Case Study

Introduction

India has a very unique quality as far as multinational companies are concerned, the country is a production house of technological talents. The number of Indian techies around the globe confirm it. As well India has developed as a technologically sound country, technology is almost everywhere, but not much in farming sector. Apparently the opportunities and business potential in this sector is countless. The agriculture sector in India still depends on the traditional old school techniques in farming. The reasons for this may vary, most farmers are comfortable with the techniques they rely on since ages, and the literacy rate among the Indian farmers are low (even though the scenario is changing). There are, for sure, not much researches conducted in the sector to analyze the feasibility of using technologies from farming. But the idea still holds immense potential.

Digitalization or computerized farming demands more effort from the techies. Both technological computer platforms and on field technologically aided machineries are essential for technology based farming. Unlike other sectors the final output at the end of the day is food products, apart from that the climate, pest attacks, and natural calamities make the farming business at a precarious state. Apparently, even now, the lion share of the farmers hand record the significant data like production data, cost accounting and other vital data regarding farming. This routine have multiple drawbacks; it is hard to collect organize, recall and analyze the data when needed. Most of the Agriculture Department offices in India is computerized, so hand recording the data will double the job of the officials as well. Here lies the potential benefit of computerized data documentation and accessibility; an IT solution which comprehends all these services will be a boon to farmers and the youth who admires farming.

This review is a keen attempt to create an awareness among farmers regarding technology adoption success factors. The review is an analytical approach to the success rate in adopting a farm management technique via a central web based portal. This web application enables the farmers to utilize different services like, recording of the production activities, monitoring, quantifying and pricing them; making cultivation decisions and following the product marketing etc. This portal was an attempt to introduce a user friendly and cheap tool to attain the benefits derived from computerizing records and information regarding farm management or farming practices. A significant advantage is its simplicity and the ability to log events as they occur. The user has easy access to the details of each and every activity as they are registered and related to documented data. Reports are easily formulated enabling ongoing support for necessary decisions.

Major Predicaments in Technology Adoption

In spite of technological advancements, agriculture sector will always be under uncertainty; crops can always be affected by a lot of external factors like climate, pest attacks, and unorganized farming etc. This precariousness is a major challenge while creating agricultural technologies, the results will tend to be stochastic as well. A benefit of information technology is embedded in the organization’s products by turning capital and information inputs to higher-value outputs. The general approach is that information technology can be defined as a managerial resource similar to other resources. However, focusing exclusively on information technology or an information system is a supply perspective that assumes that if information is made more easily available and accessible people will use and share it. This is a doubtful assumption. As a result the existence of information technology does not assure successful adoption or adoption at all.

Normally in India the farm owner has the sole responsibility in controlling and supervising the production while dealing with all the other aspects of farming. The farm management is a hideous task which makes the farmer’s life hectic, leaves him with little time to get acquainted with the computerized information management, let alone acquire proficiency in it. However the adoption and acceptance of the technology directly depends on how convinced they are about the benefits of information technology implementation in farming. Other hindrance like traditional conservatism, lack of infrastructure, difficulties in technical access were also addressed, considered and mentioned while the portal was developed.

Agri- Portal Development Stages

It was in the year 2014 when the Department of Agriculture under Government of Kerala took an initiative to develop a completely unique farm information package for the social cause of organic farming. The IT solution was developed by OrisysIndia Consultancy Services. However the program development had been relinquished due to limited program maintenance funds and other shortcomings. Over the time decision was made to use the available extension personnel to redevelop a better information system.
By mid-2014 the first version of the agri- portal was all ready for test use. The acceptance of the program was fairly good and after the testing incremental program updating was needed. Even though the first edition was success, the training for the farmers and useful on farm visit to create a positive awareness about the product was relevant to expedite further development of the program. Interaction with farmers not only helped in contributing to the ongoing updating process and system upgrading, but also played a catalyst in spreading the useful application among more and more farmers and people in agri- business.

The second version of the program had been released by the last quarter of 2014. In 2015 the full-fledged system was opened for public and this version is currently being used with online information updating.
Over the years the system had more than 1 million users. Recently it was estimated that 60% of them are actually public users and 40% of them were either farmers or agri-business providers. A recent random telephone survey indicated that the ratio of sellers as compared to buyers is now close to 60%.This ratio compares favorably with other similar commercial information systems packages, which have a smaller number of clients.

