E-portal yet to bear fruits for remote farmers

Agriculture Bangalore Karnataka

Lack of awareness about the online software Farmer Registration and Unified beneficiary Information System (FRUITS) makes it difficult for farmers to benefit from government schemes.

Farmers in Devagere are unable to benefit from Karnataka government’s FRUITS online portal and mobile app as they are unaware of its existence.

Basavaraj, a sericulture farmer from Devagere did not benefit from any government scheme as farmers like him are unaware of the ‘once in lifetime registration’ e-portal – FRUITS.

Shakeel Ahmed, Project Director of FRUITS, Crop Survey and Audio Conference said that more than 82 lakh farmers have registered on the FRUITS website and mobile app, all over Karnataka. Of these 80,94,118 have been self-registrations by the farmers. FRUITS helps the farmers, agricultural land owners, and laborers to be aware of government schemes. “This platform helps in storing all the data of farmers in one place. The farmers are only required to register using their Aadhar card which further is verified and connected to the departments of farming they are into. They do not need to submit all the documents like caste certificate, land certificate, income proof and more again, instead they can simply provide their login ID and Aadhar Card number and their entire data is visible to benefit from any government scheme they are applying for,” added Ahmed.

However, Ahmed said, “The only challenge FRUITS is facing is making the reach of the platform widespread.” Professor Vani said that not all people have Aadhar cards in the country. This can make registration of farmers to avail the benefits of several government schemes difficult. Government can conduct awareness programs or advertisements to help the farmers from the remote villages to know about the software and requirement of Aadhar card to ensure that they are benefitting from it.

Venkatesh, Deputy Director of Horticulture Department said that FRUITS uses Geographic Information System (GIS) based mobile App which helps in conducting survey of the land and crop. The software developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC) in association with DPAR-AR (e-Gov) helps the farmers or land owners to receive weekly updates about the weather and rainfall so that they are aware about the situation beforehand.

Vani, a professor of Economics at Little Flower Junior College, Hyderabad said, “It is important to make farmers aware of FRUITS in order to help them get benefits of it.”  Dr. Kalyan Murthy, a professor of Agronomy at University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru added that FRUITS is a one stop for availing all the government benefits, hence, it is important for the farmers to enroll for it.