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INTRODUCTION:

Agriculture (also called as farming or husbandry) is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fibre, and other products used to sustain life. [1] Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy and the villages are the life lines of growth of India. In India the two-third of the population lives in rural areas and depends (directly or indirectly) on agriculture for their livelihood. In India, revenue from farming is the only source of income for majority of the farming community. The main requirements to bring a crop to harvest are water resources and capital (to buy seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, labour and so on). For a crop, based on the availability of water resources, raising of the required capital is the main task for any farmer. Agriculture is one of is the oldest profession and applied science in the world. Agriculture is a very important sector for the continual growth of the Indian economy. About 70 per cent of the people residing in rural areas and 8 per cent of the people residing in urban areas are still primarily dependent on agriculture for employment. Since some three-quarters of the population live in rural areas, a majority of households thus depend principally on this sector. The share of agriculture in the GDP is affected by the industrialization of the Indian economy. India has achieved self-sufficiency in agriculture after it has undergone various successful agricultural revolutions starting with the green revolution in wheat and rice in the 1960s and 1970s the white revolution in the milk to the yellow revolution in oilseeds in 1980s. Today the agriculture sector contributes nearly 26 percent to Indias GDP. Modern agriculture depicts the push for innovation, stewardship and advancements continually made by growers to sustainably produce higher-quality products with a reduced environmental impact. Intensive scientific research and robust investment in modern agriculture during the past 50 years has helped farmers double food production. The importance of information in all fields may it be the economic or social development of developing countries is considered, the requirement for information in the agriculture field need to be recognized in all manners. Although, agriculture development relates to special attention of the government agriculture resources and man power are considered as two effective factors for the growth of agriculture. In other words, existence of utilizable and usable source in any country as well as the existence of specialist manpower results to an agriculture extension due to a fundamental planning. But, the most important factor which provides such development and extension is information which is considered an important requirement for production in agriculture regarding to the modern technology. That is if farmers, researchers and others will get suitable information about modern agriculture systems and its related matters, no doubt there will be a considerable increment in the amount of the food stuff produced or we can say it as the increase in agricultural production. In other words it is necessary to have immediate access to innovation, changes and the latest results of agriculture research. But due to lack of planning and systematic transfer of information we cannot achieve full information on progress and innovation in agriculture fields. Nowadays, scientific and technical information are considered as the basic for future prediction. In this era Information technology (IT) provides an opportunity to increase the productivity in agriculture. Several key features of IT can be employed for decision support systems in the decreasing the manual efforts with increasing agricultural production.

DRAWBACKS OF TRADITIONAL SYSTEM:


Continuous efforts are being made to improve agricultural productivity by facilitating the advances in agricultural fields to reach farmers through magazines and newspapers, broadcast media (radio and television), organizing seminars and group meetings. Let us term this as a traditional method. The drawbacks of the traditional approach are as follows: Irrelevance of the delivered information: The advice is widely spread by considering a large community of farmers and a few crops at a time. It definitely helps a few farmers to know about the advances in agriculture and information related to improving the crop productivity. But for the majority of other farmers, the same advice is irrelevant as they are cultivating different crops. The system consider the general cases only i.e. the system does not consider the cases at the individual farmers level, because each and every farmer is not cultivating the same crop so every individual farmer requires a specific guidance for the particular crop that he cultivates. Inability of the system to cover all farmers: In addition, the system is out of reach of majority of farmers, who are illiterate or with low literacy level. Also, it is inappropriate to expect the farmers to keep track of the developments at the research level, because a typical farmer is normally busy taking care of day-to-day farming activities. As a result, majority of the farming community is deprived of proper advice about crop cultivation. The drawbacks of the traditional system should be rectified to improve performance. These drawbacks can be removed by using the Information Technology in collaboration with the agriculture or industry. Any improved system should provide expert advice by responding appropriately, considering the case of each crop separately. The proposed information dissemination system aims to provide expert advice on a continuous (daily/weekly) basis by considering each crop situation separately. This means the advice will be personalized with respect to the crop of each farmer. For instance, if the farmer raises the same crop in different kinds of soil, or at more places with the same type of soil, but with a few weeks delay, the system should provide the relevant advice accordingly. Also, if two farmers stay close to each other and cultivate the same crop, they should get appropriate but different advice based on the availability of water resources and other factors. Providing such a personalized and continuous advice to millions of Indian farmers and crops is possible by using the IT services in agriculture to improve the productivity.

