Infosys develops ICT for agro supply chain

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New Delhi, Feb 26: Aimed at improving efficiency in the agro supply chain, software major Infosys Technologies Ltd has partnered with ACDI/VOCA, a non-profit international development organisation to develop an information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled application.

The solution successfully minimises inventory requirements, reduces waste and allows retailers and farmers to be better integrated, a statement said. This application falls under ACDI/VOCA's Growth-oriented Microenterprise Development Program (GMED), which is a 6.3 million dollar USAID-funded Initiative. GMED is an innovative program that develops sustainable and scalable approaches to job creation by fostering the growth of micro and small enterprises.

''Maintaining on-time, programmed delivery of fresh produce from a large and scattered production base is a complex and critical operation. This solution gives the organised retail sector access to a reliable small holder production base. It thereby decreases farm-to-market losses, currently estimated at 30-40 per cent on certain products,'' said company Senior VP and Head (India Business Unit) Binod H R.

The application tackles supply chain management from profiling of farmer clusters to crop planning, scheduling, tracking and forecasting.

It allows farmers to access technical information including database searches for data and images, access to region-specific weather updates and market information, ie, daily sales volumes and average prices, the statement added.

The application can handle several thousand concurrent users and ensure data security through data-encryption mechanisms.

There are 1,700 small holder farmers currently integrated into organised retail supply chains through this application, thereby bridging the urban-rural agricultural divide, it added.

Over the next five to eight years, the usage is expected to increase to a million farmers.

Infosys has built the solution consisting of wireless software applications that are accessible on handheld devices, enabling agents to address information gaps constraining vegetable and fruit farmers and enabling other supply chain participants to monitor and control the back-end and front-end supply chain functions.

The application also enables wholesaler/retailer or other intermediaries to optimise cost by allowing large procurement, efficient transportation management and enabling intelligent crop production management.

The solution allows for peer-to-peer (p2p) synchronisation between field agents without connecting to a central server.

UNI

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