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The Centre is working on a combination of traditional and modern technology like satellite imagery for crop acreage and yield estimation to build up a much more sophisticated analysis and ensure accurate agriculture forecasts, a top government official said today.
Opening an Assocham conference on Geospatial Technologies in India, Secretary, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoS&PI), TCA Anant said, “ If we can combine traditional technology of acreage, yield estimation with satellite imagery which is possible through a small hand-held device in which when acreage is recorded and crop cutting experiments are done it will be possible for you to not only get the estimates which they were traditionally recording but also the geospatial coordinates on which this experiment was done, this is one work which is now in progress.”
“The technology is there, the apps have been developed, it is a question of working with all the state officials and there is huge administrative machinery out in the districts to adopt it. That is one work which is going on,” he added.
The move aims at further improving the quality of forecasts in agriculture. National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) is also working towards using geospatial technology while undertaking sample surveys.
“We have entered into a partnership with NRSC to modernise our system of developing urban sample frames, we would be combining the satellite image of urban areas, readily available on Bhuvan, with ground-mapping of the satellite image to permit you to develop an urban frame,” said Anant.
“The advantage of this is that it is updated much more frequently than any physical ground survey system could have done,” he added.
Informing that work on Urban Frame Survey (UFS) will soon be completed, he said, “Once this is complete, we will have up-to-date maps of urban areas which can be used for sampling purposes with necessary location indicators and so on more rapidly.”
The Secretary said that for the purposes of local planning activities of different government departments can be integrated using images and making it possible for the planner to see at any given time where exactly development is happening. “This is being done in a variety of government schemes, most recently in Ujjwala Yojana which is seeking to provide energy facilities to rural areas.”
“We are working also with all the ministries and ISRO to ensure that for a whole bunch of major development indicators these are also made available to the public in a single harmonized portal which can allow people to see things conveniently,” said Anant.
Highlighting the importance of geo technologies, the official emphasised that the government aims to ensure last mile development and people can verify that what the agencies are saying is actually visible on the ground, all of this is possible with the use of geospatial technologies.