ROLE OF IT IN AGRICULTURE:
The Indian farming community is facing a large no of problems to maximize crop productivity. Even after successful researches on new agricultural practices concerning crop cultivation, majority of the farmers are not getting the expected outcome (upper-bound yield) due to various reasons. One of the reasons is that expert/scientific advices regarding crop cultivation is not reaching the farming community (i.e. individual farmers) in a timely manner. It is true that India possesses valuable agricultural knowledge and expertise. However, a communication breakdown or wide information gap exists between researches and practices. Indian farmers need timely expert advice to make them more productive and competitive.

Recent IT developments enable the maintenance of huge information (text, image, audio and video) repositories with negligible down-time. This stored information can be retrieved by millions of users simultaneously in no time. Currently, Internet speed is doubling every nine months within a decade; it will be possible to provide instantaneous connectivity (both ways) to millions of people (Indian population) enabling mass customization and personalized services. Also, data mining technology can be used to extract useful knowledge from huge databases and simulation technology can be used to predict into the future. Such IT-based developments provide new opportunities to improve the utilization of resources and increase the production of crops in agriculture.

DATA CENTERS DATA CENTERS

Figure 1: IT in agriculture Information Technology (IT) offers the ability to increase the amount of information provided to all participants in the agricultural sector and to reduce the cost involved in the process of wide spreading the information. An understanding of the factors associated with IT adoption and use in agriculture enables the development of strategies to promote IT adoption and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of information used in agriculture. It is a fact that access to information holds the key for successful development in any of the fields. Improved communications and information access is directly related to socio-economic development of any nation. Agriculture is one of the areas in which IT can effectively be applied particularly for the social and economic development of the Indian agrarian community. However, rural population in our country still have difficulties in accessing crucial information in the forms they can understand in order to make timely decisions for better farming. IT is generating possibilities to solve such problems of different categories of end users. Information technology provides answers to a number of questions to the farmers. For example, what are the benefits of more irrigation? Is it cost-effective to apply additional chemicals? When is the best time to sell crops? Informing

farmers with text messages or emails regarding new type of diseases and how to prevent? With improved record-keeping, more detailed cost analysis and more sophisticated marketing strategies, farmers are making better decisions and earning higher profits. The Internet is increasing communication and business opportunities within the agricultural community, which previously operated in the relative isolation of rural areas. Farmers, agricultural researchers, cooperatives, suppliers and buyers use the Internet to exchange ideas and information, as well as to conduct business with each other. Machinery, seed chemicals and other types of agricultural products can be purchased and sold online. Thus the role of IT in agriculture is very important.

Figure 2: Extension of IT developments to improve performance of livelihood technologies.

AGRICULTURE PRODUCTIVITY:
Agriculture productivity is measured as the ratio of agricultural outputs to agricultural inputs. [2] Indian agricultural productivity suffers mainly because of the expensive credit, a distorted market, intermediaries, controlled prices and poor infrastructure. It has also suffered because of poor irrigation facilities, use of traditional technology and practices, farmers poor economic status, fragmented landholdings, lack of infrastructure and lack of farm extension. MEASURES TO BOOST PRODUCTIVITY: Improving water resources and Irrigation management Strengthening rural non-farm sector growth. Improving access to land Improving access to rural finance Information and communication technology Technological Prospective.

GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES: AIBP (accelerated irrigation benefit programme) launched, to enhance irrigation potential by 5.1 million hectares. National Horticulture Mission: To cover 340 districts in 18 states and 2 UTs. National dairy Development Board to promote dairying in 326 districts under national Dairy Plan. National Fisheries Development Board to promote inland as well as marine fisheries. National Rained area Development Authority: For increasing productivity of rain fed areas (approx. 60% of total cultivable land). Financial Inclusion initiatives.

