(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Science and Technology in Agriculture
(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Science and Technology in Agriculture
Science and Technology in Agriculture
The agriculture and allied sector play a critical role in rural livelihood, employment and national food security. The sector provides the largest source of livelihoods in the country. Proportion of the Indian population depending directly or indirectly on agriculture for employment opportunities is more than that of any other sectors. It is estimated that around 55 - 60 percent of its rural households depend primarily on agriculture for their livelihood.
According to the agriculture census (2015-16), there are 14.5 crore farmers families in the country; around 82 percent of farmers belong to small and marginal categories, who own less than one acre of land each.
According to the Economic Survey (2021-22), the agriculture sector in the country has experienced buoyant growth in the past two years. The sector, which is the largest employer of workforce, accounted for a sizable 18.8 percent (2021- 22) in Gross Value Added (GVA) of the country registering a growth of 3.6 percent in 2020-21 and 3.9 per cent in 2021-22. The survey stated that the growth in allied sectors including livestock, dairying and fisheries has been the major drivers of overall growth in the sector.
The Committee on Doubling Farmers' Income in its report 2018 has noted the role of digital technology, which can play a transformational role in modernising and organising how rural India performs its agricultural activities.
Digital technologies are finding increasing use in the agricultural value system, and farmers are increasingly becoming more informed, as various measures are taken to provide them ready access to technology and information. Government has taken various initiatives to give a push to digital agriculture in the country.
The Government has finalised the core concept of India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture (IDEA) framework which would lay down the architecture for the federated farmers' database. The databases
related to the schemes governed by the department have been integrated. The IDEA would serve as a foundation to build innovative agri-focused solutions leveraging emerging technologies to contribute effectively in creating a better Ecosystem for Agriculture in India. This ecosystem shall help the Government in effective planning towards increasing the income of farmers in particular and improving the efficiency of the agriculture sector as a whole. Several measures have been initiated to boost use of science and technology in Indian agriculture.
Under the national e-Governance plan in Agriculture (NeGP-A), the funds are released to the States and Union Territories for projects involving use of modern technologies such as. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, Drones, Data Analytics, Block Chain etc.
The sub mission on Agricultural Mechanisation being implemented since April, 2014, aims at 'reaching the unreached1by bringing to the small and marginal farmers in the core and giving the benefits of farm mechanisation, by promoting Custom Hiring Centers (CHCs), creating hubs for hi-tech and high value farm-equipments, distribution of various agricultural equipments, creating awareness among stakeholders through demonstration and capacity building activities, and ensuring performance-testing and certification at designated testing centers located all over the country.
e-NAM: Online Marketplace
The National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) is a pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.
Digital services are provided to traders, farmers, Farmers Producer Organisations (FPOs), Mandis through various modules of e-NAM platform such as FPO trading module, warehouse-based trading module. Under the scheme, three reforms are mandatory for States/Union Territories (UTs) in their respective APMC Acts for integrating their mandis with e-NAM platform – provision for e-trading, single point levy of market fee and unified single trading license for the State. States without APMC Act need to provide legally enforceable guidelines and institutional mechanisms for implementing e-NAM.
PM KISAN Digital Payment
Under the PM KISAN scheme, Rs. 6,000 annually in three installments is directly transferred into the bank accounts of the eligible farmers under Direct Benefit Transfer mode. According to agriculture ministry data, since its launch in February-2019, 11instalments have been disbursed under the PM-KISAN. More than Rs 2 lakh crore has been transferred to about 11.37 crore eligible farmers through this scheme. Farmers can do their self-registration through the farmers corner in the portal.
Integrated Scheme for Agricultural Marketing schemes (AGMARKNET) to promote creation of agricultural marketing infrastructure by providing backend subsidy support to State, cooperative and private sector investments Services are provided through AGMARKNET portal which is a G2C e-governance portal that caters to the needs of various stakeholders such as farmers, industry, policy makers and academic institutions by providing agricultural marketing related information from a single window. It facilitates web- based information flow, of the daily arrivals and prices of commodities in the agricultural produce markets spread across the country.
National Mission on Horticulture:
It promotes holistic development of the horticulture sector (including bamboo and coconut). HORTNET project is a web enabled work flow-based system for providing financial assistance under the mission for lntegrated Development of Horticulture. It is a unique intervention to accomplish e-Governance in NHM where-in total transparency has been envisaged in all the processes of workflow – online application filing, authentication, processing and online payment to the beneficiary’s bank account through DBT.
Kisan Suvidha App
Development of Kisan Suvidha mobile application to facilitate dissemination of information to farmers covering range of issues – weather forecast, extreme weather alert, market price of commodities, information about dealers of fertiliser, seeds, pesticide, seeds etc, plant protection for 12 major crops, agro advisories, soil health card, soil testing labs, cold stores and godowns, veterinary laboratories and diagnostic centres, crop insurance and government schemes. Besides, Pusa Krishi mobile app disseminates information about the latest technologies developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute. The app provided details about 185 technologies.
Usage of Drones in Agriculture:
To promote the use of drones in agriculture, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has released the SOPs for use of drones in pesticide and nutrient application
To make drone technology affordable and available to the farmers and other stakeholders of this sector, financial assistance of 100% cost of drone.
Further, contingent expenditure is provided under submission on Agricultural Mechanisation to the institutions such as ICAR, KVKs, State Agricultural Universities (SAUs), and Public sector undertakings (PSUs).
FPOs are provided grants of 75% for purchase of drones for its demonstration on the farmers’ fields to provide agricultural services through drone application.
Thrust on Genetic Improvement:
The government’s thrust has been on the use of new technology in agricultural research.
The research by ICAR focuses on genetic enhancement of crops, livestock, fish for high yield, quality and climate resilience, conservation of resources and, development of intelligent information technology enabled platform for technology transfer among farmers and stakeholders.
According to reports, ICAR during 2021-22 has developed and released about 309 varieties of hybrid field crops including 35 varieties with special traits and 94 varieties of horticultural crops for cultivation.
The governments' thrust has been to help farmers accessing latest farm technologies as well as new varieties of seeds to ensure that farmers' income get a boost and sustained in coming years besides ensuring that India remains self-reliant in production of most of the agricultural commodities.