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India Unveils Seed Traceability Portal and Mobile Application

Image credit: nstomar; Twitter

The Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, has launched the SATHI (Seed Traceability, Authentication, and Holistic Inventory) portal and mobile application. It is a comprehensive online system that centralises seed traceability, authentication, and inventory management. It aims to address the challenges associated with seed production, quality seed identification, and seed certification in the country.

According to a press release, the portal and application were developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. Tomar claimed that the government is actively working to tackle the obstacles faced by the agriculture sector through schemes and programmes. The introduction of the SATHI portal is another such project. Once implemented at the grassroots level, it has the potential to revolutionise agriculture.

Seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, and irrigation are the key components in agriculture, and the quality of seeds has a direct impact on agricultural growth. The presence of inferior or spurious seeds not only leads to losses for farmers but also affects the overall agricultural production of the country. The release said that it has been repeatedly highlighted that a system must be devised to stop the circulation of counterfeit seeds in the market and ensure that farmers have access to quality seeds. This is why the Ministry launched the SATHI portal.

The portal is a quality assurance system and can identify the source of seeds in the seed production chain. The system will consist of seven integrated verticals of the seed chain: Research Organisation, Seed Certification, Seed Licensing, Seed Catalogue, Dealer to Farmer Sales, Farmer Registration, and Seed direct benefit transfer (DBT). Seeds with valid certification can only be sold by valid licensed dealers to centrally registered farmers who will receive subsidies through DBT directly into their pre-validated bank accounts.

The inauguration of the portal and mobile application marked the first phase of the SATHI project, and efforts are being made to ensure that the second phase is implemented without delay. The government wants to increase awareness among farmers about the technology. Users can trace seeds using QR codes linked to the system. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Krishi Vigyan Kendras, and state governments have been tasked with training farmers. The Minister has urged all the states to join the seed traceability system.

Meanwhile, climate change has brought new types of pests that pose threats to crop production. The government wants agricultural scientists to focus their research on eradicating them. If the government is successful in minimising these losses, it could potentially save up to 20% of the entire agricultural production, the Minister said.

Countries around the world are reorganising the agricultural sector to incorporate digital technologies. In Vietnam, the government has emphasised how artificial intelligence (AI) can have a crucial impact on the advancement of contemporary and sustainable agriculture. The country plans to deploy the technology to aid in the automation and optimisation of farming practices, including weather prediction, the monitoring of plant and livestock health, and product quality enhancement.

Furthermore, AI can help improve crop productivity and control pests, diseases, and cultivation conditions. It can improve the performance of farming-related tasks across food supply chains and minimise the impacts of chemical use on the environment. Advancements in the manufacturing of AI-controlled robots are assisting farmers in utilising less land and labour while simultaneously boosting production output.


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