ROLE OF THE BANKING SECTOR IN AGRICULTURAL: Kishan credit card scheme Insurance Training and consultancy Warehousing and cold storage Agro-tech and agro-clinic

PROCUREMENT:
Procurement is the acquisition of goods and/or services [3]. It is favourable that the goods/services are appropriate and that they are procured at the best possible cost to meet the needs of the purchaser in terms of quality and quantity, time, and location. Procurement in context to agriculture means that the farmer should be well aware of the type of quality and the total amount of quantity that would be required by the consumers within the time limit constraints. The farmers will be then calculates the amount of resource (seeds, fertilizers) need to cultivate the crop with maximum profit he can make out of it.

LOGISTICS:
Logistics is considered to be a science, dealing with the integrated management of all the material and corresponding information flow from suppliers through transformation of input materials up to the end consumers. [4] Transportation plays an important role in the agricultural sector. This is because without modern modes of transportation, agriculture product will be left in the farm to rot. Without transport it would be almost impossible to deliver them to consumer for farmers to earn living and increase their production. There are various means for transportation, they are categorised into By Road. By Air. By Waterways.

Figure 3: Logistics for agriculture BY ROAD: As the air and water means of transportation are not possible everywhere, the road transportation is the best approach to carry the products from farmers to local market or central storage and again from central storage to other nearby market places.

The nature of road transportation of goods depends on the degree of road development, distance and weight of products. For short distances and light, small shipments a van or pickup truck may be used. For large shipments even if less than a full truckload a truck is more appropriate. The advanced road transporter vehicle is called as the refrigerated trailer. The refrigerated trucks help the farmers to reduce their loss due to hot weather. This vehicles have inbuilt refrigerator to protect the agricultural products from heat. BY AIR: Air transportation is time saving transportation usually used for heavy weight and long distance transportation. This means is costly and used if the time is measure. This is used to transport the goods across the states or countries. This means helps in export of agriculture products to other counties results in the growth in agri.

BY WATERWAYS: The purpose of this means is same as air transportation. This transportation also helps farmers to export their goods to other country. This means is time and cost saving for very large transportation.

CHANGING PATTERN OF NEEDS:


The relevant information is always needed to take proper decision or to increase the productivity. This information need to be stored and used for future use. The broad information inputs required by farmers in the new scenario can be classified as Awareness Databases: The database will store the information of different farms across the country. As India is the country of diversity. The peoples used different communication languages. The jargon and the language under various articles require to be distilled by experts and their implications are clearly to be spelled out for all the segments of Indian agriculture and allied activities. This is a first priority issue which is to be addressed immediately. The government policies should reach the people in time by using database and WWW. The impact on various subsidy schemes would be of concern to people. An immediate effect of the schemes on farmers must be recorded to take future decision. Decision Support Systems for farmers: Indian farmer is cautious and usually tends to avoid risk. The farmer needs the exact prediction of what will happen next regarding the weather, market needs and etc... So to have better production we need to take proper decision well within the time. The decision is taken based on historical data i.e. what was happened in past years and from that what will happen the next. As we know the prediction is not exact, we have to develop better prediction technique to predict more accurate future. There are many techniques to predict the future such as prediction using neural network, decision trees, artificial intelligences and etc... Monitoring: There is need of observing the farm, market status, demand and supply many more things. Also there is need of advance warning systems to alert the farmers are required to be developed. It is necessary to promote monitoring cells in all major institutions related to agriculture and allied activities to maintain data, provide periodic analytical reports and raise advance alerts. Information on new opportunities: IT is playing an important and vital role in agricultural production and marketing. IT allows farmers to save time on order and delivery and getting feedback. By providing farmers with information on new opportunities they can utilize it to maximize the yield of the cost, minimize the waste of resources. For providing information on new opportunities to the farmers the following systems should be developed and maintained: Farmers crop database must be managed. The database includes the kinds of crops, the size of cultivated area, time of harvest and yield. Farmers or the extension personnel transmit those data via the Internet to database server. Further, information provides the farmer with an important instrument for making and taking action. Crops information service system should be created. This system analyses the crop data to create some statistical tables. Farmers can access these statistical data by browsing the homepage and make their production plan. Changes within the structure of agriculture

