Operationalizing Precision Farming in India

Authors: Ashish Mishra, P. Chidambara Raj, and D. Balaji College of Engineering, Guindy Anna University.

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Objectives Precision Farming Components of Prec Problems in Indian A Overview Feasibility Analysis Suggestions for Imp Conclusion

⇨ Explain the feasibility of precision farming technology with emphasis on seed spacing tillage, etc. Set up a DGPS network all around the country and achieving few centimeters accuracy for the purpose of Site-Specific Management (SSM) in Precision Farming Analyse the cost and benefit in terms of Indian farmer’s income-expenditure

Precision Farming
Care for each plant ⇨ The term Precision Farming means the application of technologies and principles to manage spatial and temporal variability associated with all aspects of agricultural production (Pierce and Nowak, 1999)


Components of Precision Farming
⇨ Remote Sensing ⇨ Geographic Information System (GIS) ⇨ Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) ⇨ Variable Rate Applicator


Problems in Indian Agriculture
⇨ ⇨ ⇨ Small land holdings Heterogeneity of cropping systems and market imperfections Lack of technical expertise knowledge and technology (India spends only 0.3% of its agricultural GDP in Research and Development )


⇨ Seed spacing
The yield is maximum when care is taken to adequately space them to enable each plant the optimum requisites for its growth, namely the soil nutrients, water, sunlight and protection against pest infestation.

DGPS Network

Enable the farmers to get an accuracy of few centimeters in the various unit processes involved in Precision Farming


DGPS network would cater to the needs of multitude of applications of which Precision Farming is one.

Feasibility Analysis
Area of India = 329 million hectares Area covered by one reference station of DGPS = 200 km radius Area of GPS (circular area, PI = 3.14) = PI * (200) 2 sq km = 125600 sq km = 12.56 million hectares Total no. of GPS reference stations required for the country = 329/12.56 = 26 Cost of a single DGPS = Rs. 40 lakhs Total cost of the entire infrastructure= Rs. 10.4 crores Contribution of Agriculture to GDP of India for 2000 - 01 = Rs. 430088 crores Amount spent for R&D = 0.3% of GDP = Rs. 1290.264 crores Percentage of amount required from R&D = (10.4 / 1290.264 ) * 100 = 0.81%


Suggestions for Implementation
⇨ ⇨ ⇨ Creation of Multidisciplinary teams of scientists Formation of farmer’s co-operatives Government legislation restraining indiscriminate practices Creation of awareness among farmers, land owners, etc.

⇨ As the feasibility shows only 0.81% of R&D would be used for the first stage of Precision Farming and so it will take “Indian

agriculture into space age”.


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