Crop Production |
Crop Pattern |
Crop Yield |
Soil Management | Precision Farming |
Relevant Products |
Precision farming in Indian Agricultural Scenario
Baburao Dashrath kamble
Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System.
School of Advanced Technologies
Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand
Tel: +66-2-524-7525 Fax: +66-2-524-5597
Sustainable agriculture in the context of development efforts has to meet production efficiency, sensitivity of ecosystems, appropriate technology, and maintenance of the environment, cultural diversity and satisfaction of the basic needs. In 1965 green revolution succeeded in India to increase the farmer’s income, yield of major crops and made India self-reliant in food production. Now Modern agricultural management practices are changing from assuming homogenous fields to attempting to address field variability by dividing the field into smaller zones and managing these zones separately Precision agriculture has focused on the development of techniques that primarily aid the convention farming system.( ie. tilling the soil to prepare for planting, and heavy reliance on chemical inputs, such as pesticides and fertilizers). However, some farmers, that use conservation tillage practices and Integrated Pest Management strategies can also use precision farming practices, if they are focused on the correct types of solutions A vision for an innovative route of development in agriculture, with the backdrop of WTO regime and ecological crises that threaten to bring down productivity, could truly be derived from the convergence of biotechnology with space and informatics. Precision agriculture embodies such convergence. The small size of farms and fields in most of Indian agriculture limits economic gains from currently available precision farming technology, while the population density, and public concerns for the environment, food safety and animal welfare means that those potential benefits of precision agriculture are being given more attention. While adoption of precision farming in wide concept has been modest in India the potential for using precision agriculture to address environmental, food safety, animal welfare and sustainability problems seems to be attracting political attention in India conditions. It is not impossible to adopt Precision agriculture in India but Research efforts are needed to find out its applicability in the Indian agricultural scenario. Current paper deals with the applicability, opportunity of precision agriculture in India.
“Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy and the villages are the life lines of growth of India.”
Agriculture is a very important sector for the sustained growth of the Indian economy. About 70 per cent of the rural households and 8 per cent of urban households are still principally dependent on agriculture for employment. Since some three-quarters of the population live in rural areas, a majority of households thus depend principally on this sector. Though, industrialization of the Indian economy has adversely affected the share of agriculture in the GDP, the fact cannot be ignored that India has undergone a series of successful agricultural revolutions-starting with the ‘green’ revolution in wheat and rice in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the ‘white’ revolution in milk to the ‘yellow’ revolution in oilseeds in 1980’s. As a result, India has achieved self-sufficiency in agriculture. Applications of agricultural inputs at uniform rates across the field without due regard to in-field variations in soil fertility and crop conditions does not yield desirable results in terms of crop yield. The management of in-field variability in soil fertility and crop conditions for improving the crop production and minimizing the environmental impact is the crux of precision farming. Geographically, India is widely distributed into several agro-climatic zones, and the information need for the farming systems in these areas is entirely different. Integrating the application of available technologies to realize farmers' goals requires a systems approach to farming. The concept of fully automated villages was a dream till few months back. But the reality has come to true with the rapid growth of information and communication technology in the world scenario. The wired villages and info villages have shown that Information can be disseminated in more useful manner and as farmers need.
Precision agriculture is an agricultural system that has the potential of dramatically changing agriculture in this 21st century. Precision agriculture lends it self to most agricultural applications and can be implemented at whatever levels are required. Precision agriculture is based on information technology, which enables the producer to collect information and data for better decision making. Precision agriculture is a pro-active approach that reduces some of the risk and variables common to agriculture. Precision agriculture is more environmentally sound and is and integral part in sustaining natural resources. To better understand the need for an accurate definition of precision agriculture lets look at how precision agriculture is being considered. Precision agriculture is considered a concept, management strategy, and even a philosophy. It is said, “Precision agriculture is a phrase that captures the imagination of many concerned with the production of food, feed, and fiber.” The concept of precision agriculture offers the promise of increasing productivity while decreasing production cost and minimizing environmental impacts. Precision agriculture conjures up images of farmers overcoming the elements with computerized machinery that is precisely controlled via satellites and local sensors and using planning software that accurately predicts crop development. This image has been called the future of agriculture. (Michael Rasher)