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India’s digital database for farmers stirs fears about privacy, exclusion

A plan by India to build digital databases of farmers to boost their incomes has raised concerns about privacy and the exclusion of poor farmers and those without land titles.

Tech firm Microsoft will run a pilot for the agriculture ministry’s AgriStack in 100 villages in six Indian states to “develop (a) farmer interface for smart and well-organised agriculture” aimed at improving efficiency and reducing waste.

Each farmer will have a unique digital identification that contains personal details, information about the land they farm, as well as production and financial details. Each ID will be linked to the individual’s digital national ID Aadhaar.

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