Conclusion

The product acquired remarkable success in its mission. Now this portal is a complete guide for farmers, the application comprises multiple services and is linked with almost every agricultural offices. The application is going through regular updating and recent researches shows that the portal meets the demands of its users and is much user-friendly.
The system will also function as an online market for agricultural products, users can buy or sell their products directly through the web application. As well, krishi.info is a comprehension of weather forecasts, links of agricultural institutions, details of agricultural universities, farm library and lot more.
Thus it can be said that implementing a single platform for agriculture is a remarkable initiative and it runs successfully among the beneficiaries.

Case Study

Rs 4536693424.52 the number depicts the amount India had splurged out for online purchases in the year 2014. The amount is expected to be much higher by 2018 and predicted to be around Rs 64809906064.52. This Gartner research forecast implies the astonishing potential the online trade has in Indian market, a substantial number of Indians are expecting online options for shopping. Again india has been even more magnanimous to B2B spendings in the same year, forget the number, it is more than double of the aforementioned giant number. Quite a big market isn’t it? None of the small and large business groups around the globe wanted to forgo the vast business opportunity, India proffers.

Industries like wholesale, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing are all projected to experience significant adoption of B2B commerce channels in the upcoming years. Apart form that smartphone sales are flourishing year by year which in turn causes a boom in online business revenue. Besides all these our economy is attaining more and more global colour, the idea of one single economy (online economy) isn’t a mere dream, but future reality. So most of the businesses have been identifying the global growth as the pivotal goal. What else can make the e-commerce providers happy? It is more than a huge opportunity, the time is ripe and is perfect.

So the modern market beckons you to ride the wave, no matter small or large retailers, B2B, B2C or you name it. As the old saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ let’s dig out some history.

1991 : When it all started- Introduction of E-Commerce

In the year 1991 it was a path breaking development in the history of commerce, it was none other than the introduction of online trade and marketing as an option for internet users, but in a very finite ratio. The reason was, at the time the rate of rudimentary computer education was very low, not many was in the convenience of accessing the computer as well. None have imagined that the online trade will get an edge over traditional market within a decade and India will offer its good share for it, mainly because the credibility was a big issue when it comes to online trade. But the time proved it wrong.

2002 : When IRCTC Offered the Millennium Gift

India first came into acquaintance with the E-commerce through the innovative ticketing application launched by Indian Railway. The aim was to make the ticket functioning smooth and flawless, the system offered the convenience of booking tickets from anywhere and at any time. The online ticket reservation system was a huge success and was accurate and displayed impeccable efficiency. For people rely on IRCTC it was not less than a boon. The system trumpeted the power of information technology within India; the system refined a lot of issues as well. The passengers were overwhelmed that they don’t have to wait long in a line to get the ticket, the change in the timings, availability and cancellation of trains doesn’t seemed to bother them ever again. As a result of timely updating and maintenance over the years,, now one can book tickets (tatkal, normal, etc.) on one go, easy payments, can check the status of the ticket and availability of the train as well. This is a big achievement in the history of India in the field of online E-Commerce.

2003 : Introduction of Low Cost Flight with Air Deccan

In the wake of unexpected success of the IRCTC, the airline companies like Indian Airlines, Air Deccan, Spice Jet etc adopted online ticket booking and other services. The new business enhancement helped them to engage directly with the customers which was really cost effective that they no longer have to pay excess commission amounts per ticket to ticketing agencies. Today online ticket booking is as simple as singing a rhyme.

2007 : The Flipkart Model

The mass acceptance of the e-commerce stimulated the players to try their luck on Indian online market. The main advantage is the direct dealing with the customer, it inadvertently serves as a research tool, they can target, analyse or allure specific customer or a group of customers, besides, there is no middle man so the profit is high too. Though online shopping has been present since the 2000 but it gained popularity with the deep discount model of Flipkart. In a way it re-launched online shopping in India. Soon after other portals like Amazon, Flipkart, Jabong, etc. started fishing in India to make hell of a fortune.

