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Use of Space Technology in Agriculture Sector

Use of Space Technology in Agriculture Sector


  • GS 3 || Science and Technology || Biotechnology|| Agriculture

 Why in news?

  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare , has been pro-active in using the space technology in the agricultural sector.

 Institutional Measures

  • Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre- By using this we check the effect of natural calamities on our crops.
  • It works for operationalization of the space technology developed in the Indian Space Research Organization, for crop production forecasting.

 Use Of Space Technology

The department is using space technology for its various programmes/ areas, such as:

  • FASAL project-Forecasting Agricultural output using Space, Agro-meteorology and Land based observations
  • Under the operational component of FASAL programme of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, MNCFC regularly generates crop forecasts at District/State/National level for 9 major crops of the country, using the procedures developed by Space Applications Centre, ISRO. Both optical and microwave Remote sensing data is used for crop acreage estimation, crop condition assessment and production forecasting. In the year 2017-18, total 17 forecasts were generated for 9 crops,such as Jute,Kharif Rice, Sugarcane, Cotton, Rapeseed & Mustard, Rabi Sorghum, Wheat, Rabi Pulses and Rabi Rice.
  • CHAMAN project- Coordinated Horticulture Assessment and Management using geoiNformatics
  • Under the Mission of Integrated Horticulture Development (MIDH),the Department of Agriculture. Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare has initiated the project CHAMAN (Coordinated Horticulture Assessment and Management using geoiNfromatics) for assessment and development of Horticulture through Remote Sensing & geo-inf ormatics. The project is being implemented by Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC) in collaboration with ISRO/DOS Centres (SAC,NRSC & NESAC), NHRDF, IMD, ICAR, State Horticulture Departments and State Remote Sensing Centres.
  • NADAMS project- National Agricultural Drought Assessment and Monitoring System
  • NADAMS project, developed by National Remote Sensing Centre,provides near real-time information on prevalence, severity level and persistence of agricultural drought at state/ district/sub-district level.Currently, it covers 17 states of India, which are predominantly agriculture based and prone to drought situation (Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu,Telengana,Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal).

 Crop Insurance

This data can be used for various programmes, which need information on crop type area estimates, crop condition, crop damages, crop growth etc.

  • Better, fast and accurate forecast
  • Satellite imagery and weather forecasting systems, early warning to reduce loss.
  • Data collection and monitoring
  • The use of satellite, drones, mobile cameras etc to get fast and more accurate data.
  • Providing insurance in a region according to the the data generated by soil health card
  • Use of IOT (internet of things)
  • Soil sensors can be used to broadcast real-time information on the state of the soil.
  • Easy Internet access will allow farmers to learn and implement the latest technologies
  • Improvement in financial services
  • Digitization of primary agriculture credit societies (PACs) and connecting them through district co-operative banks for easy disbursal of credit and insurance money.
  • This will reduce the exclusion and delay of payments to the farmers

 KISAN Project

  • It uses the ICT to provide affordable credit for farmers in India. It was started by the Government of India, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in 1998-99 to help farmers access timely and adequate credit.
  • The Kisan Credit Card allows farmers to have cash credit facilities without going through time-consuming bank credit screening processes repeatedly. Repayment can be rescheduled if there is a bad crop season, and extensions are offered for up to four years. The card is valid for three years and subject to annual renewals. Withdrawals are made using slips, cards, and a passbook

 Way Forward

  • It will help farmers, government agencies and insurance companies move away from the traditional crop insurance claim calculated on the basis of crop cutting experiments.
  • It will provide timely and accurate data for insurance claims and make payment of claims to farmers without any delay.

 Additional Info

  • Advantages of information technology/ e-agriculture
  • There are many advantages of Information technology for the improvement and strengthening of agriculture sector in India, which includes timely information on weather predictions and disasters as detailed under.
  • Better and spontaneous agricultural practices.
  • Better marketing exposure and pricing.
  • Lessening of agricultural risks and enhanced incomes.
  • Better awareness and information.
  • Enhanced networking and communication.
  • Facility of online trading and e-commerce.
  • Better representation at various forums, authorities and platform.
  • E-agriculture can play vital role in the increased food production and productivity in India.

Mains Question

  • Examine how can India’s farm sector benefit from space research and technologies.