National, Front Page

Farmers to get smart cards

Published : 29 Nov 2021 10:20 PM | Updated : 30 Nov 2021 01:34 PM

The government has undertaken a special project to give smart cards to 1.09 crore farmers across the country to provide them all benefits.

The project was started with the objective of bringing all the farmers and agricultural products of the country under digital process in order to make available the facility of having a digital database of farmers with complete information about agriculture.

The farmer would have to show this card to avail government incentives. At the same time, the farmers have to take all the benefits of agriculture including fertilizers and seeds by showing the smart card.

The Department of Agricultural Extension will make this card for farmers.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, farmers now have a paper card in their hands. They have to suffer while using this card.

For that, the smart card will be given as the digital identity of the farmer. In the first phase, digital profiles of 1.62 crore farmers will be created.

 In the second step, the rest of the farmers will be given cards and their profiles will be created.

An experimental project has been undertaken at a cost of Tk 107.92 crore. 

When asked, Matiur Rahman, Additional Secretary (Agriculture Department) of Planning Commission said, “If the project is implemented, digital agriculture profiles will be created, smart agricultural cards will be distributed, digital agricultural data will be analyzed and information will be properly managed. The information obtained will make it easier for the farmer to make decisions and plans for agricultural production.”

A Planning Commission official said the PEC (Project Evaluation Committee) meeting was held on July 29 this year after receiving the proposal from the Ministry of Agriculture. 

The project has been recommended to be presented at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) as it complied with the recommendations given at the meeting. 

Once approved, it will be implemented by the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) by September 2024.

A senior official of the agriculture ministry said that a plan has been taken to give smart cards to farmers in the interest of farmers. It should have happened much earlier, he added.

Whether agricultural services can be provided through NID, we first suggested, he said while adding that according to the Department of Agricultural Extension, this will increase the complexity.

Capacity at the farmer level will be increased by 30 percent as production planning and marketing decisions are made with the help of digital agricultural information. 

Stakeholders believe that digitalization of good agricultural management methods will increase traceability in safe food production by 15 percent and help in developing digital awareness and skills of women farmers and women agri-entrepreneurs.

The main activities of the project are preparation of digital profiles of 1.62 crore farmers, creation and distribution of smart agricultural cards for 1.09 crore farmers, verification of citizenship information of Election Commission of 1.20 crore farmers, smart agriculture card database cluster in 31 modules, farmer services and report software and app development, TOT training on digital agriculture and information management, officer training, assistant agricultural officer training, training of 900 ICT champion farmer entrepreneurs, 14 agricultural innovation showcasing and 3 national and 14 regional workshops.

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