TN to farm digital agriculture for farmer’s benefit

Chennai, March 19 (IANS) Tamil Nadu government will implement digital agriculture for the benefit of farmers at an outlay of Rs 8 crore with central and state government’s funds, said Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare M.R.K.Panneerselvam.

Presenting the Agriculture Budget for 2022-23 in the state Assembly on Saturday, Panneerselvam said his department has designed a scheme on digital agriculture whereby all technologies from seed to yield can be obtained electronically through Uzhaan (farmer) Mobile Application.

“All the technologies will be communicated electronically to the farmers from sowing to harvest and marketing of the produce field-wise for getting higher income,” Panneerselvam said.

According to him, individual farm based crop plan, survey numbers and sub divisions of all villages will be geo-tagged, which will be superimposed with details of land owner’s basic information, soil health and cultivated crops.

The seven Agro-climatic zones are divided into 1,330 Micro Agro-climatic zones to formulate new profitable crop plans to farmers based on factors of production.

According to Panneerselvam, artificial intelligence will be applied to monitor the pest and disease infestation in crops and instantaneous management measures will be delivered to farmers through SMS advisories in coordination with Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

In coordination with Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and Tamil Nadu Drone Corporation, farmers will be imparted training and demonstration in seven Farmers Training Centres (FTC) for the usage of drones in pesticide spray and survey of crop growth stages.

The new digital Technology “Internet of Things” (IoT) will be adopted in State Seed Farms and State Horticultural Farms for automated irrigation and fertigation, for offering training to farmers on this new technology.

Panneerselvam said an an exclusive portal called “Tamil Mann Valam” will be launched in co-ordination with the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in which the farmers can get the soil fertility status of their lands – survey number wise and they can print the soil health cards by themselves.

Recommendations based on soil fertility will be prescribed for cultivation of agricultural, horticultural crops and agro-forestry trees.

Remote Sensing technology will be used to assess cropped area and yield, through which we can forecast the price by Agricultural Marketing Intelligence Cell for helping the farmers to get fair price for their produce, he said.

Facilities will be made for online advance booking of seeds, planting materials, fruit plants and coconut seedlings, so that planting is taken up in the right cropping season itself.

The agricultural labourers can register their details such as district, block, village directly in the Mobile Application. This application will serve as a platform to provide employment to skilled Agricultural labourers and also serve the farmers to undertake agricultural activities at appropriate time.

Panneerselvam said cashless transactions in agricultural extension centres will be facilitated.