Use of Space Technology in the agriculture sector in India

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, has been pro-active in using the space technology in agricultural sector. The Ministry, since early 80s has been funding various projects, under which Indian Space Research Organisation developed methodologies for Crop Production Forecasting. The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare established a Centre, called Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre, in 2012, for operationalisation of the space technology developed in the Indian Space Research Organization, for crop production forecasting. The Department has another centre called Soil and Land Use Survey of India, which uses satellite data for soil resources mapping. Currently, the Department is using space technology for its various programmes/ areas, such as, Forecasting Agricultural Output using Space, Agro-meteorology and Land-based Observations (FASAL) project, Coordinated programame on Horticulture Assessment and Management using geoiNformatics (CHAMAN) project, National Agricultural Drought Assessment and Monitoring System (NADAMS), Rice-Fallow Area Mapping and intensification, geo tagging of infrastructure and assets created under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, and Crop Insurance.

Illustration Photo: Assessing rice crops with Sentinel-1. Using radar data from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, areas where rice is grown in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu can be assessed. Light blue to magenta colours represent cultivated fields and light to dark green represents forests. Copyright contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2016), processed by RIICE/TNAU

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