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AgriTech Summit

  • 16 Sep 2022
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: AgriTech Summit, Initiatives Related to Agriculture.

For Mains: Importance of Technology in Agriculture.

Why in News?

The Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare addressed the ‘Outlook Agritech Summit and Swaraj Awards 2022’.

What is the AgriTech Summit?

  • Agritech Summit is a platform to bring together the top political leadership, policymakers, thought leaders and companies involved in agriculture-related technology to share knowledge and recognise the best practices in the field of agriculture in India.
  • The annual awards recognise the best performances and innovations in the field of agriculture, and recognise those who are pushing the envelope by using smart technology.
    • The awards were given to various Krishi Vikas Kendras, Farmers' Producers Organisations as well as individual scientists.
  • The Swaraj Award was organised in association with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare.

What are the Highlights of the Address?

  • Many important schemes are being implemented so that the challenges of farming can be reduced and the income of the farmers can be increased.
  • There are 86% of small farmers in the country, who have small acreage and cannot invest much. The government is working to take these farmers forward, because if the balance of these farmers remains low, then neither agriculture nor the country will progress.
  • The government has started the work of creating 10,000 new FPOs (Farmer Producer Organisation), if small farmers join these FPOs, then the area under cultivation increases, the collective power of the farmer’s increases.
  • The government is also working in the field of pulses and oilseeds. Both were areas of scarcity.

What is the importance of Technology in Agriculture?

  • Importance:
    • The agriculture sector poses its own unique challenges such as dependency upon good monsoons, small and fragmented farm holdings, lack of mechanisation and scarcity of capital.
    • Technology in agriculture can be used in different aspects of agriculture such as the application of herbicide, pesticide, fertilizer, and improved seed.
    • Over the years, technology has proved to be extremely useful in the agricultural sector.
      • Presently, farmers are able to grow crops in areas where they were thought could not grow, but this is only possible through agricultural biotechnology.
    • For example, genetic engineering has made it possible to introduce certain strains into other genes of crops or animals.
      • Such engineering boosts the resistance of the crops to pests (e.g., Bt Cotton) and droughts. Through technology, farmers are in a position to electrify every process for efficiency and improved production.
  • Initiatives:
    • The government is working on a Digital Agri Mission so that the farmers can reach the government and the government can reach all the farmers.
      • Under the Digital Agri Mission, if all the farmers, agricultural areas, government schemes, central and state governments and banks are also brought on this platform, then the benefits of the schemes will be easily available.
    • Farmers are being linked with mechanization.
    • The government is promoting drone technology.

What are the Initiatives Related to Agriculture?

Way Forward

  • There is a need to deal with the challenges of the agriculture sector, how technology should be introduced in it, how to increase the availability of private investment, and how to create employment opportunities.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Prelims

Q. With reference to ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’, consider the following statements: (2016)

  1. Under this scheme, farmers will have to pay a uniform premium of two percent for any crop they cultivate in any season of the year.
  2. This scheme covers post-harvest losses arising out of cyclones and unseasonal rains.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only 
(c) Both 1 and 2 
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (b)

Exp:

  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is a crop insurance scheme launched by the Union Government. It covers pre-harvest and post-harvest losses arising out of natural calamities (cyclones and unseasonal rains), pests and diseases. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • Key Features
    • Uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
    • A premium of 5% is to be paid for annual commercial and horticultural crops.
    • The premium rates to be paid by farmers are very low and balance premium will be paid by the Government.
    • There is no upper limit on Government subsidy. Even if balance premium is 90%, it will be borne by the Government.
    • Capping on the premium has now been removed and farmers will get a claim against the full sum insured without any reduction.
    • Use of technology is encouraged to a great extent. Smart phones will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers. Remote sensing will be used to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments.
    • Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.

Mains

Q. What are the main constraints in transport and marketing of agricultural produce in India? (2020)

Source: PIB

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