5. What is precision agriculture? What are its advantages? Discuss.
सटीक कृषि क्या है? इसके क्या फायदे हैं? चर्चा कर करें।
Precision agriculture seeks to use new technologies to increase crop yields and profitability while lowering the levels of traditional inputs needed to grow crops (land, water, fertilizer, herbicides and insecticides). In other words, farmers utilizing precision agriculture are using less to grow more.
Precision Agriculture is a concept which needs implementation through ICTs, Wireless Sensor Networks, Geospatial methods and automated positioning systems.
Need of precision agriculture in India
- There is a need to increase output per hectare in India as it is low compared to other countries. One of the reasons for the low output is lack of access to modern technology.
- There is a need for judicious use of water, energy and efficient use of various inputs like seeds to enhance productivity.
- As India takes rapid strides to enhance access to digital tools, it is an opportune moment to think of ways in which the rural areas and farmers can benefit from the digital revolution.
- The next big step we have to take is to link the leap forward in agricultural productivity with digital applications and technological innovations.
Advantages of Precision agriculture
- Precision agriculture seeks to make agriculture remunerative even to small and marginal farmers by reducing the cost of cultivation and enhancing yields.
- Precision Agriculture or site specific crop management is the key to optimally manage the resources for a better yield, reducing pollution and saving environment.
- This capability could be used for the benefit of farming sector for assessing land and crop health; extent, type and severity of damage besides issuing forewarning, post-event management and settlement of compensation under crop insurance schemes.
- Research by an organization involved in precision agriculture has showed that mobile-based agricultural extension system among farmers in Gujarat had resulted in increase in each farmer getting Rs. 7,000 more per year, while the yields went up by 8.6 per cent for cotton and 28 per cent for cumin.
- Technologies facilitate to give each plant exactly what it needs to grow optimally, with the aim to improve the agronomic output while reducing the input.
- This means producing ‘more with less’, which coincides with our 2nd Green Revolution concept of ‘more crop per drop’.
Precision farming in India
- Some of the schemes like PMKSY’s (Per Drop More Crop) involve Precision Agriculture practices.
- The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has formulated a project entitled “SENSAGRI: SENsor based Smart AGRIculture”.
- The major objective is to develop indigenous prototype for drone based crop and soil health monitoring system using hyperspectral remote sensing (HRS) sensors.
- Drone technology is also being used. It has ability for smooth scouting over farm fields, gathering precise information and transmitting the data on real time basis.
- Mobile apps are being used to provide farmers with weather information and provide early warning.
A pilot project
KISAN+ (C (K)rop Insurance using Space technology geoiNformatics); The programme envisages use of high resolution remote sensing data (from Indian and International Satellites), sophisticated modelling activity and other geospatial technology (smart phone, Global Positioning System (GPS), Bhuvan Server) for improving the accuracy of crop yield estimation through more efficient Crop Cutting Experiments.
- The need of the hour is to adopt state of the art technology to make agriculture sustainable and profitable.
- Agricultural renaissance can take shape on a strong digital foundation.
- Adoption of technology will help in sustaining food security and enhanced livelihood opportunities.
- In addition, the farming community needs to diversify and take up allied activities like fisheries, dairy and poultry as well to double the on-farm incomes.