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AGRISNET:One-stop portal of Agriculture dept to be launched soon

Hyderabad|India|February'2009: The Agriculture Department of Andhra Pradesh Government, which has many achievements to its credit now launches a portal of its own, known as AGRISNET. The portal will give all information needed about agriculture in the State to the people in general and the farmers in particular. The Chief Minister Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy will soon launch the website.

Minister for Agriculture N Raghuveera Reddy and Commissioner for Agriculture, Poonam Malakondiah explained to the Chief Minister that the Acronym AGRISNET stands for Agricultural Resources Information Systems Network. The website address of AGISNET is http://www.apagrisnet.gov.in. The State Government has already launched various other e-Governance initiatives and IT has been extensively used to improve performance of administration, information interchange, speedy and effective services, resource management and many other related sectors. AGRISNET project was envisaged to effectively use the Information Technology for dissemination of agriculture related information to the farming community.

The Chief Minister was told that the Department of Agriculture has also been offering a host of services via Mass Media to deliver knowledge based agricultural information services through Newspapers, Doordarshan, Private TV channels, All India Radio etc. But entire information on the package of practices of all crops is not available till now. AGRISNET removes this anomaly and makes available entire information on package of practices at one place and the farmers can access the information anywhere, anytime.

The portal is developed keeping in mind the literacy level of the farmers and hence to make it more farmer-friendly voice has been added in the portal. When a mouse is hovered over the text, the matter is read out in Telugu.

The portal has: Information regarding the package of practices of 18 crops (Paddy, Groundnut, Cotton, Maize, Red Gram, Castor, Sugarcane, Greengram, Sunflower, Jowar, Chillies, Soyabean, Blackgram, Sesamum, Bajra, Bengal Gram, Ragi and Safflower), importance of intercrops, Integrated Pest Management techniques. Precautions to be taken at the time of seed treatment, purchase of seed and pesticides are shown as small cartoon movies.

The Chief Minister was told that the different schemes of the department along with the subsidies are included. Rates of Minimum Support Prices for agriculture produce and fertilizers have also been included. A link is provided to the marketing department to access the daily market rates of different commodities. Frequently asked questions on different crops have been compiled and placed in the portal. Soil health Card data has been made online, using this facility the farmers can take a print out of their respective soil health cards wherever the internet connectivity is available.

The Chief Minister was told that the websites of the allied departments of agriculture (viz., Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Marketing, Sericulture, Forestry, Electricity, Irrigation), ANGRAU, MARKFED, APSSDC, APSSCA, AGROS are included. This project is fully funded by the Agriculture and Cooperation Department, Government of India.

Videos of success stories of farmers and a comprehensive list of the contact numbers of the officials of the agriculture department as well as allied department officials are included. Information on addresses of the different laboratories of the agriculture department viz., soil, seed, fertiliser, pesticides, bio-control and DNA finger printing laboratories has been placed for the benefit of the farming community. A link is provided to the ANGRAU agromet website which gives online agro advisories to the farmers.

The Chief Minister was happy that a facility has been provided for posting a question and getting the answer for the farmers. The current news item gives the latest news like misbranded pesticides, fertilisers and seeds information. In short, the AGRISNET portal is a one stop shop for information on agriculture and can be considered as a virtual Agricultural University. The farming community as well as the department officers can effectively use the information provided in the portal for increasing the productivity of crops.

Reachout's News Bureau
 February' 2009

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