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Current Initiatives - ICT in Agriculture

1. Interactive Information and Dissemination System (IIDS)

‘Interactive Information Dissemination System (IIDS)’ has been designed after rigorous field study of various ICT initiatives in agriculture in India and information needs assessment of farmers with an objective to provide ‘Information to the farmers as and when they require’.

IIDS is a pull and push based system, there is a mobile interface at front end and web interface at the back end. Data can be transmitted through voice, text, images and videos from both end (farmers to expert and back). This is an integrated model largely integration of Toll free IVRS, Smart Phone Application and Interactive Portal.

The basic framework of IIDS was developed under a project awarded by NAIP, ICAR to Media Lab Asia, a section 25 company of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, MCIT Government of India as a Consortium Leader with Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU), Hyderabad, National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), Hyderabad and Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad (MICA) as the partners



  • Personalized ‘Agro Advisory’ Based on ‘Farm and Farmer Profile’.
  • Farm Profile includes Parameters of ‘Soil Health Card’ & ‘Crop History’.
  • Advisories in Local Language / Dialects
  • Major Advisory Domain- Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Fisheries
  • ’Personal Assistance’ to raise ‘Multimedia Query’
  • ‘Live Interaction’ with Agri Scientists
  • Facility to ‘Refer Critical Problems’ to relevant ‘Crop Specialist’ available virtually
  • ’Round the Clock Query Registration Facility’ through IVRS & Smart Phones
  • ’Anywhere Anytime Access’ on Past Advisories
  • Facility to ‘Push Emergency Message’ to Farmers based on ‘Location and Crops’
  • ’Network Independent’ – Accessible from All Networks

IIDS Applications Features

Smart Phone Application

  • Standalone Application
  • Offline query aggregation capabilities
  • Data Synchronization at hot spots (store and forward).
  • Offline capability of display of last synchronized data
  • Coordinator information system
  • Farmer registration and profile


Interactive Portal

  • Colour coded iconic based logins for various type of users
  • Expert support system linked with authentic content / information service providers
  • Information dissemination and aggregation system (multi model)
  • Centralized common database for web, mobile & IVRS applications


IVRS Based application

  • Call incoming facility on expert’s computer
  • Call forwarding and recording facility in case if the experts are not available
  • Intelligent enough to route the call to the relevant experts
  • 24x7 query registration facility for farmers



The functionaries & devices involved in IIDS


Scope of IIDS in GoI Program for Soil Health Card:

Recently Government has directed on creation of ‘Soil Health Card’ for each farmer and has launched a Soil Health Card Scheme with the objective  to issue soil cards to farmers which will carry crop-wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilizers required for the individual farms to help farmers to improve their productivity. IIDS has an inherent feature of managing the farm history which includes capturing the major parameters of ‘Soil Health Card’ for each farmer registered under IIDS application. Almost all the parameters of ‘Soil Health Card’ of Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare are already incorporated in IIDS.


As per the IIDS implementation field experience of MLAsia in AP, Telangana and Meghalaya, the soil data / soil test report for each farm is not available with the most of farmers. MLAsia has more than 25000 farmers registered with IIDS across 3 states with a scope for continuous up scaling of IIDS to include more farmers from various states. Hence, there is an immense scope and utility of IIDS to integrate it with the results of ‘Soil Card’ of each farmer. In IIDS, the farmers’ data automatically pops-up on expert’s computer when he/she gets a call from the registered farmer. The integration of IIDS and Soil Card will enable the agriculture experts to visualize the data of each farm to provide better solution when the call from farmer lands on experts mobile.. The necessary customization can be done (as per the requirement) by MLAsia.

Scope of IIDS in Various Agricultural Research & Extension Institutions


The primary use of IIDS as envisioned was for the agro advisories.  As time has progressed we see the use of the framework not just for agriculture but also for animal husbandry, and fisheries.  Apart from the farmers, the research institutes in the country can use the system for accessing the current data and also use IIDS for larger outreach to the farmers during specific crop research that is specific to geography. IIDS can empower various research institute and Universities in India etc.


