A study on the digitization of supply chains in agriculture - an Indian experience
In the present day context of globalisation, changing information needs of the farmers, increasing pressure of population on the food security system, encouraging the developing economy like India to look for various alternatives in supply chain management and its digitization for its efficient and sustainable agricultural development. India is likely to be considered as the food basket to the world constituting 52% of total land under cultivation as compared to global average of 11%. It is also producing 134.5 MT of fruits and vegetables but due to inadequate cold storage and preservation facilities and improper supply chain infrastructure; there is enormous loss of wastages. Supply chains are principally concerned with the flow of products and information between supply chain member organizations procurement of materials, transformation of materials into finished products, and distribution of those products to end customers. Today’s information-driven, integrated supply chains are enabling organizations to reduce inventory and costs, add product value, extend resources, accelerate time to market, and retain customers. Information Technology has started its dent in certain rural livelihoods especially the farmers in developing countries like India. IT can also do wonders in empowering small and marginal farmers who are operating in a complex, diverse and risk prone environment, who have poor access to information, especially regarding the production systems, customers and markets. In India, the limiting factors for farmers wanting to maximize their farm incomes are poor market linkages, poor access to quality farm-inputs, services and technology, lack of information about Government resources, institutions and extension services. ICT systems have pivotal role to play in market led extension activities. ICT s can connect the producers with buyers to initiate and sustain long term, mutually beneficial and sustainable professional relationships.