The Indian government seems to have finally understood that it’s not all about pulling out new schemes and projects from a hat every time and then forgetting them altogether, especially when it comes to the agriculture sector. If the sector, which still supports the livelihood of majority of the rural population, has to progress, the government will have to do a lot more than just dropping names of one scheme after another and actually work towards making the already launched schemes successful.

Taking a step in this direction, the government has now decided to work with agritech startups in the country that can help them in efficiently implementing some of its flagship programmes like soil health card, irrigation and crop insurance, among various others.

Taking charge of a meeting held with agri-startup firms in India this week, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh highlighted the need of farmer-friendly technologies and how some specific technologies are required for each of the key schemes launched by the central government.

Some of the key agricultural focused schemes that the government is focusing its attention right now include Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Soil Health Card, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.

Speaking at the meeting, Singh gave an example of how agritech startups can work with key flagship government schemes. For instance, under the government’s soil health card scheme, there’s a need to analyse a large number of soil samples, a process which will prove to be highly tedious and time consuming. This is where technological solutions developed by agritech startups in the form of low-cost hand-held soil sensors or any non-destructible method of soil fertility assessment can easily help asses soil health.

Singh also added, that satellites and drones can be put to use to accurately and timely asses the crop loss to efficiently settle crop insurance claims. In fact, IT-based solutions can also be employed to increase the number of insured farmers in the country.

Singh also urged his ministry officials to get to work on the matter immediately by dividing themselves into small core-teams and start the discussions with agritech startup firms already functioning in the country.

It is great to see that the Indian government is helping the sector which for long has been the backbone of the country to move into the tech age. A perfect marriage of agriculture and tech can surely help in taking the sector to new heights and increase the livelihood of people living in rural India.

This development was first reported by PTI.

[Image: Robotics Business Review]

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