Ministry of Agriculture Current Affairs

Agriculture Ministry, ISRO to team up to Geo-Tag Agricultural Assets

The Union Agriculture Ministry has joined hands with the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), a wing of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for geo-tagging agricultural assets.

 In this regard, Agriculture Ministry under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) and NRSC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). 

Key Facts
  • The move will help bring transparency in governance due to real-time monitoring and effective utilisation of agricultural assets such as ponds, crop area, warehouses and laboratories etc.
  • At present, officials provide information on the assets manually, so there is no transparency. Geo-tagging will provide realistic status of assets.
  • It will not only help in monitoring and utilising assets but will be useful in formulating schemes for development in the agricultural sector. It will also help in avoiding duplication of data.
  • Utilisation of space technology will help farmers to further get access to pesticide testing labs, storage infrastructure, and market-related information.

Geotagging: It is the process of adding geographical identification like latitude and longitude to various media such as a photo or video. It helps user to find a wide variety of location-specific information from a device. It provides users the pinpoint location of the content of a given picture.

Geomapping: It is a visual representation of the geographical location of geotagged assets layered on top of map or satellite imagery. 

About Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana

  • RKVY is a special Additional Central Assistance Scheme which launched in August 2007 as a part of the 11th Five Year Plan.
  • It was aimed to orient agricultural development strategies, to reaffirm its commitment to achieve 4% annual growth in the agricultural sector during the 11th plan (2007–11).
  • It was launched to incentivize the States to provide additional resources in their State Plans over and above their baseline expenditure to bridge critical gaps.

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Gokul Grams to be set up for developing indigenous cattle breeds

The Ministry of Agriculture has a proposal to set up Integrated Indigenous Cattle Centres or Gokul Grams in the breeding tracts of indigenous breeds.

Key features of Gokul Grams:

  • These centres will be established in the native breeding tracts and near metropolitan cities for housing the urban cattle.
  • Centres for development of Indigenous Breeds and a dependable source for supply of high genetic breeding stock to the farmers in the breeding tract.
  • Self sustaining and will generate economic resources from sale of A2 milk, organic manure, vermi-composting, urine distillates, and production of electricity from bio gas for in house consumption and sale of animal products.
  • To function as state of the art in situ training centre for Farmers, Breeders and MAITRI’s.
  • Each Gokul Gram will be set up by the EIA and function under the auspices of the SIA/ EIA or in a PPP mode.
  • Each centre will maintain milch and unproductive animals in the ratio of 60:40 and will have the capacity to maintain about 1000 animals.
  • In house fodder production to provide for the nutritional requirements of the animals in the Gokul Gram.
  • Regular screening of animals for important diseases like brucellosis, TB and JD.
  • Inbuilt dispensary and AI centre at each Gokul Gram.
  • Gokul Gram near metropolitan cities for managing urban cattle. It will focus on genetic upgradation of urban cattle.  

Background

Traditionally, cattle-rearing has been an important source of livelihood in India and is closely associated with agricultural economy. India with 199 million cattle has 14.5% of the world cattle population. Of this, 83% i.e. 166 million are indigenous. Nearly 80% of the indigenous cattle are non- descript and only 20% belong to breeds recognized by National Bureau of Genetic Resources. The cattle genetic resource of India is represented by 37 well recognized indigenous breeds and there are 13 recognized buffalo breeds.  Indigenous cattle, in India, are robust and resilient and are particularly suited to the climate and environment of their respective breeding tracts. They are endowed with qualities of heat tolerance, resistance to diseases and the ability to thrive under extreme climatic stress and less than optimal nutrition.

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