Research Studies

Rolling out IT-enabled Agricultural Services through Common Service Centers

Common Service Centers (CSCs) act as gateways to deliver citizen services to rural population in their villages. The Ministry of Information Technology has so far established about one lakh CSCs in the country. Each CSC provides both free and paid citizen services to the people of six villages. In addition, the CSC guidelines envisage a wide variety of content and services in the area of agriculture and allied sectors. However, the services in agriculture and allied sectors are minimal except for providing details of land records to farmers.

The farmers need timely information on day-to-day farming issues such as availability of inputs, marketing opportunities, advisory support, and subsidies under various government schemes in agriculture and allied sectors. Hence, this study was undertaken to identify the various IT-enabled agricultural services that could be offered through the CSC gateway to farmers and to develop an integrated mechanism for delivery of these services through a network of key service providers.

The study is confined to three districts namely Nalgonda, Visakhapatnam and Pune where CSCs are established. A sample size of 240 farmers will be selected for the study. CSC-farmer interactions would be observed closely so as to understand their information needs and their willingness to pay for availing the services.

Detailed discussions were held with officials of NIC, CSC functionaries and farmer groups, and visits were undertaken to CSCs. Currently the questionnaire is being prepared for collection of data from farmers.