Image credit: CNBC TV18
By Varad Pande and Hemendra Mathur
At the core of the ongoing disagreements on the farm bills is the issue of returns on farming activity, which continue to be dismal. This is, in part, because Indian agriculture is still, unfortunately, plagued by issues of information asymmetry, lack of access to markets and institutional credit, price volatility and fragmented holdings. We believe that a ‘digital infrastructure’ approach could help pave the path forward on these hard issues.
From Aadhaar based direct benefits transfer (DBT) subsidies to Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for financial transactions, from a DIGIT platform for urban services to a National Health ID in healthcare, the promise of open digital ecosystems (ODEs), anchored on shared digital infrastructure, can be seen all around us. A common enabler across all of these services are interoperable digital platforms that facilitate access to data from siloed databases and allow for service provision by both private and public players. The next frontier for ODEs is Indian agriculture.
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