Monday, May 28, 2018

SeedCast – Innovative mobile app launched by IRRI to estimate seed demand for rice varieties in Odisha, India

IRRI together with the Odisha Department of Agriculture and the Odisha State Seed Corporation (OSSC) is connecting global innovative solutions to local needs through SeedCast, a mobile application and web-based Management Information System (MIS) portal for seed demand estimation.

SeedCast will help streamline the demand and supply of seeds for different varieties of rice. According to Dr. Saurabh Garg, Principal Secretary of the Odisha Department of Agriculture and Farmers' Empowerment, “seed corporations have been grappling with the issue of estimating demand for seeds. SeedCast will help estimate demand for varieties of rice seeds, which makes nearly 80% of the Kharif cultivation.” 

The mobile app will also augment IRRI’s initiative in Odisha on increasing productivity of rice-based cropping systems and farmers’ income. Through the app, dealers and extension officials will be able to indicate the demand of different varieties of rice seeds. This information made available to seed corporations, will help them produce the preferred seeds, in the required quantities, so gaps between supply and demand of rice seed varieties can be narrowed.  This will in turn encourage the replacement of older, lesser-yielding varieties of rice with new, higher-yielding varieties. Farmers using the app will also have access to information on which seeds are available with which dealers, so they can access these for purchase and cultivation according to their needs and environmental conditions. 

Dr. Manzoor Dar, IRRI Cluster Leader for Seed and Delivery Systems and Germplasm Evaluation said, “rice varieties  being developed and released in the market alone cannot ensure that farmers have access to the seeds they want to cultivate according to their needs and farming conditions. SeedCast will make the seeds supply chain robust, by helping dealers indicate their demand through a formal platform. The data generated by the app can be viewed and analyzed which will help state functionaries and the state seed corporation plan accurately for seasonal seed production and procurement, and facilitate better seed availability according to demand”.
The app which is to be piloted in the pre-Kharif season of 2018 in Odisha, is available on Google Play Store and is expected to have an upgraded version in future, catering to rice as well as other crops. 

Other dignitaries present during the launch of SeedCast were Mr. Pranabjyoti  Nath, Director, Odisha Livelihoods Mission Director; Mr. Jyoti Ranjan Mishra, OSSC Managing Director; and Mr. Satyanarayan Mishra, Director, Institute of Management of Agricultural Extension. 

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