American Bigwigs Seek Access To Farmer Data Towards Privatization Drive
Towards Narendra Modi led agriculture development drive, some top-notch e-commerce companies are lining up to harness the data advantage. Confirmed sources claim that this includes Amazon.com, Microsoft and Cisco Systems as technology giants. Till date, farmer protests are rocking the states of New Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan.
Farm statistics gathered since 2014, will now be shared with technology giants in the US along with some Indian bigwigs like Reliance and ITC. With the intervention of IT bigwigs, Modi is betting the future of the agricultural economy and livelihoods of millions of Indian farmers. Modi’s other ambitious plan is to ensure food security in the world’s second most populous nation.
Food wastage, irregular distribution, exploitation at the hands of the middle man is just some of the issues that have plagued the emancipation and growth of the farmer community. Starting April last year, the Centre started signing up companies interested in jumping over the bandwagon.
The government is counting on the project’s success to boost rural incomes, cut imports, reduce some of the world’s worst food wastages with better infrastructure, and eventually compete with exporters such as Brazil, the U.S. and the European Union.
With the role of private players, there is a big chance, IT companies will be able to deploy networks, artificial intelligence and machine learning in India. Additionally, e-commerce firms will secure a steady stream of farm produce, possibly hampering the mom-n-pop stores completely. This accounts for more than half of the $1 trillion in annual retail spending by Indians.
Huge challenges lie ahead. For one, India’s control over data protection is slow growing. Ambitious plans have not guaranteed personal data privacy.
The IT tie ups also mean seeding all the information from the farmers– crop pattern, soil health, insurance, credit, and weather patterns into a single database and then analyzing it through AI and data analytics.
Then the goal is to develop personalized services for a sector replete with challenges such as peaking yields, water stress, degrading soil and lack of infrastructure including temperature-controlled warehouses and refrigerated trucks. Many critics feel human intervention and experience will be hugely compromised.