Satellites Designed for Benefit of Farmers

Bharat Mahan

The satellite-enabled services in conjunction with ground data, to support farmers in India include weather forecasting, agro-advisory, agromet services, soil moisture and agricultural extension activities to support farming operations in the country by India Meteorology Department (IMD), Ministry of Earth Sciences. Also, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) collaborates with Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on various applications using satellite data and geospatial technology in agriculture sector, which include – (i) horticultural crop inventory and site suitability for expansion in under-utilised areas, (ii) crop assessment using medium and high resolution satellite data, (iii) field data collection with field photos using mobile App, (iv) crop cutting experiments based on satellite derived crop vigor information. Earlier, ISRO had transferred the technology to Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmer’s Welfare for (i) Forecasting Agricultural Output using Space, Agro-meteorology and Land based observations (FASAL) and (ii) National Agricultural Drought Assessment and Monitoring System (NADAMS) and internalised the monitoring of irrigation infrastructure at Central Water Commission.

The satellites designed by ISRO, which are currently in operation, to support these services and applications, include Resourcesat-2, Resourcesat-2A, RISAT-1, Cartosat-1, Kalpana-1, INSAT-3D and INSAT-3DR.

The data and value added products derived from these satellites have benefitted the concerned user ministries/ departments in Natural Resources Inventory & Monitoring, crop assessment, wasteland inventory, topographic Mapping & DEM, land & water resources development, weather forecasting and Disaster Management Support. These applications are useful to the decision makers to adopt suitable interventions for planning and management of various activities in agriculture sector.

This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

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