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Indian agriculture needs IT to redefine rural marketing: Accenture chief
Monday, 11 February, 2013, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Adoption of Information Technology (IT) and ITeS (Information Technology enabled Services) into the Indian agriculture landscape could redefine rural marketing activities, according to Sriraman BV, MD, Accenture Management Consulting.
"With available technology, the thrust is on mobile wallets and cellphones which is helping to  transform activities in the farm sector by creating more efficiency," he said at the seminar on New Age Solutions for an Effective Agro & Food Supply Chain organised by the Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC).
Delving on the topic ‘Leveraging IT and ITeS for modern supply chain,’ Sriraman said that the  trend was an increasing acceptance of business intelligence, analytics, SaaS (Software as a Service) and cloud computing. “All of these would help bridge the gap in agriculture and better farm outputs.”
“Mobility with cash cards and mobiles has evolved in the private sector. Now there should be an increasing shift to cloud computing which requires no investment. The technology adoption is seen to reduce capital expenditure. It makes a lot of economic sense to go in for IT in agricultural marketing covering from warehouses to cold chains and retail outlets which deliver benefits in a cost-effective manner.”
"Accenture too works with leading agriculture product industries across the globe. It has helped its clientele to assess consumer trends impacting demand," he said.
Use of IT is seen as a business-efficient application in the area of sourcing, manufacture and supply chain management. Mobile supply chains are effectively using IT and ITeS in all aspects from planning to delivery. Real-time demand needs to be incorporated in supply chain. It can define the rural bandwidth by incorporating contract farming, futures/options, auctions, reverse auctions and price discovery mechanism. All these are key decision support tools, according to him.
There are also lean systems to prevent farm wastages. Warehouses and transport management systems for efficient utilisations of physical facilities. The implementation of GST (goods service tax) creates a single and unified market. Global Positioning System (GPS) helps to trace and track commodities right from farms to retail shelves. "Therefore, real-time data is available for contingency. IT has the potential to enhance efficiency in all spheres of agriculture," said Sriraman.
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