Advantages that can accrue to Agricultural Universities / Research Institutions / Govt Departments using IIDS: The agencies working with farmers may use the IIDS application to interact with their project farmers as well as push the needs based voice and text messages through IIDS. The advantages for using IIDS to all such agencies are as follows:


  1. Disseminate the location specific and crop specific  alerts / messages to the particular farmers in text / voice mode
  2. Map the need of the farmers on location specific basis with concerned agencies
  3. Use farm  data and query data for further R&D purpose
  4. Refer the location specific query / problem pattern in preparation of future / contingency plans
  5. Can be an Integrated Advisory System for each ‘Rural Family’ on various aspects which include information & awareness services on Women & Child Care, Livelihoods Enhancements, Skill Trainings etc.

Current Deployment of IIDS


IIDS was launched in the year 2013 by the then Secretary Department of Electronics and Information Technology, MCIT in two Agricultural Universities namely Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU), Hyderabad as ‘Annapurna Krishi Prasaar Seva (AKPS)’ and ‘m4agriNEI’ at Central Agricultural University, Imphal. The current implementation of IIDS is spread across 3 states viz. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana (due to formation of new Telangana state, ANGRAU is bifurcated into two Universities for AP and Telangana) and Meghalaya with 3 Agricultural Universities for the past 2 years.



The brief on the deployment are as follows:

Annapurna Krishi Prasaar Seva (AKPS) – IIDS has been deployed as ‘Annapurna Krishi Prasaar Seva (AKPS)’ along with Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU) and Prof. Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) in all the districts of Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Telangana thorough Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) and DAATTCs (District Agricultural Advisory & Transfer of Technology Centers). Around 24000 farmers have been registered from 3600+ villages of AP & Telangana. Their queries are resolved by the KVKs & DAATTCs in their local language i.e Telugu. For more details please click on www.akps.in


M4agriNEI – Media Lab Asia has taken up a project namely Development and Deployment of Mobile Based Agro Advisory System (m4agriNEI) along with Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal with an objective to empower the farmer by providing right information in right time through IIDS. The College of Post Graduate Studies (CPGS), Barapani and College of Home Sciences, Tura of CAU are implementing the project in Meghalaya and providing advisory services to the farmers in their local dialects i.e Garo and Khasi. Around 11000 farmers have been registered along with their farming database from the 150+ villages of Meghalaya. For more details please click on www.m4agrinei.in




IIDS BOOKLET - A Journey from January 2009 to January 2017.

Past Initiatives - ICT in Agriculture

1. Digital Ecosystem for Agriculture and Rural Livelihood

A system has been developed for providing a multimedia platform for creation, sharing and dissemination of agricultural information among farmers & experts. It has created an ontology based agricultural vocabulary database in Hindi with more than 28,000 agricultural terms. This Agricultural vocabulary is based on Agrovoc in English developed by Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN.  This agricultural knowledge repository can be utilized by agricultural extension scientists and farmers on various matters related to agriculture and also by the research engineers for enhancing the relevance of research results in the agricultural sector. An intuitive grid interface with horizontal and vertical sides depicting crops and agricultural practices makes it easy to get relevant information. Agrovoc visualization tool has been developed which shows agrovoc terms and their relations in a graphical way.

2. Polysensors

polyThis project aims at providing a low-cost and easy method of testing the impurities in water, with low-cost rugged and tropicalized sensors. Polysensor instrument can advise whether water is suitable for human consumption. It can measure impurities in water viz.  pH, Chloride ion, Nitrate ion, Electrical Conductance (EC), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), and Salinity (amount of NaCl). The system consists of a set of electrochemical sensors and an electronic measuring instrument. The sensors are specific ion electrodes with potentiometry as the measurement principle. The instrument is battery-operated and portable for field use. The measured contaminant levels are compared with those specified by WHO with a green/red LED lighting up indicating that the sample is potable/non-potable. For a detailed report, there is a 20 char × 4 line LCD display that reads out the measured concentrations. The sensor-cartridge is screen-printed, low-cost and can be easily replaced. The lower limit of sensitivity of the instrument conforms to the specification of WHO. The technology is ready for large scale deployment.

3. aAQUA: An archived multilingual multimedia Question Answer based communication system.


aAQUA (Almost All Question Answered) is a multilingual online question and answer forum - which provides online answers to questions asked by farmers and agri- professionals over the Internet. It allows users to create, view and manage content in their native language.  It provides easy and fast retrieval of contextual information, documents and images using various keyword search strategies with the held of query expansion and indexing techniques.  Using this, a farmer can ask a question on aAqua from a kiosk (cyber-café); experts view the question and answer back, providing solutions to the problem. It is available in English, Hindi and Marathi.  Being Unicode compliant system, it can support other languages also. Technology is ready for large scale deployment.


