Innovative Technologies For Higher Productivity

India has achieved a remarkable growth in production and productivity of various agricultural commodities over the last five decades. Major changes in agricultural commodities over the last five decades. Major changes in agricultural production took place in mid-1960s with the production technologies which is known as “Green Revolution” technology. Initially introduced in resource endowed areas in 1960s it spread into our parts of the country during 1980s The agricultural sector observed spectacular growth of over 4% per annum during 1990s due to several reasons including slowdown in public investment, low yield growth, decline in food productivity, declining water table and environment led stress problems, climate changes etc.

Agriculture is still the main livelihood of approximately half of the rural households in India and contributing over 16% to its gross domestic product (GOI, 2018). The population of india is growing at 1.24% per annum and is expected to increase from 1.21 billion in 2011 to about 1.46 billion in 2030. It is estimated that in the year 2035 the total domestic food grains demand will be 398.6mt and milk 237.8mt against 264mt and 132.4 mt respectively in 2013-

To meet the estimated demand, the yield level over the base period yield level (1994-95) ids required to be enhanced by more than 50%. It is pertinent to mention here that these targets are to be achieved in a scenario of several odd factors which will constraint the sustainable development of agriculture. Natural resources comprising of soil, water, vegetation and climate form the essence of all kinds of life and provide support to its various processes. Intensive input based has stressed high tech agriculture during last three decades has stressed these resources.

Innovation in efficient Input Resources Utilization:

Site-specific input management which based on the spatially and temporally variable conditions, have proved tangible yield gain, along with higher efficiency, profits and better soil health. Precision farming technologies have now been developed to spatially vary nutrients within a field based on various information sources (soil properties maps, terrain attribute, remote sensing, yield maps, etc.). Precision agriculture involves the integration of the modern technologies (including GI, GPS and Rs) to allow farm products to manage within and RS) to allow farm producers to manage within field and variability to maximize the benefit-cost ratio. Variable rate technology (VRT) available with farm implements, such as fertilizer applicators and yield implements, such as fertilizer applicators, such as fertilizer applicators and yield monitors, has evolved rapidly and he fostered the monitors, has evolved rapidly and has fostered the growth of precious agriculture.

Site-Specific Nutrient Management (SSNIM):

Integration of SSNIM with GIS based spatial variability mapping is much more useful technique as it provides an opportunity to assess variability in the distribution of native nutrients and other yield limiting/improving soil parameters across large area and thus aids in developing appropriate nutrient management strategies leading to better yield and environmental protection. With GIS technology, homogenous fertility parameters classified into low, medium and high categories using the user defined ranges. Based on the developed homogenous fertility zones, the fertilizer recommendation can be developed for its practical significance for farmers.

Real-time Nitrogen supply:

Synchronization between crop Nitrogen demand and the available N supply is an important Key to improve N-use efficiency. Crop N requirement are closely related to yields levels, which in turn are sensitive to climate, particularly solar radiation and the supply of nutrients and crop management practices. The LCC strategy, which has been calibrated with SPAD, is a simple and efficient way of managing N in real time. However, this requires the determination of critical LCC values for a group of varieties exhibiting similar plant type and growth duration (e.g. traditional long duration, semi-dwarf short duration (e.g. traditional long duration, semi-dwarf short duration, hybrid etc.) Once the critical values for different varietal groups are determined, they are valid for similar groups of varieties grown elsewhere in the tropics.

Use Decision Support System (DSS):

Use of software based skills like Nutrient Experts, Crop manager, Geographical Information Systems(GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) in monitoring and application of nutrients , Integrated use of decision support tools (Nutrient Expert, NE) and Greek Seeker (GS) was studied on nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in wheat, system productivity and economics of maize-wheat system.

Improving water productivity:

Water productivity defined as the output of goods derived from the unit volume of water. The productivity of water irrespective of environment will be governed by those factors which minimize the water losses from the soil system improve the transpiration water use by the crops. The alternatives for increasing water productivity are changing of crop varieties, crop substitution, deficit, supplemented and precision irrigation, improved water management practices and improving non water inputs. However, under all situations, the productivity of water could be enhanced either by saving of water use by cutting of non-productivity water loss or by increasing the productivity per unit process depletion (crop transpiration in agriculture) or other beneficial depletion and by allocation of water to higher values uses would generally not help in any direct water saving but may increase the economic productivity of water. In north India, harvested rain water. In north India, harvested rain water in farm ponds, may be used as a pre-sowing life saving irrigation in rainfed crops to improve productivity of water.

Nanotechnology :

Sustainable agriculture can stand to benefit from the application of nanotechnology which has gained momentum to mitigate biotic and abiotic stress as well as other constraints causing low crop yields. The unique characteristics of Nano materials makes the suitable for the design and development of novel tools to support sustainable agriculture. Some of the main application of nanotools are schematically described as below:

  • Increase productivity using Nano-pesticides & Nano-fertilizers e.g. Nano zinc particles.
  • Improves soil quality using Nano-zeolites and hydrogels.
  • Stimulate plant growth with nanomaterials (e.g. sio2, Tio2, and carbon nanotubes)
  • Provide smart monitoring using Nano-sensors by wireless communication devices.

Integrated Farming Systems:

One of the best approaches in building farm resilience is through spreading risks and creating buffers, i.e not putting ‘all fruits in one basket’. The farming systems approach is considered as important and relevant, especially for the small and marginal farmers as location-specific IFS will be more resilient and adaptive to climate variability. Integration of livestock rearing with crop production gave higher economic returns compared to crop production alone for both marginal and small farmers.On-station and on farm research in identification of many sustainable and profitable IFS models for rainfed areas. In general, in regions with rainfall of 500 to 700mm, the farming systems should be based on live stock with promotion of low-water requiring grasses, trees and bushes to meet fodder, fuel and timber requirements of the farmers. In 700 to 1,100mm rainfall regions, crops, horticulture and livestock and livestock-based farming systems can be adopted depending on the soil type and the marketability factors.

Climate smart Cropping:

In changing climate scenario, developing cultivators resistant to climate change may become important adaptive mechanism for maximizing resource-use efficiency. For example, crop varieties those are resistant to lodging (e.g., short winds during the sensitive stage of crop growth, are viable alternatives. Similarly, change of planting dates to minimize the Similarly, change of planting dates to minimize the effect of temperature increase and reducing spikelet sterility can be used to enhance yield stability, by avoiding the flowering period to coincide with the hottest period. Such adaptation measures like change in crop calendar to reduce the negative effects of in crop calendar to reduce the negative effects of increased climatic variability in arid and semi-arid tropics proved advantageous to avoid extreme weather events (e.g. typhoons and storms) during the growing season.

Integrated Crop Management (ICM):

ICM suggests the use of good agriculture practises (GAP) which is an alternative system of crop production , which is an alternative system of crop production, which conserves and enhances natural resources while producing quality food on economically viable and sustainable foundation. It combines the best of traditional methods with appropriate modern technology for balancing the economic production of crops with positive environmental management. ICM is particularly beneficial for small and marginal farmers because it aims to maximize dependence on purchased inputs while utilizing on farm-resources.

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Courtesy: Kurukshetra