SHILLONG, Dec 29: Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Dr. Mukul M. Sangma has launched the 1917 Integrated Technology Enabled Agri Management System (1917iTEAMS), a groundbreaking new initiative of the Department of Agriculture, Government of Meghalaya, aimed at easing and enabling access to remunerative markets, information, crop advisories and Agri related services for farmers, buyers, sellers and entrepreneurs of the state.
Addressing the gathering during his Inaugural Speech here on Friday, Dr Sangma said that the inauguration is a great moment for the government to empower the most important sections of the society, the farmers, who take care of the food and nutritional security and people who are often not attended to in a manner as they deserved. “The programme is a beautiful concept designed and conceptualized to empower our farmers and farming will no longer be the same again,” said the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister added that farming should ultimately be the most attractive option for livelihood. “This is one of the concepts of multiple interventions and is formatted in a manner that can provide comprehensive services to farmers with a broad spectrum solutions available to the farmers using the advantage of technology and integrating the emerging changes in market behavior,” he informed.
Dr Sangma also added that the government has come up with a comprehensive Agriculture management plan called CAMP and under which number of interventions are conceptualized. “1917 i-TEAMS will become a common name and a name which will connect with the farmers,” said Dr. Sangma while adding that it is time for all to realize that Agriculture is the on thing and also stated that farmers will now not be looking around for help to reach the market and they will be insulated from the exploitations and manipulations of the traders.
“Technology has changed our lives and it is important to leverage upon this technology in manner that brings reasons for farmers to have hope,” Dr. Sangma said while also stating that success will be achieved when every farmer in the state will be reached and given the necessary support backed by a scientific team and experts and urged the farmers to take advantage of the initiative dedicated exclusively for the farmers.
The 1917iTEAMS is a first of its kind in the country, disruptive farmer centric and market oriented technology service that will offer affordable transportation, evacuation and logistics services to farmers and facilitate them to access markets, buyers and sellers of their choice through a cloud based technology driven center called the Agri Response Center (ARC) set up by the Department in the top floor of the new District Agriculture Office complex, Laitumkhrah, Shillong and linked, through the cloud, to a fleet of dedicated Agri Response Vehicles (ARV) spread out across the state.
The launch of 1917iTEAMS comes exactly one hundred years after the Champaran Satyagraha, the first pro farmer agitation launched by Mohandas Gandhi in India which sparked the non violence movement that won India its Independence and which saw him first emerge as the “Mahatma”.
As part of the launch, the Chief Minister inaugurated and dedicated the Agri Response Center to the farmer of the state and also flagged off the Agri Response Vehicles (ARVs).
Also present during the inauguration were, Chief Secretary, Y Tsering, Commissioner & Secretary, Agriculture, P S Kumar, Secretary, Agriculture, M N Nampui, Director, Agriculture, D Syiemiong and other officers from the Agriculture and Horticulture departments.