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GNSS-based system to enhance farming in India

New Delhi, India: The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is developing a system based-on global navigation satellite system (GNSS), to increase agricultural productivity. The system will provide exact information to farmers on the type of crops they should grow, fertiliser and water requirements, Business Line reported.

In addition to GNSS, GIS and Simulation Modelling for Decision Support System (DSS) will be utilised for this system. The farmers will also be able to know the type of crop suitable for their fields.

For the system, ICAR collected GNSS-based soil samples across the country on the nutrient status and acidic reaction of soil in agri-regions to build a database on the appropriate farming methods to be employed for maximum productivity. Subsequently, information on appropriate farming techniques to be adopted in specific areas, as identified through the soil samples, will be disseminated to farmers over the internet.

The Project Directorate for Farming System Research (PDFSR), Meerut, an institute of ICAR, is already implementing the initiative on a pilot basis in two villages of Western Uttar Pradesh — Jainpur in Meerut and Matiala in Ghaziabad.

“The agricultural land will be divided into homologous zones on the basis of the requirement of fertilisers, the data along with the map of the particular agricultural field will be available on the internet which could be easily accessed by the farmers,” the Project Director of PDFSR, Modipuram, Meerut, Mr B. Gangwar, said.

According to scientists, the requirement of fertilisers in the soil depends on their qualities, such as the extent of acidity & alkalinity, PH value, humus content and the type of crops harvested and sown which largely varies. Over-use of fertilisers is turning the soil infertile, which is a major concern, Gangwar said. “The data will be updated after every crop,” he added.

“In India, agricultural land is shrinking rapidly so we have no other option but to conserve and utilise the natural resources for maximum productivity by using appropriate techniques of farming system,” he said. According to government estimates, small and marginal farmers will hold more than 91 per cent of farm holdings by 2030.

Source: Business Line