PRECISION FARMING - MODERN SOLUTION FOR MODERN PROBLEMS
18 Jul 2019 | 07:41 PM | Aditya Narayan gupta
"If the farmer is rich, then so is the nation".
These lines fairly explain our Indian Agricultural Sector. Agriculture being directly proportional to our Economy affects the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Being a very vast sector it employees more than 50% of the country's population.
Researchers have highlighted that the growth rate of agriculture in India is less than 4%pa, which is a very dull and weighty situation for all of us. They have also added that if this figure continues it would take more than 25 years four our farmers to double their income. This is again a serious issue to highlight.
The agriculture Growth rate of India is explained by the help of the graph below
For the full year in 2018-19, growth in agriculture and allied activities was estimated at 2.7 per cent, down from 5 per cent in 2017-18. Overall food grain production is also projected to fall slightly to 281.37 million tonnes, as less rainfall resulted in low output. The country had produced 284.83 million tonnes in the 2017-18 crop year (July-June), according to the fourth advanced estimates.
To overcome this issue of low production, our current Government and Agriculture Ministry are concerned and generous for our farm sector.
They are aiming to increase the speed of our growth rate and double the wages of our farmers by 2022, which is a less than 5 years plan.
For achieving this massive task, the Indian Government has started promoting PRECISION FARMING.
Government has introduced a scheme named as “Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojana (PMKSY) “. Its vision is to ensure access to some means of protective irrigation to all agricultural farms in the country, to produce 'per drop more crop', thus bringing much desired rural prosperity and Enhance the adoption of precision - irrigation and other water-saving technologies (More crop per drop).
Precision farming or precision agriculture is an approach to improve our farm management practices. It focuses on the IT sector, to ensure that crops get exact health and care they demand. It also ensures profitability, sustainability and protection to the environment. Precision Agriculture also uses software to provide farmers with guidance about crop rotation, optimal planting time, harvesting time and soil management.
TECHNOLOGIES FOR PRECISION FARMING:
Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers: Global Positioning System satellites broadcast signals that allow GPS receivers to compute their location. This information is provided in real-time, meaning that continuous position information is provided while in motion. Having precise location information at any time allows soil and crop measurements to be mapped.
Yield Monitoring and Mapping: In a highly mechanized system, grain yield monitors continuously measure and record the flow of the grain in the clean-grain elevator of a combine. When linked with a GPS receiver, yield monitors can provide data necessary for yield maps. Yield measurement is essential for making a sound management decision.
Grid soil sampling and variable fertilizer (VRT) application: The goal of grid soil sampling is to generate a map of nutrient requirement, called an application map. Soil samples are taken is a systematic grid which is then analysed in the laboratory, and an interpretation of crop nutrient need is made for each soil sample. Then the fertilizer application map is plotted using the entire set of soil samples. The application map is loaded into a computer mounted on variable- rate fertilizer spreader.
Remote Sensing: Remote sensing is a collection of data from distance. Data sensors can simply be a handheld device, mounted on aircraft (Drone) or satellite-based.
Sensors: In fields measures the moisture content, temperature and surrounding air, which helps farmers to predict the required care and nourishment they should provide.
Drones: It is a vehicle used in farming to monitor the crop growth and give a richer picture of the fields, useful in increasing crop yield and farm efficiency.
Electronic camera: It helps in recording near-infrared images that are highly correlated with healthy plant tissue.
Remote sensing can reveal in-season variability that affects crop yield and it can provide the matrices on the right time to make management decisions that improve profitability for the current crop. Images can be used to develop and implement a spot treatment plan that optimizes the use of agricultural chemicals.
Geographic information system (GIS): Geographic information systems (GIS) are computer hardware and software that use feature attribute and location data to produce maps. An important function of GIS is store layers of information, such as yields, soil survey maps, remotely sensed data, crop scouting reports and soil nutrient levels.
BENEFITS OF PRECISION AGRICULTURE:
FARMING TECH IS CORE TO DELIVERING A 70% INCREASE IN GLOBAL CROP PRODUCTION
Global crop value in USS$ bn’s
Hence we can conclude that Precision farming is a new revolutionary theme in agriculture which is about doing the right thing, in the right place, in the right way, at the right time. Managing crop production inputs such as water, seed, fertilizer etc to increase yield, quality, profit, reduce waste and becomes eco-friendly will eventually reflect in our GDP.