Department of Agriculture, Govt. of Maharashtra

Shri Eknath Dawale
Secretary, Agriculture
Shri Suhas Diwase
Commissioner, Agriculture

     Governance and policy making continue to play a prime role in the success of agriculture in India and require strong backup of data and data generated information and knowledge. Data and technology enabled farming; governance offers unprecedented opportunities to bring next green revolution in India. Agriculture involving innumerable decisions amidst intricate complexities at all levels from farmers to planners needs the support of technologies. Smart agriculture is the only way-out to address ever-increasing challenges in this sector such as cultivation risks, weather, pest/diseases, large yield gaps, inconsistent yield levels, increasing cost of cultivation inputs, low and un-realisable MSP, non-remunerative market prices, poor market infrastructure and poor penetration of crop insurance, etc. Natural calamities such as droughts, floods, abnormal weather events and biotic risks like pests and diseases continue to affect the agriculture adversely. Crop yield variability is ever increasing and has become a serious challenge to bring stability to farm production. Despite the fact that technological advancements have largely benefitted the Indian agriculture from time to time, consistency in the agricultural performance of different regions and sub-regions within a state/district is yet to be achieved, while simultaneously pushing the crop yields to higher levels. It is time to synthesize the isolated capabilities of different technologies and tools into various information products of crop status and crop performance from regional to local scales and vice versa. Reliable and timely availability of the information products enables more effective planning and implementation of different strategies that would address the grievances of the farming community and further strengthen agribusiness chain and bring stability and sustenance to crop farming.

MahaAGRITECH Initiative

     Synergistic use of technologies like, Remote Sensing, Drones, GIS, GPS, Mobiles, Simulation models and ICT tools, could lead to a robust system for building agricultural intelligence in order to address various issues linked to the performance of crops at circle, taluka and district level. The main objective of the current project is development and implementation of the state of the art technologies for comprehensive assessment of the agricultural situation periodically throughout the cropping season and timely reporting of the information to the decision makers at various levels. This task calls for in-season real time monitoring of crops and infer the diagnostics to mitigate the stress due to adverse conditions or calamities, which affect the income from the farming. In this project, quantitative indicators pertaining to weather, soil and crops supported by intensive field information/observation collected through mobile app on real-time basis are used in the analysis to generate a strong agricultural intelligence information for specific crops throughout the cropping season. The project attempts innovative mapping and data analysis techniques to provide quantitative in-season measures/metrics/parameters related crop growth and productivity. Capabilities of all the tools and techniques, currently available for crop assessment and global experiences are fully exploited to generate objective information products. for example, satellite data of medium and fine resolutions will be used, respectively, for semi-detailed and detailed information on crop growth and prospects; GIS tools for generation of maps, GPS for geo-location and time-stamping, mobiles for in- situ collection and transmission of field data on crops, soils, pests and diseases, etc. are generated for assessment of the crop growth. A comprehensive geo-portal with user friendly dash boards is envisaged to develop with modern Geo-ICT tools for viewing, querying and display and dissemination. In this holistic process, the role of the line departments for field data collection as well as the feedback/validation of the information products, will be of immense value to strengthen the agricultural information system.