will probably have an impact on the selection and types of acquisition of software and other integrated systems made by the farmers. Production techniques and information inquiry system should be created. This system integrates the production techniques and information, which are developed by experimental agricultural institutes and agricultural improvement stations. Farmers can find out relevant production information through this inquiry service system. Production equipments inquiry service system should be created. This system gathers the Information from the companies of seeds and crop production equipment to build the production equipments inquiry service system. At the same time, allow relevant companies to access this system and enter their own data. Therefore, farmers can order the needed items through this system. Data mining: Data mining is the process of discovering previously unknown and potentially interesting patterns in large datasets. The mined information is typically represented as a model of the semantic structure of the dataset. Thus data mining is very beneficial to improve the productivity as the mined information would provide farmers with patterns observed over the years such as which soil is best for which particular crop, which climate is suitable for different types of crops.

DIFFERNT IT TECHNIQUES FOR AGRICULTURE:


The agriculture information dissemination system (AgrIDS): For good production, we have to maintain soil fertility. To achieve this AgrIDS will help the formers. AgrIDS will give the timely advice to farmers to take proper decision. The system gives the advice in different areas such as pest warning and pest control; fertilizers used for the particular soil and also time to use the fertilizers, choice of crops based on soil and other factors. It includes the information on cost, profit, and risk factors for various crops; scheduling of crop activities; weather information and type of crop to be raised by forecasting weather; marketing and strategic planning.

Figure 3: Depiction of AgrIDS operation.

Figure 4: Agricultural information dissemination system. Double arrow indicates information flow. In this technique initially farmers has to register in AgrIDS. After registering the coordinators of AgrIDS sends the status of farm through images and text data to agriculture experts (AE). The AE sends advice to the coordinator, later that is explained to the farmer. [5]
MKRISHI:

MKRISHI, whose name combines "m" for "mobile" and "krishi" which refers to agriculture in many Indian languages, costs a farmer between $1 and $2 per months. TCS partners with wireless operators to allow farmers to download the platform on high-end phones, and TCS has set up "mini-mobile sites" that farmers can visit for their purpose.

Tata Consultancy Services to provide personalized advice to Indian farmers on lowend mobile phones. TCS, an Asian Innovation spent two years studying farming patterns in rural India and developing methods to connect farmers to agricultural experts, with the belief that technology could jump-start some of India's seemingly ancient agricultural practices. The platform's technology not only allows farmers to submit questions to experts, but also provides environment-specific details that give the experts a kind of agricultural map of the issue at hand. For example, when a farmer enters his location on mKRISHI, agricultural sensors connect to geolocation services like GPS and Google Earth to deliver local weather, soil conditions, common pests and food-grain prices to the expert on the other end. Farmers can also attach photos if they have mobile cameras. TECHNIQUES BASED ON KNOWLEDGE BSED SYSTEM: Knowledge-based expert system technology has been applied to a variety of agricultural problems. The expert system applied to the problems of diagnosing Soybean diseases are one of the earliest expert systems developed in agriculture. A unique feature of the system is that it uses two types of decision rules: 1) The rules representing expert diagnostic knowledge, and 2) The rules obtained through inductive learning from several hundred cases of disease. POMME: The POMME is expert system developed specially for apples. POMME advises growers about when and what to spray on their apples to avoid infestations. The system also provides advice regarding treatment of winter injuries, drought control and multiple insect problems. COMAX: COMAX expert system is used for cotton. The system helps in predicting growth of plant based on weather variables, soil physical parameters, soil fertility, and pest damage.

