India recently launched the Agri Stack project to embrace digital agriculture nationwide, emphasising effective digital delivery to agri-stakeholders and agricultural resilience and sustainability.

Twenty-three States have formed Steering Committees to oversee the implementation of Agri Stack, and 22 States provided Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to verify farmer land records.

Notably, Odisha, Karnataka and Maharashtra, among other States, have shown concerted efforts to digitalise farmer details, land records, crop surveys, and scheme delivery. However, embracing digital agriculture nationwide entails a toolbox that can capture the impact of digital delivery on the technological, economic, social and political contours of the agricultural ecosystem.

The International Finance Corporation — an advisory arm of the World Bank Group — has outlined some dimensions as part of the toolbox design to make a transition to the digitalisation of the agricultural ecosystem. These dimensions can assess an orderly rollout of the Agri Stack project and help the stakeholders comply with data collection and its management.


The following dimensions are integral to the toolbox.

Leadership and governance: A clear vision of digital strategy encourages the stakeholders to link the government-wide digital transformation.

User-centric design: Basing high-quality, agile and accessible public services on the user needs — the public increases engagement and open participation of the citizens.

Public administration and change management: Digital technologies can rapidly improve administrative operations and capabilities.

Capabilities, culture and skills: Hiring and training individuals for digital skills across administration lines is crucial.

Data infrastructure, strategies and governance: To improve decision-making, public spending and services, digital governments are improving their abilities to collect, analyse and share data using disruptive technologies.

The Agri Stack project enables data collection through remote and proximity sensing and data standardisation, catalyses APIs’ integration, and accelerates the participation of agricultural ecosystem entities.

Agri Stack-embedded technologies can improve the digital foundation of the agricultural ecosystem, and a dimensional toolbox can help the project executors implement and assess the maturity of the rollout.

However, for farmers, sharing extensive farm data with the stakeholders or agri-tech start-ups concerns privacy that the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2023 should address.

The salience of Agri Stack lies in its execution and harmonisation between the design, capabilities and application.

Dey teaches at IIM Lucknow, and Aashi is a post-graduate student in the institution. Views are personal