4. Development of Cost-Effective Solution for Community Radio Station (CRS) and its Deployment at five State Agricultural Universities (SAU) in India for Livelihood Generation:

Ranchi CRS being inaugrated by Shri Syed Sibtey Razi Sahab, His Excellency, The Governor Of Jharkhand on 3rd March 2008.Hisar CRS being inaugrated by Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Honorable Chief Minister of Haryana on 29th Nov 09.
  • The Installation and Commissioning of CRS at following five SAU's has been successfully completed
  1. Narendra Dev University of Agriculture & Technology – Faizabad (UP)
  2. Birsa Agriculture University – Ranchi (Jharkhand)
  3. Tamil Nadu Agriculture University – Coimbatore (TN)
  4. CCS Haryana Agriculture University – Hisar (Haryana)
  5. Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya  – Raipur (CG)
  • 1000 hours of content in field Agriculture & Allied Sciences; Women & Child Empowerment; Health & Hygiene; Livelihood generation; Career Counseling & Entertainment has been created.
  • Training to 125 persons has been imparted to make them radio professionals (radio jockey).
  • Two National Level Workshops on capacity building for CRS were organized under this project. These workshops were attended by more than 250 agricultural experts from SAUs & KVKs.
  • Training to 125 persons has been imparted to make them radio professionals (radio jockey).
  • Two National Level Workshops on capacity building for CRS were organized under this project. These workshops were attended by more than 250 agricultural experts from SAUs & KVKs.
  • Community involved in content creationCRS (107.8 MHz) at Birsa Agricultural University, was inaugurated by Shri Syed Sibtey Razi Sahab, His Excellency, The Governor Of Jharkhand on 3rd March 2008.
  • CRS (90.4 MHz) at NDUA&T Faizabad was inaugurated by Shri Narayan Singh, Honorable State Horticulture Minister, on 27 Sept. 2008
  • CRS (107.4 MHz) at Tamilnadu Agriculture University- Coimabatore was inaugrated by Deputy Chief Minister Honorable Sh. M.K. Stalin and Agriculture Minister Honorable Sh. Veerapandi S. Arumugam at TNAU on 27th Oct' 2009.
  • CRS (90.4 MHz) at CCS HAU - Hisar was inaugurated by Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Honorable Chief Minister of Haryana on 29th Nov 2009.
  • CRS (90.4 MHz) at Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalya, Raipur was inaugurated by Shri. Raman Singh, Chief Minister, Chattisgarh on 20th January, 2010.
  • Incorporating Community Radio as a part of extension programme, was taken up at the highest level in the Ministry of Agriculture. They have accepted that CRS “would make a major contribution to Agricultural Extension by utilizing reach of Radio transmission and disseminating information and knowledge produced locally”. Ministry agreed to fund Community Radio Stations under the scheme “Support of State Extension Programme of Food Extension Reforms”.
TNAU CRS being inaugrated by Deputy Chief Minister Honorable Sh. M.K. Stalin and Agriculture Minister Honorable Sh. Veerapandi S. Arumugam at TNAU on 27th Oct' 2009Mr Gaurav Sharma of MLAsia with VC - TNAU

5. Agro-Sense

AgroSense Wireless MoteAgroSense Wireless Datalogger is a self-contained wireless unit with flexibility to attach multiple sensors for monitoring different agricultural parameters of a crop field from a remote monitoring station. The sensor data from this unit is periodically transmitted wirelessly to a remote monitoring station for providing advisory service to the farmers for better crop management. The remote monitoring station may further be connected to Internet for “anytime-anywhere visibility” of sensor data.

