Five-way move for Smart ID card scheme to improve farmers' access to govt services
The Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding with four other government agencies to set up a "One ID Card for Smart Farmers" scheme under the Smart Farmer/Smart Office policy, with registrations expected to start in March.
The other signatories to the MoU are the ministries of Information and Communication Technology, Interior, and Natural Resources and Environment, along with the Electronic Government Agency.
Komsan Jumroonpong, director of the Information and Communication Technology Centre under the Agriculture Ministry, the project aimed to increase the quality of government services to farmers.
In the first stage, the Agriculture Ministry has provided smart identity cards to 10 farmers in Nakhon Nayok province in a pilot project. Once the full programme is implemented, farmers will provide their tambon or district office with the particulars of their operation, and this information will be computerised. Later, should they need government assistance - such as during a drought or other natural disaster - they will be able to access it quickly via their ID card.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the project would enable government to improve the quality of life for 12.6 million farmers and 7.2 households nationwide as it would facilitate collaboration among five government agencies for integrated information.
The government will conduct a survey of farmers this year to compile a database. It will be able to use this information to help farmers whenever a disaster occurs. It moreover will provide and transfer knowledge to farmers via Internet-protocol TV and ICT centres in communities nationwide.
In the next step, the government will use the global information system to create zoning for agriculture and monitor plantation productivity as a whole.
"I think the One ID Card for Smart Farmers project will drive and improve government services to farmers and reduce the gap between them and officials," Yingluck said. "It also will reduce complexity and corruption. Moreover, it enable the creation of zoning for agriculture for long-term sustainability."
Jamnieun Seungluang, a 63-year-old farmer from Nakhon Nayok province, said he believed the ID-card project would allow farmers to reach government services more easily.