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Sugarcane info system results in Rs 1,500 cr yearly savings in UP

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Real gains are accruing to the Uttar Pradesh sugarcane farmers and sugar mills through a virtual information system.

According to official estimates, web-based (SIS) of UP sugarcane department is resulting in savings of over Rs 1,500 crore annually to the stake-holders. The savings do not appear astronomical, considering the supports about 3 million farmers’ families and 125 sugar mills in UP – the country’s largest and second largest sugarcane and sugar producer respectively.

SIS provides transparency to the mill-farmer interactions through website, short messaging service and Interactive Voice Response System (), along with the use of Hand-Held Computers (HHC) at 7,000 purchase centers. All these services are provided for free to the farmers. Each mill links its database with SIS, which is updated with fresh data on a daily basis. The farmers have secured logins to access their data pertaining to surveys, payments, area reservation, etc. Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, is studying the managerial aspects, design and the impact of SIS on farmers. The study is likely to be completed in the next two months.

SIS had recently won the gold medal at the national e-governance award instituted by the Centre. It was selected after scrutiny and field visit by central officials from among 200-odd nominations received from all over India.

The interactions between the farmers, societies and the mills are numerous and spread out over the year. These interactions especially supply tickets, purchase and payments are vital to farmers. Any gap in communication results in loss of money to the farmers, besides running around the mill leading to involvement of sugarcane mafia.

Under IVRS, farmers sitting at home get information about acreage, procurement centres, basic quota, issue of coupons and cane price. Through SMS, the growers get updates about payment. Smart Weighment system provides information about gross and net weight.

Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow () is studying the managerial aspects, design and the impact of SIS on farmers. The study is likely to be completed in the next two months.

SIS had recently won the Gold Medal at the national e-governance award instituted by the Centre and was selected after scrutiny and field visit by central officials from amongst 200 odd nominations received from all over India.

The farmers’ benefits are on account of savings in travel cost, increase of cane acreage and productivity, increased cane supply to mills, which has been estimated at about Rs 845 crore.

The mills’ benefits accrued due to increase in sugarcane supply, higher recovery (fresh sugarcane from harvest to purchase centre), higher recovery (fresh cane from purchase centre to mills) and reduction in mill data entry. This has been estimated at Rs 700 crore.

Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIM-L) is studying the managerial aspects, design and the impact of SIS on farmers. The study is likely to be completed in the next two months.

SIS had recently won the Gold Medal at the national e-governance award instituted by the Centre and was selected after scrutiny and field visit by central officials from amongst 200 odd nominations received from all over India.

“SIS is India’s largest rural information technology platform providing a comprehensive solution with concerted efforts of the state government, 125 sugar mills, 168 sugarcane growers’ societies and 3 million farmers spread over 44 districts,” UP cane commissioner Kamran Rizvi told Business Standard.

He informed the system was being studied by IIM-L and Management Development Institute (MDI), while a similar study had already been completed by Indian Institute of Technsology, Delhi (IIT)

“We have conducted a field visit to Lakhimpur to study the impact of SIS and more such visits would be conducted,” IIM-L IT and Systems faculty said adding the case study could also be used for classroom discussions.

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