Agricultural Management System

Indian Farmer commits suicides as a matter of routine. This is not just a non – payment of debt which force them to commit suicide but a complete agriculture system which start with land management to soil development to farming to marketing of farm produce. Indian agriculture faces challenges not only from Monsoon but from many factors.

This is often said that India lives in villages and mainly associated with agriculture. On another side, India hates agriculture, farmer, and agricultural development. Everyone wants to be out of agricultural net even as consumer of agricultural produces.

Digital India ( #DigitalIndia) will be a simple failure if it could not reverse erosion of agriculture system in the country. There are several aspects of Indian agriculture system which need immediate intervention from information system. Soil testing and development, Rain prediction, harvest planning, produce mix planning, remote sensing, cost calculation, produce pricing, price discovery, mandi – management, forward trading, cooperative organisation management, warehousing, warehousing management, risk planning, risk assessment, insurance planning, agricultural credit management, debt repayment system and restructuring, F2C (farmer to consumer) platform, F2F (Farmer to farmer) platform, F2B (Farmer to Businesses like food process and others) platform and best before management of produces are some of long list. Unfortunately we are handling all issues in isolation from of each other. We need a comprehensive platform with severable but connected interfaces. We may develop this only with help of and for all walks of agricultural system and village life.

Cost Calculation and Price Discovery Mechanism:

For purpose, I have picked only one aspect of agricultural life for my suggestion to Digital India initiative. This is cost calculation and price discovery mechanism.

Presently, when a farmer came to agricultural marker called mandi, he has no fair information of price to be offered. The only thing, a farmer knows before hand, government declared minimum support price which in fact act as maximum wholesale price for a farmer. When farmer reaches mandi, he has no option but to sale produce at any price to save his cost of further transportation and waiting charges asked by transporter. He could not take this produce back to his house or warehouse.  Farm produce never have ex- farm price unlike industrial product have ex – factory prices.

Any producer including farmer need profitable price over cost. Indian agriculture pricing unfortunately driven by consumer sentiment which is biased against agricultural produced. Indian Agricultural prices are being forced towards direct agriculture costs eating all fair share of agricultural profit. These days we celebrate growing profit of an industrial conglomerate but worry about paying a penny of profit to farmer. First farmer and their consumers need a cost calculation not only to direct expenses but up to fair share of indirect expanses. Thereafter farmers need a price discovery mechanism as early as sowing of seeds.

Price discovery for agricultural produce is a game of probability and variable of sowing area of particular crop, weather conditions, warehousing, market demand, export possibilities, government policies and market access. Another variable is subsidy declared to various farm inputs. All these subsidy must not be given to input producer companies but to farmer directly in ratio of their produce. Same way, all crops should have insurance based on each farm units of a hectare either directly by the government or offered by not less than three special agricultural insurance companies with standard clauses and variable premium depending upon crops and locality. All these also need digital footprints of information technology.

On the first part, to ensure proper price discovery government should not declare minimum support price but standard total cost of various farm produce which should include all direct and indirect cost. This Standard total cost may act minimum floor price for farm produce.

Secondly, farmer should have a fair idea possible price from digital market mechanism. Such platform may use informational technology for calculation of probability and variable of sowing area of particular crop, weather conditions, warehousing, market demand, export possibilities, government policies and market access.

Thirdly, information technology should help price discovery for farmer by way of F2F, F2B, F2C platforms. Farmer should not be in any need to move farm produce outside his farm or warehouse without any price discovery and/or market contract.

 I submit this suggestion for public discussion and improvement. I hope #DigitalIndia (Digital India) is not a slogan. While writing this for a contest, I am inspired by this claim; “Intel is committed towards our government’s vision of a Digital India. Through its ‘Digital Skills for India’ and ‘Innovate for India’ initiatives, Intel has been fostering technology as the enabler for creating a digitized India.”

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Employability Mapping System

Unemployment is growing problem world over. This is serious but not seriously debated up to its root causes except employment generation exercises. Unemployment is just a tip of bigger iceberg. One of the foremost causes of unemployment is employability among others. Employability is bigger issue. Employability is a reason not only for unemployment but also for underemployment, slower or no career growth, lower job satisfaction, retrenchment, forced or early retirement, geographical migration, migration from one employment to another so on and so forth.

Our youth face unemployment issue after education but faces employability issue from early childhood if not since broken employment dreams of parents. Yes, issue is serious and start showing its symptoms even twenty-five year in advance. While planning family, potential parents start facing employability of unborn child. This always not starts with parental dreams to make child a certain hero in family, society, or nation. Parents start real life concern of future employability of unborn child or infant at time of planning family. Much migration in Indian, from village to towns and towns to metropolitans find trace in education and skill development facilities. Villagers have houses in nearby small education hubs in accordance with their dreams and plans about education and skill development of children. Employment related migration is secondary migration in life of most Indians.

This is not about development, industry, job creation, education, university, skill development, population growth and poverty one by one but a complex system generated by all them. We are facing scenario where we have more MBA than Management vacancy, Less research scholars than scientists vacancies, less skilled carpenter than market demand, more post-graduate than overall demand.

Digital India is not all about provide some ready-made apps as instant solutions for daily life problems but also about macro level strategic planning of future development of Indian and India. In this post, I propose a long-term digital platform for providing solution for employability by mapping all related issues, variables and derivatives.

Before explaining further, I propose a flow:

  1. Coding of possible employments from unskilled baggers (who save Delhi from Lord Shani) to topmost job possible (with export of talent possibility, keeping tab on brain drain) with different codes for part-time employment possibilities);
  2. Projection of vacancies for these employments for 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, 8 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years with half-yearly revisions bases on socio – economic scientific – technical development;
  3. Mapping of skills, minimum and maximum skill education for these employment with yearly revision based on development (like railway coolie need different skills before and after introduction of wheeled baggage and handling requirement of laptops bags);
  4. Special care for multiple skill employment like “medico – legal expert”, and “agricultural – journalists”;
  5. Projection for years for skill development form a fully willing youth to these skills and jobs;
  6. Mapping of skill requirement with educational and skill development facilities across country with focus on minimum possible educational migration;
  7. Inform youth and parents about these projections;
  8. Mapping of target youth for such skill development from early education so that student with high possibility of early going out of education system may offered nearest possible skill at their education stage;
  9. In case any of these skilled student want to pursue further education, immediate revision projection of vacancy as suggested in point 2 above, and facilitate such student in further study/skill development with part time employment possibility in case of willingness;
  10. Focus on employability of students during course of education;
  11. Disallow higher skilled students from lower skilled employment with help of improvement in his higher skill;

This proposal may serve society at many levels and with different user interfaces. Government for planning, Industry/employers for labour force, education institution for offering and drafting of education and skill development courses, student for planning further study and parents for assisting children.

My proposal has certain challenges to identify and to face them. One of the most significant skill force women may opt out of system because of marriage and so called family requirements, we have to bring them back or use their skill at least on part – time basis. We have other demographic factors; marriages of women, premature death or disability of some skilled force, migration from one employment to another, out of system training like children of retailer goes for retailing business without training, misconception about certain employment as unskilled job like rickshaw – puller or transport helper; faulty education system based on mark sheets forcing cheating or short-term memorisation of lessons and many more.

I submit this suggestion for public discussion and improvement. I hope #DigitalIndia (Digital India) is not a slogan. While writing this for a contest, I am inspired by this claim; “Intel is committed towards our government’s vision of a Digital India. Through its ‘Digital Skills for India’ and ‘Innovate for India’ initiatives, Intel has been fostering technology as the enabler for creating a digitized India.”