Kerala

Farm sector harnesses IT to manage supply chains

A view of the farm store run by the Ezhumattoor Panchayat Haritha Sangam in Pathanamathitta, where the software for Local Agricultural Market Promotion has been introduced.  

Hit hard by the vagaries of climate and the pandemic-induced market stasis, the agriculture sector in Pathanamathitta is increasingly harnessing information technology to align supply chains for ensuring a better price for growers.

In a new initiative, the Department of Agriculture Development and Farmers’ Welfare, Koipuram block, has rolled out a market promotion scheme to link up local markets under it to manage the demand-supply situation.

The intra-network, established using a Plan fund of the block panchayat, also facilitates home delivery of these produces through the website entechanda.in.

Mathew Abraham, Assistant Director of Agriculture, Marketing, said the production-linked initiative was being launched after two years’ market research and also taking into account the experience of departmental outlets. The future modules of the system would include features for demand and availability planning and statistical forecasting, among others.

“The linkage system, with pre-designed protocol for officers and outlet operators, will enable farmers to plan the supply of produce to any of the shop based on the stock position. It also envisages the creation of a database to monitor the trends in production, sales, and consumption and, based on the analysis, give suggestions to farmers what to produce when to produce and what varieties are preferred,” he explained.

He said the software had separate customised interface for farmers, officials, market, and the end customers and would have a price forecasting system as well. “Retail consumers too can check the stock position in each of the shops, who will then be automatically directed to the nearby store,” he added.

Anila Mathew, Principal Agricultural Officer, said the project had been rolled out on a pilot basis at a farm store run by the Ezhumattoor Panchayat Haritha Sangam and it would go live in other shops of the block within two weeks. “The system architecture and algorithm are predesigned for replication and linking to make it a district-level project,” she said.

The project comes close on the heels of an online home delivery marketing initiative for fruits and vegetables established by the Department of Agriculture, Horticorp, and the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council of Kerala (VFPCK).

The latter initiative aims to procure locally grown vegetables through Horticorp and the VFPCK and delivering kits containing all major vegetables to households at ₹200 a packet.


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 11:07:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/farm-sector-harnesses-it-to-manage-supply-chains/article34989494.ece

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