(Sample Material) UPSC IAS Mains GS Online Coaching : Paper 3 - "E-technology in the aid of Farmers"

Sample Material of Our IAS Mains GS Online Coaching Programme

Subject: General Studies (Paper 3 - Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

Topic: E-technology in the aid of Farmers

E-technology in the aid of Farmers

In the context of agriculture, the potential of information technology (IT) can be studied under broadly two  outcomes viz. direct contribution to farm productivity and indirect contribution.The Precision farming is the result of direct,- contribution of-agriculture technology for farm productivity. The indirect tools help farmer’s take informed and quality decisions which will have positive impact on the way agriculture and allied activities are conducted farmer farmer urgently requires timely and reliable sources of information inputs for taking decisions. At present, the farmer depends on trickling  down  of  decision  inputs  from conventional sources which are slow and unreliable.The changing environment faced by Indian farmers makes information not merely useful, but necessary to remain competitive.


• Precision Farming refers to precise application of agricultural inputs based on soil, weather and cop requirement to maximize sustainable  productivity, quality and profitability.
• It includes the use of latest technologies such as remote- sensing (RS), GPS, and geographical information system (GIS) with an objective to improve profitability and productivity.


• The potential of precision farming lies in the precise use of farm inputs such as water,   fertilizers,   her bides   and pesticides and the farm equipments. This implies that rather than managing an entire field based upon some hypothetical average condition, precision farming recognizes site -specific requirements within fields and adjusts management actions accordingly.
• Thus, Precision farming allows taking decisions quickly for small areas within larger fields.


• A filed is divided into management zones called grids on the basis of soil pH, nutritional status, pest infestation, yield rates, and other factors that may affect crop production.
• The management decisions are based on the requirements of each zone. o The tools such as” GIS, GPS, etc. are used to control zone inputs. With the use of GPS, exact location for a particular management decision can be found.
• For example a farmer mounts a GPS device on the tractor; while applying the fertilizers or pesticides.
• Crop yield can also be monitored to create maps  that  show  the  high  and  low  production areas of a field for improved management decisions.


• Maps generation is the first step in Precision Farming. The maps measure spatial variability and provide the basis for controlling spatial variability. Mapping is done with data collection in the filed related to various spatial variables such as soil type, soil nutrition status, crop density, infestations etc.
• The data is collected using soil probes and other sucl\tool s. M apping and data collection can be done using the RS, GIS and manual inputs.


• The GPS satellites broadcast the signals that allow/the GPS receivers to compute their location. The information is provided while in motion. o Having precise location information at any time allows soil and crop measurements to be mapped.


• The grain yield monitors measure and record the yield of the crop, which is essential formaking sound management decisions. If the yield maps are used properly, they would provide important feedback in determining the inputs such as   fe r til i ze r   ame ndme nts,   se e d, pesticides and cultural practices including tillage and irrigation.


• Remote sensing refers to collection of data from a distance. The data sensors can simply be hand-held devices, mounted on aii-craftpc satellite:based. The remote, sensing provides information about the cro p  he al th ,  mo i stu re  n u tri e nts ,- compaction, crop diseases etc. o For example, the near infrared imaged that are highly correlated with healthy plant tissue can be recorded in the cameras. o RS also provides information about the in- season variability that affects crop yield and extent of crop stress.
• Geographic information systems (GIS) o Geographic information systems (GIS) use feature attributes and location data to produce maps.


• Though widely adopted in developed countries, the adoption of precision farming  in  India  is  yet  in  infancy primarily due to its unique pattern of land holdings, poor infrastructure, lack of farmers’ inclination to take risk, socio- economic and demographic conditions.

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