Information and Communication Technology for Development Conference is being held in Hyderabad and Icrisat is one of the partners organising the event. Its Director General Dr David Bergvinson tells B Krishna Mohan the effort is to use technology to address challenges in farming.

What is the focus here?
We are working on ways that will increase the earnings of farmers. How we do that is by using mobile technology and analytics to help the farmers connect to markets. Farmers are not able to realise full economic potential as they do not access to all the farm related information to make appropriate decision on what to plant, when to plant and when to harvest, how to connect to the markets and how do they maximise their unit price. All these things can be done by technology and help the farmers connect to the value chains.

What is your role?
Icrsiat is working with a wide range of entrepreneurs to help them build new business solutions to enable farmers connect to markets in a structured way, either through the farmer producer organisations or directly.

What about partnerships?
About 75 countries are attending the ICT4D. We are bringing different domains- health, agriculture, IT, education, good governance to unlock the power of data to translate the innovation into rural impact and to achieve sustainable development goals. This means we have to bring different coalitions to together.

Investments?
Icrisat has been making investments in people, technology and building partnerships. We have assistance from around the world and we are a not-for-profit organisation. We have an annual budget of around $ 60 million.

Specific plans?
Incrisat is working with Government of Telangana and also around the Digital India. We are also part of the Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad. We will bring several scientific institutions for this. We want the entrepreneurs to be commercially successful.

Update on I-Hub?
We have made a great beginning at with I-Hub, which offers a common platform for the agri startups. We had a data session to harness the power of data to benefit the farmers. We have six companies operating at I-Hub and growing.