Digital India was launched by Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi on 1st July 2015 with an objective of connecting rural areas with high-speed Internet networks and improving digital literacy. The vision of Digital India programme is inclusive growth in areas of electronic services, products, manufacturing and job opportunities etc. and it is centered on three key areas – Digital Infrastructure as a Utility to Every Citizen, Governance & Services on Demand and Digital Empowerment of Citizens.
Agriculture plays a vital role in Indian economy and the role of farmer in Indian economy is very high. Even to this day, after so many advancements in various fields India is identified as an agrarian economy. Over 70% of rural households depend on agriculture. Agriculture contributes about 17% to total GDP and provides employment to over 60% of the population. Sustainable agriculture and use of technology for socio-economic development is the topic of focus. The potential for knowledge sharing among small and marginal farmers and its impact in terms of increased productivity and well-being of the community has become crucial in present conditions. The Government of India under Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) is concentrating to connect 250,000 villages and is planning to create 28,000 seats of BPOs in various states and set up at least one Common Service Centre in each of the gram panchayats in the state. It has planned to connect 550 farmer markets in the country through the use of technology. There are 245,000 villages across 36 states and union territories of India. Phase-I, which connected 100,000 villages, was completed in December 2017. Remaining villages will be connected under Phase-II by December 2018. Though there are many plans formulated at strategic level, the practical implementations are not short of certain limitations.
Hence, in view of the government initiative to make India digitalized, the present study is undertaken to investigate the opportunities, limitations and challenges of farmers to adopt themselves to Digital India Programme in Rayalaseema region. The study revealed the challenges, problems and limitations faced by farmers. Lack of education, reliable market information, initiation from their own children, ignorance still persist as the major challenges that are to be addressed by the co-ordinated efforts of farmers themselves and government authorities. The other major challenges faced by Indian farmers are: lack of technical support from Government authorities, timely finance from Banks and Financial Institutions, prompt availability of quality seed/pests, inadequate insurance facilities, lack of support prices by Government for many agricultural products, improper marketing facilities, improper and untimely distribution of subsidies to needy farmers, lack of support from NGO’s and Government., etc. This study contributes factual information with a critical analysis of the issues involved in the implementation of Digital India Programme.