2015 : Contemporary

Online shopping and online business in its early times was a simple medium for buying and selling with a few options to deliver. People can place an order and pay the cash at the time of delivery, it took time to build up trust among the hoi polloi. The remarkable increase in the internet speed and mind blowing changes happened in the technological sector has transmogrified the way online business once was. The products available at online stores got much more credibility because of the open reviews posted on mobile applications and social media sites. Even the toughest man can’t renounce the offers and facilities which internet furnishes, attractive online websites, user friendly interface, filled online stores with new fashions, easy and safe payment methods (i.e. secure pay online via gateways like paypal or cash-on-delivery), less manipulation on quantity & quality, one can choose the items based on size, color, price, etc. tantalizes the customers to shop online. Further, the addition of discounts, coupons, offers, referral systems, 30 days return guarantee, 1-7 days delivery time, etc. to the online shopping and the E-Market had added new flavors to the industry.

Despite a developing country India is considered as a major market after US and UK, apart from the Europe and USA the major advantage of Indian market is its population, a huge common mass with computer literacy. The decisive force that drives the Indian e-commerce have been the increased internet dissemination in the country irrespective of urban and rural market. The increased living standards, much wider product range, busy lifestyles and lack of time for offline shopping or direct store purchase, increased availability and usage of online categorized sites and revolution of online marketplace model with websites like eBay, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. did the rest.

The Future of E-Commerce

As per recent demographic studies only 33 million people are residing in the major cities around the country. That means almost 97% of the Indian population is in the semi-urban or rural area, so the internet still has more than enough room to establish widely in India. To make a change in this the agriculture market also should be digitalized, because India is a country with its fair share of farmers who are not much awared about the advancements in technologies and its potentials. Infact the opportunities are much wider when it comes to technologies, the latest developments in the ecommerce sector indicates that.

Social Media as a Customer Generating Tool

Social media has become the hub of business enhancement which enables merchants to analyse the customer taste and choices based on the customer purchase activities. Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin etc have become an effective medium to log in and go for a purchase. The customers can directly subscribe to the web pages and updated links of a specific company; this will give them important updates from the company and its products, this is more productive and efficient than a direct advertising.

Mobile Commerce

FlipKart the retailer giant has decided to confine its operations and services to mobile devices only, the company has already proclaimed that the decision will be on effect soon. What on earth makes them to took and stick on to such a jaw dropping decision? Because they are more future centric and they are convinced that mobile commerce is the next big thing underway. The smartphone sales globally is skyrocketing and people will spend more time on a smartphone than any other device this is why big players have started to give more relevance to mobile commerce.

Price Comparison Engine

Competition is indispensable, especially in the field of technology, so we can find a plethora of offers, discounts and other benefits inclined to online purchases, which often leaves the customer in a dilemma. The price comparison sites will act like a search engine and helps the customer to compare prices and discounts of a product over other products. But people still looks at it with their eyebrows raised because chances are there for the results to get manipulated.

Virtual Grocery Stores

Indian housewifes are infamous for their shopping, infact efficient shopping, a fair share of them wanted worth of every penny. If the internet could deliver a good shopping experience with convenient payment methods and delivery then they are a target group with immense potential. A few online grocery companies like Punexpress.com, Milestore.com, Atadaal.com etc have already forayed in to this business and gaining popularity.They provide discounted product and free home delivery. All of these stores are targeting the Indian housewife, who are yet to move to e-commerce way of shopping.

Innovation in logistics

Technology has changed the way logistics ever was, remarkable changes are happening in this sector. The retailer giant amazon has already introduced a new concept of logistics; they have developed a technology incorporated with drone and small helicopters; they call it Prime Air which is expected to be launched in the recent years. The aim is to furnish instant delivery which will give them an edge over their rival companies. This logistics system is developed in such a way that, the carriers will drop the purchased items at the door steps of the customer through GPS aid. These aerial vehicles will prioritize the public safety and are designed as per the commercial aviation standards.

The Conclusion

The technology analysts, researchers and the major players unanimously back the e-commerce as the future and sees it as the absolute culmination of trade in the world. It takes another technological revolution to think about any other future trading options, nothing had made a success like the e-commerce had attained, it is a global phenomena, says the experts. e-Commerce is an evolution, through internet and electronic technology it made the customers and producers more active. We should make and follow a list of healthy practices to make the e-commerce more reliable and safe in the future.