CALEX: This is agriculture management system, which can be used for any crop or we can say that it is domain independent. It contains of three modules namely: an executive, a scheduler, and an expert system shell. The executive serves as the primary interface to the user, to models, and to the disk. The scheduler generates a sequence of management activities by repeatedly activating the expert system. GRID-BASED DECISION SUPPORT: The most important advantage of the Internet is its use in information sharing between distributed resources. Such information sharing can greatly increase the amount of data available to users. Unfortunately, the will to share information in agricultural information systems is still weak and even at one site the same data can be duplicated ineffectively. However, new technologies to utilize the Internet make it possible for us to develop a distributed system called Data Grid for agriculture, which provides improved access to programs and effective utilization of available databases. The basic idea of Data Grid is acceptance of heterogeneity and autonomy of distributed resources so as to make the good decision on the heterogeneous data. WARANA WIRED VILLAGE PROJECT: This project has been initiated to give the appropriate information for agriculture at door steps. This project has been initiated to serve the information needs on different crop cultivation practices of major crops, sugarcane cultivation practices, pest and disease control, marketing information, dairy and sugarcane processing information etc. to the farmers, right up to their village level. NIC, Pune was involved in setting-up the hardware and software and NIC, Delhi established connectivity of WAN links such as VSAT and dial-up connections. The software required for the system such as web page designing, database designing and client based applications used by the farmers such as dairy; sugarcane information systems had been developed by the NIC, Pune. SATELLITE KRUSHI GOSTHI:
This is a satellite based distance interactive based education system. It consists three elements, first TV studio from where scientists deliver the talk through live programme, second a number of remote classrooms or Direct Reception Centres (DRSs), with the facility of TV set and STD telephone, from where farmers can watch the live programme on TV sets and third satellite linkage to transmit live programme given by scientists from the TV studio to farmers KNOWLEDGE SHARING AND REUSE:

Knowledge sharing and reuse is one of the topics that has attracted the attention of the artificial intelligence researchers in the last few years. The research in knowledge sharing in agriculture can be directed toward identifying common knowledge that can be shared among different expert systems such as identification of agriculture ontology, knowledge related to common resources namely: soil, water and climate, knowledge related to the same taxonomic category of a set of crops, etc... . The research in knowledge reuse can be directed to building a library of domain specific tasks in agriculture such as: irrigation, fertilization, integrated pest management, etc... INTELLIGENT RETRIEVAL OF AGRICULTURAL DATA: The proper storage and retrieval of old data is needed to take the proper decision. Meteorological data are very important for agronomists as forecasting weather data helps in giving recommendations to farmers. The systems help the researchers to predict the future by looking at past constraint and conditions.

The quality of information required has a great influence on the efficiency of all the activities in any of the event/system. The same is the case with agriculture relevant information of required quality influences the efficiency of different activities of a farmer. The availability of such relevant information of required quality is only possible with the use of Information Technology.

SHORTCOMINGS OF IT BASED EXTENSION IN INDIA:


Access to satellite based Internet is a big challenge in developing nation like India. Poor quality of connectivity, low bandwidths is very common problems. In India, waiting for years to own a telephone connection in most parts, except metropolitan areas, was a big problem. Now a day the number of rural and urban fixed telephones and cellular mobiles are growing with the help of policy initiatives and market potential. At the same time, more thrust towards wiring rural people, especially in a country like India where large sections of people live in rural areas, is still needed. Unless these people are connected, `India going on-line' will once again divide the rich and the poor. It needs more conviction and political will to focus the rural unconnected in the Market age. The second major problem with regard to using satellite based communication for extension is content availability in the Internet. Even if a person from a developing country is connected, he/she is connected to western information. 97 per cent of all Internet hosts are in developed nations, home to 16 per cent of the world's population. Statistics show the majority of users are from developed nations. Naturally, the information available on line is not meant for developing countries citizens. The information for development from developing countries perspectives and the database creation of local knowledge and practices according to their demand is little available or not at all. More than the access to technology, content creation seems to be a very difficult task. In order to arrive at a reasonably clear picture of the country of existing communication habits and channels in rural areas, especially among the poorer households, from an analysis of the available data, certain trends emerged. For example, of the total households, the telephone density is as low as phones per household. Reach of electronic media, especially television, is reasonably high when one considers the prevalence of poverty in the villages of India. The predominant sources of information are the local petty shopkeeper, the market place, and the agricultural input supplier. A very considerable amount of information transaction takes place between the rural poor households and this also acts as a primary source of information.

