1917iTEAMS, a project of the Department of Agriculture, Government of Meghalaya has been conferred the winner’s title for ‘Digital Transformation in Agriculture’ at the recently concluded 4th Digital Transformation Awards 2021 (Recognising Excellence in e-Governance) held virtually on the 18th November 2021 in recognition for its pioneering efforts and commitment to make India truly a digital nation in the agricultural space.
The brainchild of Shri. P. Sampath Kumar, IAS, Ex- Commissioner & Secretary, Agriculture, 1917-Integrated Technology Enabled Agri-Management System (1917iTEAMS) is an innovative, farmer centric, market oriented, cloud-based facilitation service available to all the farmers of Meghalaya. It came into existence in December 2017 with the mandate of Connecting Farmers to Markets through affordable logistics solutions, market connect and agro advisories. With more than 88,000 registered farmers, 600+ registered buyers, 400+ Farmer Groups and 18 Agri Response Vehicles operating throughout the state, 1917iTEAMS provides free of cost services to the primary sector through a toll free number – 1917, a comprehensive database, fleet management system, highly trained manpower and a dedicated IVRS system. The main backbone of the organization is a system specially developed and hosted by Digital India Corporation (DIC) of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India.
1917iTEAMS has been working tirelessly to connect farmers with multiple buyers from the state, region, country and abroad which has led to increasing exports of some of the state’s unique produce to overseas markets. It’s Agri Response Vehicles (ARVs) have been utilized by entire villages, farmers, buyers, groups, social organizations etc and has enabled produce from all corners of the state to reach more remunerative markets over time.
1917iTEAMS is fully supported by the department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and works very closely and in tandem with the line departments of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary, Fisheries, Planning, Finance, Law, Information Technology, Water Resources, Dairy, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the Central Agriculture University (CAU), MBDA and State e-Governance Mission Team (S.e.M.T) which has brought various Government’s Services available and closer to the farmers through one phone call. Its association with the Meghalaya Institute of Entrepreneurship (MIE) as the founding PMU has led to a very strong relationship with various agripreneurs of the state and they in turn have benefited greatly by being able to expand their sourcing of agriculture produce from throughout the state of Meghalaya especially during the pandemic lockdowns.
During 2020, 1917iTEAMS mobilized and increased its vehicle fleet by adding commercial market vehicles to meet the demand for transportation during the lockdowns. Through these ARVs, 1917iTEAMS was able to quickly evacuate agricultural produce and help mitigate farmers’ distress at that point of time. The registered buyers of 1917iTEAMS also played a big part in ensuring that fresh farmer’s produce were made available to retail and wholesale consumers during the lockdown. Through its close association with NARI Fresh of the East Khasi Hills District Cooperative Milk Union Ltd, 1917iTEAMS organized and facilitated the delivery of the Chief Minister’s Quarantine Care Package to 22,375 families under quarantine. During the 2021 lockdowns, 1917iTEAMS facilitated the emergence of Home Delivery Agencies operating on a direct farmgate procurement model.