Case Study

Service Support Saved the Day
A Case Study on the Call Center Services offered for the 35th National Games India

About National Games
The history of national games dates back to early 1920 when it envisaged as the Indian version of the great Olympics in its initial times. Later in 1924, at Lahore,then in unbifurcated Punjab, the Indian Olympic games had successfully conducted and is considered as the nascence of the prestigious National Games. Ever since collective sports events were held in every two years, in a major city of India. In 1940 the name of the event had changed to National games. Lucknow was the host of first post independence National Games. The major decisions, duration and regulations are the sole right of Indian Olympic Association the endorsed central government body which is entitled to control the entire event. The National games are scheduled in such a way that will not collide with the year scheduled for Asian Games and Olympics.
Kerala hosted the National Games for the second time, first was in 1987 the 27th edition of the games, this time it was the 35th edition of the National games. It has been prestigious event for every state when it comes to National Games. Kerala also wanted to leave its mark as a successful host of the big event. OrisysIndia has played a pivotal role in organizing the event.

Objective of the project

National games comprises various disciplines in which sportsmen from the different states of India participate against each other. The objective of the project was to provide the games with state of the art call center solution which can provide most of the hand full information relating to games like venue, time of events, handling media briefing and press releases, schedule changes and venue changes, games promotion, providing information about tourist places near games venue, facilitation of games, arranging facilities to participating athletes like accommodation, transportation, registering complaints,arranging volunteers for each venue as per request, arranging emergency helps like ambulances and fire services, making daily work reports and reporting to higher officials, providing information on routes and transport facilities to games villages etc. Acted as the official national games communication channel by providing one stop solution for all kinds of information.

About Client
The whole event is managed by the Olympic association of India under the direct control of Union Ministry. The authority of allotment of the state is the sole right of Central Government, after the selection of the venue the government will disburse the fund to the selected State Government. The State Government will utilize these fund and works as an organizing body for the smoother conduction of the event. The 35th National Games had conducted from January 31st 2015 to February 14 2015 , across 6 districts in Kerala. As per the games requirement a single window counter for information related enquiries and coordination was required, therefore the state government officials proposed a centralized call center facility exclusively for the smooth conduction of national games. A nation wide open bid process was laid out from service providers pioneered in the field of CRM solutions and OrisysIndia became the ultimate winner by gaining the bid.

The Challenges
National Games is a big event in India, so are the challenges. The company have had sound expertise in developing and implementing CRM solutions so it helped a lot to tackle the hurdles on the way through the event. The games had officials, coaches, sports personalities, sportsmen and others from almost every part of the country, it was a congregation of sports aficionados from all parts of India, with ethnic and regional diversity. The duty vested in us has to be done flawlessly because we represented the face and word of the event. Despite the challenges we were happy to take the challenge with all its concomitant predicaments and problems. We were vested with the most critical job of upholding the traditional, cultural and institutional values of an entire state which was hosting the event., so any fault from our side will be a tantamount to the government’s fault. Apart from that, we had acquired the bid from national level competition our competitors as well as future clients will be closely watching our every move. If we win the company will gain on its revenue upfront and if we lose the company will lose all its credibility till date, which we never wanted to occur. We worked hard and the efforts were fruitful as we completed our tasks successfully with heartwarming appreciations.

How we did it

We developed a facility center exclusively for the National Games and facilitated it with state of the art machineries and our own in house software solution. Our ground level technicians as well as engineers had been working round the clock in setting up this most vital tool for the smooth running of the national games. The facility center had 50 experienced executives for voice based calls and monitoring.The call center supported mainly 3 languages, viz, malayalam-the host’s regional and official language, hindi- the nation’s official language and the international language -english, other regional languages like tamil were also supported.
The call centre had been functioning 24×7 and an exclusive toll free number was established for the easy communication. This number was feeded with an interactive voice response system (IVR) offered in three languages and an automatic call distributor(ACD) facility with a dedicated 3line queue facility where 3 calls can be handled and forwarded at the same time.

Proper liasoning with the departments of the state government and other monitoring agencies of the central government along with interacting and daily news updation to the national and international media was a strenuous job. OrisysIndia completed this tough job with ease and utmost satisfaction to the client that they still vest us with jobs that needs precision and expertise.

Case Study

Library Automation: The Way we did it Right

OrisysIndia has deep understanding of open source technologies and has often contributed to the open source platforms by openly embracing the developments under the GPL license. Orisys provide clients with access to the latest and most enhanced technologies to solve problems and expedite their business forward. In the past couple of years we have had immense opportunities to come up with products and solutions that can transform the existing procedures for the betterment of the clients. In this document we showcase some customer examples of the imperatives behind such transformation programs along with our unique solution proposition and tangible benefits observed by our customers.

