India to utilize advances in space technology for agriculture & allied sectors

The National Programme on use of Space Technology for Agriculture (NPSTA) is being envisaged to utilize the services of satellites in transforming the agriculture practices for better

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New Delhi: The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare is proposing a new integrated programme, called National Programme on use of Space Technology for Agriculture (NPSTA), envisaging the integrated use of space and geospatial tools for mapping, monitoring, and management of agriculture. This was stated by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Mr Gajendra Singh Shekhawat while replying to a question in the Parliament on 19th December.

As per the minister, NPSTA will have four sub-programmes catering to various themes viz. Crop Assessment and Monitoring; Agricultural Resources Management; Disaster Monitoring and Mitigation and Satellite Communication and Navigation Applications. All the current running programmes, such as FASAL (for crop forecasting), NADAMS (for drought assessment), CHAMAN (for horticultural assessment and development), KISAN (for crop insurance) and Crop Intensification planning, will be subsumed under this proposed programmes.

The minister also added that in order to increase the availability of certified and quality seeds to the farmers locally, the government has proposed to set up 500 numbers of seed production and seed processing units at Gram Panchayat Level.

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