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TNC INDIA LAUNCHES CRM CONNECT PORTAL FOR PUNJAB FARMERS

To Improve Access to Crop Residue Management machines

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TNC INDIA LAUNCHES CRM CONNECT PORTAL FOR PUNJAB FARMERS

TNC INDIA LAUNCHES CRM CONNECT PORTAL FOR PUNJAB FARMERS

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) India with the support of IBM, today launched CRM Connect, a web-based portal for farmers and the agricultural community in Punjab to address crop residue burning at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana during Farmer Fair. CRM Connect was launched by Shri Gurpreet Singh Bassi, MLA, West Ludhiana; Dr S.S Gosal, Vice Chancellor, PAU, Dr.Gurwinder Singh, Director Agriculture, Punjab,  Dr.Ashok Kumar, Director Extension, PAU; Dr. Manjeet  Kang, former VC, PAU, and progressive farmer  Shri Pavitra Pal Singh Pangli in the presence of the Crop Residue Management (CRM) team from The Nature Conservancy India.

CRM Connect aims at providing holistic information to farmers and to the agricultural community at large with nuanced information related to the access and availability of crop residue management (CRM) machines, knowledge on the proper usage and handling of different CRM technologies as well as connect farmers who want to transition to no-burn agriculture with progressive farmers who have already been using CRM machines and with CRM service providers.

With only a few weeks left for the paddy harvesting and wheat sowing season, farmers and CRM machine providers are gearing up to manage almost 12-15 million tonnes of paddy residue in Northwest India within a short span of three to four weeks. However, access to CRM machines is not easy for all farmers.

Dr Annapurna Vancheswaran, Managing Director, TNC India, said: “There are many farmers who want to transition to no-burn agriculture but face hindrances as they are unable to purchase CRM machines due to the high costs. These farmers can rent the machines from service providers, but it seems to be a difficult process as the harvesting then needs to be timed with the availability of the machines, which may not be feasible all the time. CRM Connect would help these farmers with information on the availability of service providers and CRM machines near them through an interactive map which will be available on mobile phones, making the process convenient.”

CRM Connect would not only help farmers with access and availability related issues of CRM machines but would also provide valuable information related to the proper usage and handling and share best practices from progressive farmers on the usage of these machines. Another thing worth noting is that this portal is available in Gurmukhi script for eases of use in the state. Presently, the portal is available in one block of Patiala district where it is being tested, and we plan to scale this portal to all the districts of Punjab and Haryana by next year.

­“The IBM Sustainability Accelerator program was built with the purposeofhelping communities most vulnerable to environmental challenges and we have been proud to partner with The Nature Conservancy India to develop CRM Connect to mitigate crop residue burning across India,” said Manoj Balachandran, IBM Corporate Social Responsibility Leader – India & South Asia. “In co-creating this solution with TNC India using elements of IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite on IBM Cloud, we look forward to seeing how farmers across India can be empowered with more data and tools to transition to no-burn agricultural practices.”

As social networking and online knowledge platforms have opened many opportunities for farmers, CRM Connect would hopefully lead to agricultural sustainability in Northwest India, thereby reducing costs for farmers and air pollution at the same time.

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