6. e-Sagu

The eSagu is a ICT-based personalized agro-advisory system. (“Sagu” means cultivation in Telugu language.). It aims to improve farm productivity by  delivering high quality personalized (farm-specific) agro-expert advice in a timely manner  to each  farm at the farmer’s door-steps. The advice is provided on regular basis from sowing to harvesting which reduces the cost of cultivation and increases the farm productivity as well as quality of agri-commodities. In eSagu, the developments in ICT such as (database, Internet, and digital photography) are extended to improve the performance of   agricultural extension services. The project is providing personalized advice in 6 districts of Andhra Pradesh. The major crops covered under the project are cotton, chillies, rice, groundnut, castor, red gram and fish. e-Sagu project has won the best CSI-Nihilent e-Governance Project Award (overall winner) 2005-06. eSagu has been awarded “The Manthan Award 2007 – India’s Best e-Content for Development”. The eSagu system has been recognized a one of the world wide latest novel internet application by a not-for-profit Think Tank for Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taipai (Behalf of Institute of Information Industry, Taiwan). An Integrated Agri Service Program (IASP) has been envisaged to include other services viz. banking, inputs, weather, and marketing to scales up the deployment all over India.

7. Gramin Gyan Kendra

A project has been taken up to develop models for use of ICT to improve social infrastructure and public interaction for the emerging knowledge based society and integrated rural development for employment generation and livelihood security. Multimedia programs will be developed for applications in agriculture, carpet industry, local art and craft, horticulture, chunar ceramic works, cultural heritage, Banarasi saree, embroidery, primary healthcare, stone sculpture, ayurvedic and traditional medicines, folk literature/music and local culture, looms and weaving.  These programs would contain video content and text based material covering the aspects of raw material, sources, technical know-how, potential markets and various cost components. The target geographical area will cover Vindhyan Region around Mirzapur District.

Yuva Gramya Vikas Samiti & Gramin Gyan Kendra, Basani, Varanasi in Collaboration with Gramin Gyan Kendra, Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University has started a Skill Development Programmes for the school students, unemployed rural youths (school dropouts) and housewives of the target area. This training will enhance their technical know-how and they can utilize the skills acquired for income generation activities for livelihood security.


8. ICT for Empowerment of Women and Child Development.

The project aims to build enabling ICT platforms for empowering women and children in rural communities. The main objectives of the project are to create awareness about various issues, provide information to enable women and children to take informed decisions, help them become confident and self-reliant, provide a platform for self-expression & ‘voice’ to become a part of the transformation process.  Deliverables of the projects includes multimedia content (in various formats – audio, video, CD based text etc) on 10 development themes i.e Life Skills, Compulsory Education, Health - reproductive health, sexual health, nutrition, child care, age care & HIV/AIDS, SHG / VO capacity building, content for women entrepreneurs, Legal rights & duties, Effective functioning for women PRI members, financial literacy and livelihood skills. As a part of its strategy and attempt to serve the communities better and empower them, 3 Community Radio Stations & 8 Community TV Centres will be established. Project Chetana

9. e-Galla - A Low Cost Retail Management System.

The purpose of this project is to develop a low cost retail management system for small & medium retailers which would encompass a host of services involving both hardware and software components for increase in efficiency of livelihood generation and social development by propagating improved methods of trade, inventory management, billing, account management, collaborative social network of shops etc. This will in turn increase the customer base and profit margins.


10. CHIC CAD (CAD tool for embroidery)
chic training at NIESBUD

Chic training at KampilyaCHIC is a software tool which can be used by the artisans in making embroidery designs. It improves productivity, strengthens earlier design concepts and generates a variety of employment and trade opportunities. Designs can be transferred from computer to different media like clothes and paper.

Deployment of CHIC CAD has been undertaken in Shahpur Jat, New Delhi; Kampilya, Farrukhabad, Meerut MSME cluster, U.P.; National Institute for Entrepreneurship & Small Business Development (NIESBUD), Noida and Varanasi cluster, UP. More than 100 artisans were trained and 1500+ designs have been created using this tool. Training on CHIC software is being imparted through Fashion Designing course in Embroidery design module at NIESBUD, MSME.

13. Establishment of ‘Chanderi Weaver ICT Resource Centre’ (CWICTRC) in Madhya Pradesh

The project aims at providing various livelihood and soft skills through ICT based empowerment and facilitation of textile weavers in Chanderi community. The activities proposed are as follows:

Digital Preservation: CAD software tool has been deployed in the resource center.

  • Created 250+ Chanderi designs using CAD software with the help of Chanderi centre students. Created a library of 250+ Chanderi designs using CAD software including traditional chanderi designs.
  • Total of 200 apparel designs has been made so far in the centre with help of local weaving community by giving training to them.
  • During software design training process 12 master designers have been trained from enrolled students and they are making Chanderi designs library. Some of these designs have been implemented on sarees.