Implementing Koha ­ Open Source ILS (Integrated Library System)

Background

The Kerala State Library Council (KSLC) is an autonomous body under the Higher Education Department of Govt. of Kerala and is also the statutory apex body of public libraries in the state. KSLC is embarking a programme of computerizing the affiliated public libraries in the state. An expert committee was constituted by KSLC for this purpose. This automation programme is planned to be rolled out in two phases. The first phase had been completed successfully with the Koha Open Source Software customized in Malayalam and deployed in selected affiliated libraries on the basis of e readiness. The second phase is planned with a state wide rollout of the same with all the affiliated libraries included. This phase is under progress.

The vendor for software implementation, customization and training was selected through a two­ part nationwide bid process. M/s. OrisysIndia Consultancy Services based in Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram came out as the successful bidder.

Customization of Koha was a very big challenge to Orisys India. Koha Software wasn’t user friendly. We customized the Koha software and gave the training to all selected librarians under KSLC. Thus we helped KSLC in bringing a new face for the libraries in the state.

Challenges Faced:
  • Customization of “Koha” library management software

    Kerala state library council requested expertise of OrisysIndia for customizing the application and giving it a simple and user friendly interface. As per KSLC request, we undergone a research to study more about flexible customization of “Koha” open source software.

    Under such researches the team found some difficulties in customizing Koha, they were:

    1. Multi ­URL Customization (Customizing separate home pages for each 7500 libraries under KSLC).
    2. Book Searching Function in KOHA (Searching by author’s name / book’s name).
    3. Tab Management.
    4. To add Subscription Fee functionality in KOHA
    5. To customize KOHA for adding Events.
    6. Customizing KOHA to Malayalam Language.
    7. To set admin to control reservoir flow.
    Solution by OrisysIndia
    1. Orisys India Research and development teams worked close­knit to ensure that the best tools and practices could be utilized to meet the requirement.
    2. A special research team was deployed for KOHA customization.
    3. Continuous interaction with KSLC officials for clarifying and pinpointing the requirements.
  • Implementation of “Offline Transaction tool” for avoiding data loss if internet connection fails.

    The implementation of “Offline Transaction Tool” was very important in KSLC project as in rural areas there is a lack of stable internet connectivity. To provide stable internet connectivity to the hill area libraries is a herculean task. KSLC was experiencing such an issue where unstable connectivity may lead to data loss. So an offline transaction tool was inevitable to prevent such data loss. Customization of KOHA application was needed for implementing offline transaction tool.

  • Koha trainings to rural area librarians

    Kerala State Library Council has above 7500 libraries across Kerala. Most libraries are located in rural areas. So the librarians who are from rural areas don’t have adequate technical knowhow, so KOHA training was very important to them. These people are to be trained hard as they are going to use KOHA in their libraries

    Challenges Faced:
    1. To give basic technical training to all librarians registered under KSLC.
    2. To train and build confidence in their mind for using customized KOHA application.
    3. To train them to avoid fear about new software and to use KOHA in simple way.
    4. To build enthusiasm to learn new technology and platforms.
    Soultion by Orisys India:
    1. Orisys modified KOHA training material in Malayalam, which helped them to learn and understand different features and functionalities of KOHA.
    2. Orisys conducted training program in different phases. In the first phase Orisys selected 60 technically sound librarians from different districts. This team of librarians trained and helped their local librarians.
    3. A dedicated technical team was deployed for helping librarians to clarify their doubts regarding KOHA.
    4. Deployed a helpline centre to interact with librarians continuously thereby helping them to gain confidence to use KOHA.
    5. Experienced trainers gathered feedback from first phase trainees and subsequently made changes in training methods.
    6. For those who were technically backward, Orisys provided them with basic computer literacy and technical knowhow on how to use KOHA.
    7. Provided real time experience to trainees by arranging machines to each and every trainee so that they got a chance to get real time experience which helped them to clarify their doubts with a professional trainer.

