In a move to include advanced technology in agriculture, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said farmer-friendly technologies are the need of the hour and some specific technologies are required for each of its key schemes.
In a meeting with agri-startup firms held today, the Indian government today decided to work in tandem with agri startups for technologies required for efficient implementation of its flagship programmes like soil health card, irrigation, and crop insurance, among others.
The government has been active in investing in agricultural infrastructures such as irrigational facilities, mechanised farming, and warehousing. The growing use of genetically modified crops will also improve the sector’s contribution to GDP.
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He directed his ministry officials to work in small core-teams with start-up firms in this regard, reports ET.
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Soil Health Card, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana are the key flagship schemes that the government is focusing at present.
For instance, under soil health card scheme, the Minister said a large number of soil samples have to be analysed, which is arduous and time consuming.
“Therefore we need technological solutions 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,” he said.
Implemented with a budget of Rs 17,600 crore, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana scheme will provide financial support to farmers and cover for their losses.
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Besides Fasal Bima Yojana, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved Blue Revolution in India. It’s an integrated scheme designed to increase the productivity and profitability from aquaculture and fisheries resources, inclusive of both inland and marine.
Additionally, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has announced 42 dairy projects, under a budget of 221 crores. And the government is also planning on investing Rs 75,000 crore to provide energy-efficient irrigational facilities to farmers. This would result in about 46 billion kWh of power being saved and creation of 20 lakh jobs.
Earlier, with the collaboration with Hyderabad-based Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR), the Indian government is launching a new programme AGRI-UDAAN, a food, and agribusiness accelerator, to guide new startups, entrepreneurs and help them establish a connection with a potential investment.