Impact on community by ICT based Training:

In design making at Weaving Level, Cloth Design, Apparel Design and Textile Design & Finished productCHIC Design.
  • 120 students were trained in first batch in the field of design making at Weaving Level, Cloth Design, Apparel Design, and Textile Design & Finished Product Design. The second batch for 130 weavers has been trained.
  • Total of 415 students has been trained in first batch for Vocational skill training. Training of second batch of 323 students has been done.
  • 450+ students have been trained so far. Training has been given to another batch of 424+ youths in the center for skill builder training, Design making, English program and Computer training.
Marketing by use of ICT:

For marketing of local community products and to create Exclusive Outlet of the finished products e-Commerce enabled website www.chanderiyaan.net is being developed to sell Chanderi products through Internet. Finished products created through the Center are being showcased at Raja Rani Mahal, Chanderi.
  • Formation of 12 Self Help Groups (SHGs) from local community and microfinance, small scale trading activities has been started.
  • With help of resource centre, local Chanderi weavers visited Jakarta (Indonesia) to participate in Made in India show organized by CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) and business were made by Chanderi weavers worth Rs. 85,00.
  • A weaving research team from Traidcraft , London (UK) visited Chanderi to understand the Chanderi weaving process. Director of Mother Earth visited Chanderi and placed order worth 5 Lakh.
  • A fellowship program has been initiated for loom process and brochure has been created for the same. Showcase was made in Made in India show of Jakarta & Manthan award event for finished products.
  • Chanderiyaan stall has been approved for commonwealth games exhibition, during October 2010.
  • Development of e-commerce website completed for showcase and marketing of products, and is under testing. http://chanderiyaan.net .
14. Chanderi Integrated ICT for Development Programme (CIIDP) in Madhya Pradesh

Chanderi resource centreCIIDP project has been undertaken with the objective of making Chanderi weaving cluster, an ICT enabled Community with Integrated overall development of artisans and their socio-economic empowerment through digital development programmes in the area of Education, Healthcare, Social entrepreneurship, Preservation of culture & heritage, Online marketing, Livelihood enhancement, Social networking, Community building and Tourism development

ICT & Social Entrepreneurship Programme
An ICT setup has been created in Chanderi (M.P.) for block printing, weaving & embroidery work. 150+ people have been trained in Embroidery work & Block printing on clothes. Jaquard block punching machines, Laser cutting machine & plotter printer are installed in the center with 3D designer software. 4000+ Chanderi weaving designs have been created at the centre by training 100+ Designers. At the centre, 300+ weavers were trained in apparel designing and 2000+ students were trained in basic computing skill, Block printing, weaving, English speaking, & Embroidery work.

Digital Tourism Promotion Programme
The following portals have been created to digitize different aspects of Chanderi ecosystem including social-cultural-historical characteristics of Chanderi: Local Community Portal http://chanderiyaan.chanderi.org; Chanderi tourism portal http://www.chanderi.org ; Chanderi application portal www.medialabasiachanderi.in & Chanderi Products e-commerce portal http://chanderiyaan.net.

A mobile based application has been developed & ported on tourism website to provide pre tour & on tour information on GPRS enabled mobile phones for tourists. To download the mobile application click here.

A virtual museum application has been developed for Chanderi monuments & ported on Chanderi tourism website.  To view the virtual museum click here.

ICT in Healthcare Programme
Web based telemedicine software, eDhanwanthari, has been deployed at Chanderi Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) and Ashoknagar hospital to connect the existing public health facilities in Chanderi with District Hospital, Ashoknagar. Medical consultations have been provided for basic medical tests such as ECG, Spirometry, NIBP (Non-Invasive Blood Pressure) and SpO2 (Oxygen Saturation in blood).  A multipurpose medical kit is in use for capturing EMR data of remote patients.

ICT in Education Programme
Computer labs have been set up in 3 Madarsas and 10 schools. Internet connectivity has been provided by wireless network. 120+ Madarsa students and 840+ school students were trained in basic computer skills. Pre-primary educational content for small children, virtual life science & math prep-guide applications have also been deployed at these schools


Last Updated on Thursday, 20 April 2017 09:15


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