30 April 2022, Chandigarh: The Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare is embarking upon the use of Digital Technologies to boost agriculture in the state. Looking into the increasing use of emerging technologies like Remote Sensing (RS), Geographical Information Technology (GIS), Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Block Chain and Internet of Things (IoT) etc. in agriculture, the Department has put in place major initiatives to increase agricultural efficiency, productivity and profitability.
The Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has initiated pilot projects on the applications of these technologies in agriculture and subsequently if these pilots are found successful, will be up-scaled and operationlised at a wider scale so that the farmers can get the benefit of these technologies.
Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department, Dr. Sumita Misra informed that Artificial Intelligence along with satellite/drones imageries will be used for assessing crop yield and Crop Losses (Kharaba). Pest, weed and diseases surveillance is also planned using satellite/ drone images to be acquired at different intervals.
The concept of precision farming will also be implemented in Haryana with the use drones for spray of insecticide/pesticides/chemical fertilizers. Drones will require less time in spray and the chemicals would be uniformly sprayed without human touch. Yet another study will be done for source tracking of food grains using Block Chain Technology, which may help in branding, marketing and better price discovery of agricultural produce.
Out of the total project cost of Rs. 15.80 crore, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India has initially sanctioned a sum of Rs. 8.29 crore under National e-Governance Plan for Agriculture (NeGP-A) for promoting the use of digital technologies in agriculture in the state. The project cost is to be borne by Centre Government and State Government in 60:40 pattern.
The following 5 new projects have been specifically approved using Artificial Intelligence and digital technologies etc. namely Crop Yield estimation using satellite/drone imaging, Crop damage (kharaba) assessment using satellite/drone data, Crop insect/pest assessment, Supply chain monitoring using block chain and Precision Farming (spray of insecticides/pesticides/fertilizers using drones). Haryana is the first State to take up 5 projects covering these aspects. These initiatives taken by Haryana Government are likely to bring about a paradigm shift in agriculture in the state in the near future.