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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Professor Ramesh Chand launches Unified Portal for Agricultural Statistics

Today, Professor Ramesh Chand, a member of NITI Aayog, officially unveiled the UPAg Portal (www.upag.gov.in), the Unified Portal for Agricultural Statistics. To solve the intricate governance issues that India’s agriculture sector is dealing with is a ground-breaking move. This ground-breaking platform represents a key step towards a more effective and responsive agricultural policy framework because it was created to simplify and improve data administration in the agriculture sector.

In his address, Professor Ramesh Chand complimented the team for such an initiative and touted it as an investment and a “giant step” in the realm of agriculture data management. He also mentioned that such initiative was long overdue and it had a great potential to become a “great elephant” from a “small baby”. He also urged the audience to introduce a mindset shift in agriculture to being about milestone changes.

Prof Chand stated that the portal empowers stakeholders with real-time, reliable, and standardized information, paving the way for more responsive and efficient agricultural policies. He also stated that higher the objectivity of data, lower is the scope of judgment in policy making, which translated into stable, transparent and informed decisions.

He also mentioned that research suggests that a $1 invested in data generated $32 impact. Prof Chand advised that the portal should ensure data credibility.

Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Shri Manoj Ahuja highlighted the other initiatives currently being undertaken by DA&FW like Krishi Decision Support System, farmer registry, crop survey. He stated that UPAg Portal was being envisaged as a public good wherein users will benefit by reduced search costs and frictions and access to credible, granular and objective data.

Key Challenges Addressed by UPAg Portal:

1. Lack of Standardized Data: Currently, agricultural data is scattered across various sources and often presented in different formats and units. UPAg Portal aims to consolidate this data into a standardized format, making it easily accessible and understandable for users.

2. Lack of Verified Data: Reliable data is crucial for accurate policy decisions. UPAg Portal ensures that data from sources like Agmarknet is vetted and updated in a timely manner, providing policymakers with accurate information on agricultural prices.

3. Dispersed Data: To form a comprehensive view of any crop, multiple variables need to be considered, including production, trade, and prices. UPAg Portal brings together data from various sources, providing a holistic assessment of agricultural commodities.

4. Different Frequency Variables: Data updates at different times, causing delays and inefficiencies. UPAg Portal offers real-time connectivity with data sources, reducing the time and effort required for monitoring and analysis.

Key Features of UPAg Portal:

1. Data Standardization: The portal standardizes data on prices, production, area, yield, and trade, making it accessible in one location, eliminating the need to compile data from multiple sources.

2. Data Analysis: UPAg Portal will perform advanced analytics, offering insights such as production trends, trade correlations, and consumption patterns, aiding policymakers in making informed decisions.

3. Granular Production Estimates: The portal will generate granular production estimates with increased frequency, enhancing the government’s ability to respond to agricultural crises swiftly.

4. Commodity Profile Reports: Commodity profile reports will be produced using algorithms, minimizing subjectivity and providing users with comprehensive insights.

5. Plug and Play: Users will have the flexibility to use the portal’s data to prepare their own reports, promoting data-driven decision-making.

A key part of the Digital Public Infrastructure for Agriculture, the UPAg Portal aims to harness the diversity of the agricultural industry and use data as a growth engine. The Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare have launched a ground-breaking programme to improve data management in the agricultural industry. For policymakers, academics, and stakeholders, it intends to deliver real-time, standardised, and validated data on agricultural commodities, supporting data-driven decision-making. With this project, India’s agriculture sector will gain intelligence, openness, and agility in line with the principles of e-governance.

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Source: PIB

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