India’s ongoing lockdown has threatened the agriculture sector as it overlaps with the time of harvest. In the present situation of COVID-19, farmers are looking for help in taking their produce to the market, as also in procuring seeds, fertilizer, etc. from the market. A robust supply chain management is urgently required to facilitate the timely delivery of the produce at the best possible prices.

The Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), a CSIR lab, has come up with an app called Kisan Sabha to resolve the problems related to the agricultural supply chain. The App was remotely launched today by Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra. The primary objective of Kisan Sabha is to connect farmers to supply chain and freight transportation management system.

Dr Mohapatra complimented the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for developing this App as a one-stop solution for farmers, transporters and other entities engaged in the agriculture sector. He also offered that ICAR can work together with CSIR and use the vast network of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) in the country for implementation.

Dr Shekar C. Mande, Director General of CSIR and Secretary, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), who was present on the occasion, noted that “The development and launch of the App reiterate the commitment of CSIR in supporting the farmers in these critical times in the country. We look forward to partnering with ICAR, Industry, MSMEs, the trucker and farming community and all stakeholders to take this initiative forward”, he said.

Launch of this App was witnessed remotely by representatives of industry, farmers, the team of CSIR-CRRI and other senior scientists of CSIR. Dr Satish Chandra, Director of CSIR-CRRI, highlighted that “As the overall agriculture market is not well organized and a lot of produce gets wasted or is being sold at very low rates, a detailed primary study was undertaken wherein 500+ farmers were interviewed and 6-day long survey with dealers, transporters and farmers were conducted in Asia’s biggest Azadpur Mandi to understand the various issues and gaps in the current environment. Based on this study and the current prevailing situation, the Kisan Sabha App was developed.”

Kisan Sabha acts as a single stop for every entity related to agriculture, be they farmers who need a better price for the crops or mandi dealers who want to connect to more farmers or truckers who invariably go empty from the mandis. App also works for people in the agriculture services sector such as dealers of fertilizers/pesticides, who can reach out to more farmers for their services. It would also prove to be useful for those associated with cold stores or godowns. KisanSabha also provides a platform for people who want to buy directly from the farmers. Kisan Sabha has six major modules taking care of Farmers, Mandi Dealers, Transporters, Mandi Board Member, Service Providers and Consumers.

Kisan Sabha aims to provide the most economical and timely logistics support to the farmers and increase their profit margins by minimizing the interference of middlemen and directly connecting with the institutional buyers. It will also help in providing the best market rates for crops by comparing the prices in the nearest mandis, booking of freight vehicle at the cheapest cost, thereby giving maximum benefit to the farmers.

Twitter handle: @usm_1984

(India Science Wire)