Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Radha Mohan Singh said that agriculture plays an important role in the lives of our people and economy of the country where more than 50 per cent of people are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. For the development of the nation, development of agriculture and the farmers are important. The Ministry, through its various programs, works not only for the development of agriculture but also for the welfare of farmers. Shri Singh said it today while addressing the representatives at the Start-up Companies’ CEO meet in Krishi Bhawan.Shri Radha Mohan Singh said the objective of the agriculture development is to double the Farmers’ Income by 2022. With limited resources and fixed area of land availability, it cannot be achieved without the support of technology, which should be low cost, farmer friendly and scalable.Shri Singh said the Ministry is running various flagship programs such as Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Soil Health Card (SHC), Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana PMKSY), Paramparaagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), etc. The schemes are providing support to farmers. SHC, for instance, will help in improving the soil health and reducing the cost of fertilizers. However, for this, a large number of soil samples have to be analyzed, which is arduous and time consuming. Therefore, we need a technological solution in the form of low-cost hand-held soil sensors or any non-destructible method of soil fertility assessment that can easily assess soil health using the technology.Another program is PMFBY for accurate and timely assessment of crop loss so that farmers can reap benefits through fast and accurate claim settlement. To achieve this, PMFBY promotes following technologies:
i) Smartphone-based android apps for Crop Cutting Experiments data collection
ii) Satellites and drones for crop loss assessment, mid-season adversity, area discrepancy and post-harvest losses
iii) IT-based solutions to increase the number of insured farmers.
Radha Mohan Singh said for this, technological development is compulsory. Shri Singh said technologies desirable for different farmer friendly programs include Sensor Technology, Big Data Analytics, Cloud Computing, App Development, Development of GIS-based portals, low-cost field instruments for various agricultural assessments, etc.Union Agriculture Minister said the Ministry would promote these technologies and their development, which can be used for farmers’ welfare. Shri Singh directed his offices to work with a smaller core-teams to continue to work with the start-ups.