Slew of e-Governance tools for aqua and other farmers launched by Govt

NEW DELHI: With the government keen to take advantage of the renewed interest in digital technology with the marking of a ?Digital Week?, several e-Governance initiatives were launched on 9 July to benefit farmers and fishermen.

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the programmes had been developed by Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).

Two of these programmes - Shrimp Price Information over SMS by a missed call, and mKRISHI ? Mobile App for aquaculture operations - have been developed for mobile phones, providing digitally enabled services on demand to the aqua farmers in the country.

Two additional e-Governance initiatives were launched aimed at providing single window solution to exporters and other stakeholders through two new websites - Online MPEDA Registration portal for Exporters, and MPEDA Portal ?

The Minister also held an online conference with farmers from Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh relating to SMS service and the mobile app.  She talked to farmers from Valsaad, Gujarat regarding jhinga farms. Farmers expressed happiness at the launch of these e-Governance initiatives and expressed the view that these initiatives will help them with readily available information. 

MPEDA is providing price related market information of Vannamei shrimp and BT shrimp to farmers over SMS on a missed call to a predetermined number. On receipt of the missed call, information on price of Vannamei shrimp and BT shrimp for different grades in major markets like Japan, USA and EU are provided by SMS.

Farmers can dial +918590100800 for getting price information on Vannamei shrimp and call at +918590200800 for getting price information on BT shrimp. The prices (indicative C&F price in Indian Rupee) are obtained from INFOFISH (an Inter governmental organization of FAO) published data.

The price information to farmers will provide them the current market trends enabling them to make an informed decision on harvest of their produce. The service is provided free of cost to farmers.  The information can be obtained by farmers all over India. MPEDA hopes that this information power about shrimp prices will empower the farmers to get better price realization.

The mKrishi is a pilot project presently operated in Gujarat and will be extended all over India in 3 months.  Aquaculture of shrimp is a complex set of activities wherein huge amount of data is to be captured, analyzed and decisions are to be taken on a dynamic basis.  Currently farmers are keeping the records in manual form on a sheet of paper which may not provide them with on growth and trend of the aquaculture operations.

This app will provide an easy tool for book keeping, advisory services and weather information.  It is an Android mobile application which has been developed by MPEDA and TCS Innovation Lab, Mumbai (as part of its CSR initiative).

Farmers will require an android mobile handset (post 2013 models) with a data/GPRS connection (2G, 3G or WiFi).  The farmer has to enter the basic information regarding his farming activities, after which he gets expert guidance for all operations making his operations both economical and profitable.  The reports can be seen in the graphical format. An option to view the trends or reports in the computer is also provided to give seamless data entry and visualization.

The mobile app is expected to revolutionalize the way the farm activities are carried out.  The app being used in a large scale can provide the trend of aquaculture activities across the country.  It will also help in resolving the farmer?s issues quickly on a more personalized approach.

Registration of an exporter with MPEDA is a mandatory requirement under MPEDA Act, 1972.  Presently the registration process is being done manually.  The exporters are required to submit a physical application in the prescribed format along with certain mandatory documents.

In the new system developed by NIC, exporters are expected to fill in their application form online with their log in ID also pay the fee online for which a payment gateway has been used. The mandatory documents are to be scanned and uploaded online by the applicant which will be verified by the registering authority. After due process the Certificate of registration will be generated.

The stakeholders, mainly the exporters, will be benefitted by reduction of processes, time delay, transparency, status updation.  The objective of the new system is to facilitate ease of doing business and thereby provide the enabling environment for exporters to export more seafood from India. 

In order to provide extensive information in public domain on various aspects of marine products sector, MPEDA has revamped its website into a portal and renamed the existing URL as 

The website has both static and dynamic pages on MPEDA, Exports, Production of Capture Fisheries, Culture Fisheries, Ornamental Fish, Services for Exporter, Farmer, Fishermen etc, Trade and Quality Control.

Marine products of India are going to get a fillip in the international markets with the exhaustive information about it in the new website.  It will provide links to all important sites on fish & fishery products and export & marketing.

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