Case Study

Overview

Information technology and agriculture, both were considered incongruous to each other a decade ago, but now the scenario has changed. Today, information system is being widely incorporated with agriculture. Information technology always had the potential to increase the quality of farming and farming products, but it demands efficiency and information in every area of agriculture. The world Trade Organization has recently made a laudable effort in promoting the information technology as an integral part of farming sector around the world.
Information Technology (IT) has a substantial role to play in all facets of Indian agriculture. In addition to facilitating and improving the efficiency of farmer’s productivity in agriculture and allied activities; bringing the potential of IT for the qualitative improvement of life of farmers by providing timely and data inputs for decision making is inevitable.
Those personnel who work for the welfare of Indian farmers such as extension workers, do not have access to the latest agricultural practices which hinders their ability to serve the farming community effectively. This manuscript focuses on the opportunity for people living in the e-powering India, as well as those peoples who work for their welfare. Latest developments and changing patterns of IT in rural India facilitate the effective penetration of IT for information requirements. Here the post-WTO necessarily systems environment with possible bottlenecks to be arisen in rural India along with e-powering solutions for them are examined.

Introduction

Information and communication have been playing an important role in agriculture since antiquity. The farmers might have sought information from one another and they disseminated the information to others through communication thus evolved the methodologies. Most of the farmers still follow the traditional techniques in farming till today. In the machine era there emerged a lot of machines to help the farmer in his cultivation. The machineries have made the job of a farmer easier, its duty is to nullify the toil of farmers but has nothing to do in increasing the production and quality of the products in an effective way. Here lies the relevance of subsuming information technology with agriculture. In this era of technological advancements this idea has a lot to do in farming sector. Use of IT to improve decision making in agriculture sector has been regarded as an idea with immense potential. IT is connected to the global world and its dynamics is changing our lifestyle and social consciousness. In all phases of agriculture industry, information technology management is essential for success.

Role of IT in agriculture

The role of Information technology in agricultural sector is becoming more and more visible. We use IT to convey and spread information to people on matters relevant to crop production and crop protection. People must have a computer or a computing device like smartphone to avail use of information technology. Promulgation of information alone can’t sustain growth in agriculture; agricultural industry must have the ability to manipulate that information to make informed decisions. I.e. in the agriculture context, decisions which will have a positive impact on related activities are being made. Modern farming practices like satellite farming has already started getting popularity in foreign countries, this precision farming uses IT to make direct contribution to maximize the crops productivity. Satellite technology, geographic information systems, remote sensing, techniques of agronomy and soil science etc. can be used to increase agricultural production especially in large tracts of land where this approach is cost effective and useful. Big food chain retailers has started implementing this competing technological aide in their vast lands.
However in Indian context the potential of IT in farming sector seems unexploited. Lack of awareness about the technologies is a major constraint. Currently the farmers in India hesitate to come out of the entanglements of traditional source of inputs. Using information is not only useful but a requirement in these days. Studies shows that the use of modern technologies is capable of making remarkable hike in agricultural production.

Needs of the hour

  • Decision Support System (DSS) for Farmers

    Farmers should be cautious in decision making which help them to avoid impending risks. The refined exporting rules proclaimed by WTO will make exports more competitive. Harvesting costs effective farming methods and the availability of data inputs against imports will facilitate the assessment of the market value of the indigenous products. Analyzing these kind of data will help the farmers to make necessary steps and corrective measures to face the market situations.

  • Market Monitor

    Fluctuations in the international market will directly affect the markets too, so it is necessary to be sharp-eyed to defend external shocks. The market watch is that important. Advance warning systems should be developed which would help farmers to make last minute strategy changes to avoid huge loss. Although periodic analytical reports are needed to enhance the warnings.

  • Opportunities

    Indian farmers should seize the opportunities. They should equip their business with every possible technologies to cop up with the business. The whole agricultural sector is in the cusp of an impending revolution, thankfully central and state government departments are well aware about the scenario. Thus a wide range of awareness campaigns are on the go.

Significance of Awareness

In India farming with agricultural technologies is an unprecedented practice, so the foremost consideration of WTO should be given to unambiguous interpretation and implication of training methods. It is recommended that WTO should give an effort to publish printed, web journals targeting all segments of Indian agriculture and allied activities. This has to be addressed immediately as a priority item. The most sought after information like import tariffs, season wise and year wise phases of the mandatory changes in government policies and its impact on the various subsidy schemes are to be furnished to the beneficiaries. How to provide this analytical inputs will lead us to the advantage implementation of web/mobile applications for agriculture.

Removing restrictions to throw open the Indian agricultural markets, macro-economic situation, foreign exchange, inflation, the current tariff, etc. in the respective countries are likely to have a direct impact on Indian agriculture segments inside and outside.