IT AND AGRICULTURE IN FUTURE:


There are many research going on to help the farmers to increase the food productivity, give proper advice to farmers well before the time and in many areas such as transportation etc... One of the techniques that is in use in very small coverage or network but would be used widely by all farming community is GIS (Geographical Information system) to monitor the agricultural fields and provide some specific information which would be useful for the farmers. Geographical Information System (GIS) is a technology that provides the means to collect and use geographic data to assist in the development of Agriculture. A digital map is generally of much greater value than the same map printed on a paper as the digital version can be combined with other sources of data for analysing information with a graphical presentation. The GIS software makes it possible to synthesize large amounts of different data, combining different layers of information to manage and retrieve the data in a more useful manner. GIS provides a powerful means for agricultural scientists to provide better service to the farmers and farming community in answering their query and helping in a better decision making to implement planning activities for the development of agriculture

A Geographical Information System (GIS) is a system for capturing, storing, analysing and managing data and associated attributes, which are spatially referenced to the Earth. The geographical information system is also called as a geographic information system or geospatial information system. It is an information system capable of integrating, storing, editing, analysing, sharing, and displaying geographically referenced information. In a more generic sense, GIS is a software tool that allows users to create interactive queries, analyse the spatial information, edit data, maps, and present the results of all these operations. GIS technology is becoming essential tool to combine various maps and remote sensing information to generate various models, which are used in real time environment. Geographical information system is the science utilizing the geographic concepts, applications and systems. Geographical Information System can be used for scientific investigations, resource management, asset management, environmental impact assessment, urban planning, cartography, criminology, history, sales, marketing, and logistics. For example, agricultural planners might use geographical data to decide on the best locations for a location specific crop planning, by combining data on soils, topography, and rainfall to determine the size and location of biologically suitable areas. GIS for Agriculture: Balancing the inputs and outputs on a farm is fundamental to its success and profitability. The ability of GIS to analyse and visualize agricultural environments and workflows has proved to be very beneficial to those involved in the farming industry. From mobile GIS in the field to the scientific analysis of production data at the farm manager's office, GIS is playing an increasing role in agriculture production throughout the world by helping farmers increase production, reduce costs, and manage their land more efficiently. While natural inputs in farming cannot be controlled, they can be better understood and managed with GIS applications such as crop yield estimates, soil amendment analyses, and erosion identification and remediation The process consists of the following steps: 1. Obtain satellite imagery. 2. Digitize crop field boundaries from satellite imagery. 3. Design the point frame and select random sample point. 4. Use aerial survey sample points to capture crop data. 5. Perform statistical analysis. Satellite images are taken from various satellites. Digitized fields are stratified based on the probability of finding a crop. The core strata used are high, medium, and low cultivation. High, medium, and low refer to the densities of fields within any given area as well as the presence of pivot irrigation and small-scale farming. Stratification is done to increase sampling efficiency. More sample points are used in strata where there is a higher likelihood of finding crops of interest. This will obtain the most useful data within budget constraints and keep the Coefficient of Variance (CV) as low as possible. An aerial survey of the sample points is conducted. This aerial survey determines which crop is planted in the field represented by each sample point. These surveys are conducted by a field observation team that consists of a pilot and an observer in a very light aircraft. The observer is from the agricultural community and is very experienced at distinguishing between different crops and differentiating between dry land and irrigated cultivation. Typically, the number of sample points verified for each survey requires the use of more than one field observation team. This system of capturing field information for crop estimate purposes is believed to be unique in the world.

