What do you understand by precision Farming? Discuss the key challenges to Precision Farming in India.

Precision Farming is the precise application of agricultural inputs based on soil, weather, and crop requirement in order to enhance sustainable productivity, quality, and profitability.  It uses the latest technologies i.e. remote sensing, global positioning system, and geographical information system with an objective to improve profitability and productivity. Precision Farming gives farmers the ability to use crop inputs more effectively including fertilizers, pesticides, and tillage and irrigation water.  More effective use of inputs means greater crop yield and/or quality, without much polluting the environment.

Potential

The potential of precision farming depends on the precise use of farm inputs such as water, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, and farm equipment. This implies that rather than managing an entire field based upon some hypothetical average condition, precision farming recognizes site-specific requirements within fields and adjusts management actions accordingly. Thus, Precision farming allows taking decisions quickly for small areas within larger fields.

Key challenges

Though widely adopted in developed countries, the adoption of precision farming in India is yet to improve. It is facing several problems due to

  • Poor infrastructure facility.
  • Lack of farmers’ inclination to take risk
  • Lack of adequate socio-economic and demographic conditions.
  • The small size of farms and fields in most of the Indian agriculture limits economic output from currently available precision farming technology.
  • Connectivity in rural areas is not reliable
  • Big data in agriculture became impossible to conduct monitoring operations.
  • New farms are facing impediments for entry.
  • The problem of scalability and configuration.

Way out

More technologically advanced monitoring tools are needed to provide information on crop damage. The sensors and resources should be customized to meet the needs of different plants. Considering the facts of population density, and public concerns for the environment, food safety, and animal welfare more attention is required.

Question for UPSC Mains:
What do you understand by precision Farming? Discuss the key challenges to Precision Farming in India.

Published: October 28, 2015 | Modified:September 15, 2020

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