IT and Agriculture in Future

As mentioned earlier it is possible to develop effective software systems using information technology to meet the needs of the Indian farmer. The availability of these kind of technologies can be ensured through efficacious internet tools and smart networks. For fulfilling the task the accumulation of the full spectrum of application packages and databases are imperative. Agriculture is an agglomeration of lot of tiny areas, an ocean of information inputs are necessary; amalgamating all these information is a strenuous task. So the practical option is to create technological solution for individual needs. It is recommended to frame the design of the system only after perusing the task, we have to step out from the traditional method of creating the system first before inputs to get practical results. A complete system is only possible after documenting the entire data to a single platform.

However many organizations have already developed systems globally that provide results in their area of specialization and it may be useful to get these programs in India from outsourcing software companies which will give a boost to India’s software industry and will facilitate the rapid deployment of applications. In order to avoid duplication of efforts and for evolving a comprehensive design, a standard interface for monitoring progress could be useful by promoting a coordinating agency which will have an advisory role to play in the post WTO regime. It is an undeniable competitive advantage for the export of some agricultural products to maintain focus on the more useful side.

India has made rapid progress in state of the art technology where to make a call for an action, plans can be laid out using remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), bioengineering, satellite technology etc. Using remote sensing and GIS applications effective agricultural exhibition is possible to keep an eye on. Crop stress, soil problems, challenges, natural disasters etc. can be effectively tackled using this technology. The export potential of precision farming can be tilted in favor of our country which can be motivated to span large tracts of land.

Implementation

In spite of the awareness campaigns, the IT infrastructure development is imperative. The vital objective in fulfilling the idea is to avail the access of computers and its accessories to the targeted group, i.e. the farmers from remote rural areas across the country. The IT mission itself got an edge over other awareness programs. The advanced subsidiary accessories which comes with the computer made it easier for a layman to communicate with the information systems. Agricultural extension service can be carried out by employees in outdoor and remote areas using the lightweight, portable data projectors which will fetch a wide audience. Similarly loud speakers can be connected to the computer and incorporated for voice-based training. Significant processing of data on the client side based on the increased processing speed of computers makes it possible for the widespread distribution of information.

Computers with greater memory capacity is common now it has enhanced the document storing process. It enables quick storage and access of information at the local level. Similarly, high capacity portable drives that can be connected to any kind of devices makes possible the transfer of large volumes of information from locations to locations.

Softwares with regard to the various operating systems are available which act as an interface between the user and the machine. Graphical user interface (GUI) has become a prerequisite for end users is widely accepted. Office automation packages, groupware applications, complex DB solutions for storing data and information, communication products, solutions based on remote sensing and geographic information systems for the shelf solutions are also available. Developed at an affordable price had become a downward trend in the industry and the shift is towards providing a customized application. Rapid Application Development and Deployment (Radd) is a popular model for rapid development and deployment of applications as it quickens the pace of development for software specialists. Project management and monitoring software is necessary for rural India to facilitate efficient implementation of large and complex applications that are available.

The ability of a modem to convert data from digital to analog and vice versa is employed popularly and has increased in pace. Other networking devices like routers has the ability to make it easy and possible for large networks with data transmission.

The data transfer process has undergone a radical transformation, even though the main issues of reliability and low bandwidth telephone lines are yet still popular in India. High-capacity cables, optical fiber, radio, wireless local loops, satellite broadcasting or a combination of these different solutions are already in use in many parts of the country.

Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) devices ensures longevity of IT equipment and is crucial to provide backup methods. The country need to exploit the potential of solar power in rural areas to provide a possible solution to the shortage of power.

Conclusion

By combining and analyzing the previous findings together, it is possible to make a complete and efficient IT platform for agricultural sector. Farmers and IT professionals together could contribute to the development of user friendly systems which uses local languages. The positive attributes of the technology can be widely used in farming sector in the country.

Case Study

Introduction

It is common knowledge that most farmers hand-record all their relevant data like agricultural production information, cost accounting parameters and other vital information related to farming practices. This results in an inability to efficiently recall, analyse and meaningfully use information when needed and is likely to create tangible business inefficiency. The potential benefit of computerizing data and farm information management is well known and apparent. The adoption rate of information technology by farmers is very low, it is even lower than the overall information technology adoption rate in other sectors. Reports based on industry case studies indicates that the successful adoption of information systems depends upon the type of management the industry holds, the avoidance of unattainable expectations and a lot more criteria.