Figure 5: Aerial image of the agricultural fields The field data is captured and stored in file format. This data is uploaded to a central server on a daily basis and imported into a SQL Server database. Expansion statistics are used to calculate estimates of the area planted in each grain crop on a provincial basis. Agricultural through Sensors: Sensors: A mechanical device sensitive to light, temperature, radiation level, or the like, that transmits a signal to a measuring or control instrument. There are different types of sensors such as humidity sensors, ph level sensors, pressure sensors and etc... These sensors are called as smart sensors. These sensors are resistive to excessive heat, cold, also they are unbreakable. Sensors can be used in agriculture for different purposes such as Environmental monitoring, weather monitoring, Geo-referenced environmental monitoring sensors. For e.g. Smart sensors can be used to record the change in plant leaves (by fixing the sensors on leaf), the changes are automatically transferred to agricultural research departments through WIFI. So, as when there is start of any disease in plant which can be identified in initial stage of disease, so the farmers can use pesticide at initial stage of disease and save his farm. Remote sensing: Remote Sensing (RS) is a technology that provides the means to collect and use geographic data to assist in the development of Agriculture. Remote Sensing in the most generally accepted meaning refers to instrument-based techniques employed in the acquisition and measurement of spatially organized or geographically distributed data on some properties such as spectral, spatial, physical of an array of target points of objects and materials from a distance from the observed target without physical contact. Remote sensing of the environment by geographers is usually done with the help of mechanical devices known as remote sensors. These gadgets have a greatly improved ability to receive and record information about an object without any physical contact. Often, these sensors are positioned away from the object of interest by using helicopters, planes, and satellites. Most sensing devices record information about an object by measuring an objects transmission of electromagnetic energy from reflecting and radiating surfaces.

There are two kinds of remote sensing: (1) Passive sensors detect natural energy / radiation that is emitted or reflected by the object or surrounding area being observed. Reflected sunlight is the most common source of radiation measured by passive sensors. Examples of passive remote sensors include film photography, infrared, and radiometers. (2) Active collection, on the other hand, emits energy in order to scan objects and areas whereupon a passive sensor then detects and measures the radiation that is reflected or backscattered from the target. RADAR is an example of active remote sensing where the time delay between emission and return is measured, establishing the location, height, speeds and direction of an object. Remote sensing makes it possible to collect data on inaccessible areas. Use of GIS in combination with remote sensing enhances the decision-making in following ways: Process identification to enable comparison of different acquisitions through time. Identification of agricultural and other development problems. Evaluation of possible technical interventions for conservation or reclamation measures. Monitoring of soils, water, and land degradation processes. Crop Production Databases Crop production database is used to know how many hectares have been cultivated, where the cultivation has occurred and what will be likely production, i.e. Area and Production of various crops can be assed with the help of remote sensing and GIS applications. Crop distribution help in modelling of climatic and other environmental changes and their effects on agriculture Crop growth and yield determination: Crop growth and yield are determined by a number of factors such as genetic potential of crop cultivar, soil, and weather, cultivation practices such as date of sowing, amount of irrigation and fertilizer and biotic stresses. However, generally for a given area, year-to-year yield variability has been mostly modelled through weather as a predictor using either empirical or crop simulation approach. With the launch and continuous availability of multispectral (visible, near-infrared) sensors on polar orbiting earth observation satellites remote sensing data has become an important tool for yield modelling. RS data provide timely, accurate, synoptic and objective estimation of crop growing conditions or crop growth for developing yield models and issuing yield forecasts at a range of spatial scales. RS data have certain advantage over meteorological observations for yield modelling, such as dense observational coverage, direct viewing of the crop and ability to capture effect of nonmeteorological factors. An integration of the three technologies, viz., crop simulation models, RS data and GIS can provide an excellent solution to monitoring and modelling of crop at a range of spatial scales.

