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Thursday, July 11, 2024

Fully paperless collection and distribution process in state agriculture departments:

Farmers across Karnataka will be the first in India to be able to access procurement and distribution processes in a completely paperless and transparent manner, which will be mandatory from April 1, 2023. The state’s agriculture department will take its first step toward that from January 1, 2023, when it will be the first agricultural department in the country to go paperless.

According to a government order dated November 24, 2022, before December 31, 2022, four districts of Shivamogga, Vijayapura, Chitradurga and Mysuru will have this facility, and from January 1, it will be launched in all 31 districts on a pilot basis. “It will be mandatory from April 1, 2023 and it has to be completely paperless by then,” the order said.
The entire system of digitization is being done in association with the National Informatic Centre (NIC). With digitization, farmers availing benefits from over 30 schemes of the state and Central governments can be checked online.

An official from the state agriculture department, on condition of anonymity, explained to this newspaper, “If a farmer buys seeds or fertilizers from a particular Raitha Samparka Kendra, all these products will have QR codes. By scanning, it would be clear which farmer has purchased from which vendor and the details of the purchase and the purchaser. This basically makes the vendor responsible if seeds are of low quality. This also gives us real-time data on the quantity of stock in each of the raitha samparka kendras, and the live data helps us to work better. This helps the administration maintain transparency.”

This is aimed at improving efficiency in the agriculture department as well as making it easy and convenient for the farmers and the vendors to maintain data, which can easily be referred to in case of possible disputes if any. By adopting e-files, the efficiency of officials will also improve.

The government order has been issued, directing the implementation of e-offices across Karnataka starting from Raitha Samparka Kendras at Hobli level to the head office in Bengaluru.

The order stressed that all offices under the agriculture department — including those of joint directors, deputy directors, and Assistant directors — district training centres, laboratories, and Raitha Samparka Kendras will be completely digitized. Stock records, office meetings, measurement records, and distribution to beneficiaries among all the other processes, will also be completely digitized completely, aiming to make it a completely paperless department.In Karnataka, the department has a database of over 53 lakh farmers’ IDs (FID) which are linked to Aadhaar and land records (Pahani).

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