Radha Mohan Singh, Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, India. Image courtesy of radhamohansingh.com.

ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre and India’s Ministry of Agriculture have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the geotagging of agricultural assets under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana scheme.

This federal scheme gives states the autonomy to use information such as geographical conditions in order to enhance productivity in the agricultural sector. In this case, states will be able to utilize satellite and remote sensing technologies to obtain agriculture-related information.

Said Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh, who was present at the signing, “Very soon farmers would be able to utilise the internet and mobile phones to obtain agriculture related information such as fertility of soil, the quantity of fertiliser to be used, condition for sowing potential pests aggression, estimation of yield, godowns, cold storage, agriculture markets as well as identification and availabilities of animal species”.

Precision farming, also known as precision agriculture or satellite farming, first emerged as a concept in the 1980s and is now widely-used to help with decision-making in the field of agriculture through the use of remote sensing data and satellite imagery.

With the advent of global navigation systems such as GPS, geographical identification can be easily added and retrieved from satellite maps and imagery, making geotagging an efficient and accessible process.

Besides providing helpful information to the farmers themselves, Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh added, “The development of space-related technologies to prepare the list of the assets and their utilisation is a progressive step.  Being aware of the realistic status of assets will not only be helpful in monitoring and utilising, but also be extremely useful in formulating development schemes in the agriculture sector”.

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