By: Himanshu Gulati
The BJP government launched various mobile- based apps and web portals to disseminate information to farmers about inputs, insurance, weather, technology, prices,etc and farmers can also seek and get advice.
Use of space technology has been pro-active since 2012. The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare had launched KISAN [C(K)rop Insurance using Space technology And geoiNformatics] project during October 2015. The project envisaged use of high-resolution remote sensing data for optimum crop cutting experiment planning and improving yield estimation.
In May 2018, Govt. signed MoU with IBM to deploy Big-Data Analytics in Agriculture. To experiment with such technology, the NITI Aayog, the government’s main think-tank, will start a pilot project on “precision agriculture” using Artificial Intelligence.
However, the real time data on import and stock availability is not yet covered. There are gaps in terms of areas being covered, information provided is mostly in text and not easily understandable. Not much focus on audio has been given which would greatly increase their usability for farmers (as literacy amongst them continues to be low), regional languages have not been covered ,some provide static information and no user interface and issues of malfunction remain. Hence, the performance of the government against this promise is considered “Inadequate”
Average Agricultural growth rate is 2.5% under NDA Government as compared to 3.6% in UPA Government.