When an information system does not succeed in becoming a successfully operational one there is a tendency to view the reasons for failure as weak organisational support even when the technological systems are critically important, state of the art, competent, stable and user friendly. Even when frequent studies have recognized and underlined the importance of the technological adoption processes, all these studies had failed to define the principles and theories required to manage them successfully. Most studies discussed the success of critical technology adoption in short but discussed the failure of adopting information technology in detail. Still lacking is a theory which when applied will provide a higher degree of confidence that the implementation of such technology will be successful. Most studies focussed either on the human factor or the engineering factors of hardware/ software or both. The discussions tends to evolve around solving the problems of socio-organizational factors by referring in general to managerial and cultural issues.

This review is a focused attempt to contribute to a better understanding of technology adoption success factors. It concentrates on an evaluation of the success in adopting a farm management technique via a central web based portal.
It runs on a web based and enables the farmer to record production activities, monitor, quantify and cost them, make on farm decisions and follow product marketing.This portal was an attempt to introduce a user friendly and cheap tool to attain the benefits derived from computerizing records and information regarding farm management or farming practices. A significant advantage is derived from its simplicity and the ability to log events as they occur. The user has easy access to details of each activity as they are registered and related to historical data. Reports are easily formulated enabling ongoing support for necessary decisions.

Information Technology Adoption Constraints

Agricultural production is a relatively long biological process with a major element of uncertainty. In many cases production is a complex sequence of activities often termed dynamic complexity . It is characterized by varying consequences and results over time. Results depend on different components in the production sequence and intervention in the production process which can yield unexpected results. In general, most of the discussion in the literature that deals with adoption of information systems refers to information technology, while disregarding the complexity of the organizational processes involved. Complexity can be defined in the following way: A complex adaptive system is composed of interacting agents following rules, exchanging influence with their local and global environment and altering the very environment they are responding to by virtue of the simple action.

Complexity related to agricultural production stems from the number of stochastic variables during the production process such as climate, prices and others. A smaller number of stochastic variables increases the potential benefit from information management. It can be assumed that in a world of perfect information the planned results would be certain. In the opposite case where the outcome of decisions could not be influenced at all planning and control would make no
sense. This was found in the different information technology adoption rates in various production branches. In Germany for example, in animal husbandry with a limited amount of stochastic variables the number of software installations is higher in comparison to field crops with many external production variables.

A benefit of information technology is embedded in the organization’s products by turning capital and information inputs to higher-value outputs . The general approach is that information technology can be defined as a managerial resource similar to other resources. However, focusing exclusively on information technology or an information system is a supply perspective that assumes that if information is made more easily available and accessible people will use and share it. This is a doubtful assumption. As a result the existence of information technology does not assure successful adoption or adoption at all.

Different, yet important constraints that are relevant to agricultural production are derived from the characteristics of farm management. The owner has to control production while dealing with all management aspects, mainly on his own. Operating and managing the farm leaves the farm operator little time to adopt computerized information management, let alone acquire proficiency in it. The adoption process itself will depend to a large degree on the farmers’ absolute conviction of the benefits from implementing information technology. To all these should be added traditional
conservatism, lack of infrastructure, difficulties to access technical support, and more. All these issues were considered when mentioned portal was developed.

Agri Portal Development Stages

The first attempt in India to develop a unique on web farm information package was made by a publicly funded effort by the Department of Agriculture, Govt of Kerala in the early 2014. It was initiated by the social cause for organic farming. The program was developed by OrisysIndia Consultancy Services. Due to limited program maintenance funds and other shortcomings, the development was terminated. Over time it was decided to use available extension personnel to redevelop and disseminate a better information system.
By mid 2014 the first version of agri-portal was ready for farmer’s test use. Acceptance was favorable, enabling incremental program updating as needed, training of farmers and useful on-farm visits to promote further development. These focused activities became an integral feature of the department’s services. Interaction with farmers enabled an ongoing updating process and system upgrading. Version two was made available in the last quarter of 2014. In 2015 the full fledged system was opened for public and this version is currently being used with online information updation. Over the year the system had more than 1 million users. Recently it was estimated that 60% of them are actually public users and 40% of them were either farmers or agri-business providers. A recent random telephone survey indicated that the ratio of sellers as compared to buyers is now close to 60%.This ratio compares favorably with other similar commercial information systems packages, which have a smaller number of clients somewhere in the high tens.