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Digital platform to bring farming sector together

Kerala Food Platform will fetch better price for farmers, ensure quality produce for buyers

Digital technology is now coming to the rescue of Kerala’s beleaguered farming sector. According to K. Vasuki, Director of Agriculture, plans are afoot to roll out a digital platform for the farming sector, connecting all stakeholders and managing supply chains. The project is part of an e-governance initiative to establish an agriculture information management system and take the services of the department online.

“The concept of this platform, envisaged as a one-stop solution for farmers and customers, stems from the indefinite number of social media groups for local markets. Discussions are underway with the Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC), which is integrating all stakeholders in the agri-value chain,” said Ms. Vasuki. The future modules may also include an e-commerce platform for farm products.

Tracing supply chain

P.V. Unnikrishnan, member secretary, K-DISC, said the digital network named Kerala Food Platform would ensure safe-to-eat and quality produce via supply chain traceability. The platform, piloted at the Palliakkal Co-operative Bank in Ernakulam, is being adapted to the requirements of the Agriculture Department to enable procurement and connect with the wholesale buyer network. “It will allow for the aggregation of local produce, besides its sorting, grading and quality checking. Using blockchain technology, it will align the diverse players in the agriculture eco-system,” he said.

Routing the produce

S.S. Nagesh, chief of the agriculture division, Kerala State Planning Board, said the system would help absorb the excess in homestead farming. “A digitised supply chain opens up a new avenue for homestead farmers, especially those cultivating perishables. The assured return at a right point of time will serve as an incentive for farmers to join the network,” he said. The produce of farmers who register on the network will the routed to the area where it will fetch the maximum price. The transportation and marketing will be through co-operative societies.

That it incorporates the provision to trace supply chain enables better farming management practices, he added.

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