CONSTRAINTS AND REMEDIES FOR EFFECTIVE DISSEMINATION


Some of the major constraints delaying the spread of e-revolution to rural India are listed below: Haphazard development: Many initiatives have already been made to provide IT based services to rural community. But the initiatives are not going on the track as they are supposed to. Keeping in view the giant task involved, it is necessary to form a coordination mechanism that would help to support farming community in the country. Such a coordination agency may only have advisory powers such as user interface, broad design, and delivery mechanism of the content, standards for setting up kiosks. User friendliness: The rural population is unable to use the content made available to them because they are not used to retrieve information using modern technology. This will require intuitive graphics based presentation to get rural population understand the content available in an easy manner. Touch screen kiosks are required to be set up to encourage greater participation Local languages: As we know India is a country with many states and each state having its own regional language so for communicating, propagating information in regional languages is very important because many farmers understand there regional language only and not the other languages . Regional language fonts must be included in softwares and mechanisms for synchronisation of the contents available is a big challenge that needs to be met with careful planning. Restrictions: Information content based on remote sensing and geographical information systems can provide timely alerts to the farmers and also improve the efficiency of administration. The main obstacle with this remote sensing or geographical information system is the restriction put by the government on map policies. These map restriction policies are not letting GIS or remote sensing techniques to be fully utilized. Power Supply: In most of the rural India power supply is a very big problem, power supply is not available for very long duration. The non-availability of power supply for long period of time will reduce the usefulness of the intended services. The most feasible solution to this kind of problem is to make use of renewable source of energy to generate the power required. Solar energy is the energy to be utilized to generate power. Entire country receives sunshine for most part of the year it is useful to explore solar power packs for UPS as well as for supply of power. The Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources may pay special attention in this area which can be a major contributor to the growth of IT in villages. Connectivity: The connectivity to rural areas still requires to be improved. Reliable connectivity is a pre-requisite for a successful adoption of IT into rural areas. Many private ISPs are setting up large networks connecting many major towns and cities. Since some of these networks pass through rural areas, it is possible to provide connectivity to a large number of villages. Several

technologies exist that can be utilised for connecting rural areas. Cable network is a possible medium for providing the last mile connectivity to villages. Bandwidth: We have telephone and other communication services but the available bandwidth is a major constraint. As farmers are generally illiterate, we have to use graphics as an interaction tool. Also low bandwidth is limitations in providing effective e-services to farmers. As already stated, networks with high bandwidth are being set up by several companies passing through rural segments which can be utilised. Until this materialises, a two pronged strategy of storing static information at the kiosks and providing dynamic information from remote locations can be examined. The graphic oriented content which does not change frequently, such as, demonstration clips for farmers, can be stored on the local drives at the kiosks and arrange for periodic updating of this information over the network during non-peak hours. The dynamic information which changes more frequently can be accessed from remote locations to obtain the latest status. Distance education: People have to travel a very far distance to attend various educational courses of their choices which are not available in the villages. One way to solve this problem is to set up virtual classrooms right in their villages so each and every one has access to educational courses of their choice at their home place. Training: People living in rural areas require training and a means for upgrading their skills in their area of work. It is possible to provide quality education right at their door steps with facilities for online interaction with experts. Training can be imparted on various aspects of agriculture such as correct practices, irrigation practices, efficient utilisation of tools used in farming such as tractors through video conferencing. Insurance: As each and every day private insurance companies are entering into the corporate world the competition is increasing day by day. The agents of insurance companies can render the IT services over the network and can operate the kiosk which would help the rural people to do with their transactions and the need of kiosk operator will also be fulfilled at the same time. Local Agent: For working out the logistics for their supplies to rural outlets mostly each and every company/industry has to face many hardships. A rural kiosk can act as a channel for such companies. This intermediary channel (rural kiosk) will be a profitable venture. Rural Post Office: The kiosks can facilitate sending and receiving emails, facilitate chats with experts. Several successful rural kiosks are already available in many states which run essentially on this model. E-Governance: Rural kiosks are the stepping stones for effective implementation of e-governance. Details related to central / state / local governments, formats and procedures, status verification such as case listings in courts, filing of applications in electronic format where admissible, etc. are some of the areas where kiosks can be of major use.

Online examinations: Many organisations and certification agencies conduct online certification examination to evaluate skills of persons in specific field/area. All these online certification examinations are conducted in metro cities so the people from rural areas have to stay in metros to face the examinations. Eventually it should be possible to conduct these examinations through the rural kiosks.

References: [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_productivity [3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procurement [4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logistics A framework of information technology-based agriculture information dissemination system to improve crop productivity. http://www.tata.com/media/articles/inside.aspx?artid=FOw+oJ3FJSQ= Expert System Applications: Agriculture (Ahmed Rafea). Logistics in agricultural production (D.Vanecek, D. Kalab). GIS for agriculture (ESRI). Agriculture productivity in India- issues and challenges. Measure to boost productivity and innovation in agriculture lending by Banks: Future Trends. Role of Information Technology in Agriculture and its Scope in India. By S.C. Mittal.