Agriculture Reforms Current Affairs - 2019

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Centre ropes in IBM for pilot study on using AI in Agriculture

Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) with IBM India Private Limited (Indian subsidiary of IBM) for undertaking a pilot study to utilise Artificial Intelligence (AI) and weather technology solutions in agriculture in selected pilot districts.

Key Highlights of SoI

The pilot study will be undertaken in 3 districts of Bhopal, Rajkot and Nanded in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra respectively. The pilot study will be conducted for Kharif crop season 2019.

As part of collaboration, IBM’s Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture will be leveraged to gain village level soil moisture and farm level weather forecast in 3 pilot districts.

IBM’s Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture will give solution in field of agriculture through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Weather Technology at village level as well as farm level so as to provide weather forecast and soil moisture information on free of charge basis to help farmers for taking decisions regarding crop and water management for better production and productivity.

Benefits: Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture can improve the future of food and crop years as it aims to harness multiple data points and combine predictive analytics, AI, weather data, and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to give farmers insights on plowing, planting crops, spraying, and harvesting.

Significance:

This move of signing of SoI between Agriculture Ministry and IBM to enable use of Next-Generation technologies like AI and advanced weather data for better insights to make faster and more informed agricultural decisions signifies that India is foraying further into the digital age in line of aspiration towards achieving goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2010.

It can also be seen as government’s assurance to bring digital technologies to help our farmers to increase their income and transform Indian agriculture.

High Powered Committee for ‘Transformation of Agriculture’ constituted

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has constituted a High-powered Committee of Chief Ministers (CMs) for ‘Transformation of Indian Agriculture’.

HPC was set up subsequent to the deliberations of Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog and in keeping with promise of Centre government for Agriculture reforms, rural development, water conservation and its proper.

About High Powered Committee

Objective: It will suggest policy measures, attract investments and raise growth in food processing.

Composition: The 9 member committee is headed by Devendra Fadnavis Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Other members include-

Narendra Singh Tomar (Union Agriculture, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister) and Ramesh Chand (NITI Aayog member) and Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh.

Timeframe: Committee will submit its report within 2 months.

Terms of Reference (ToR) of Committee:

To discuss measures for transformation of agriculture in country and for raising farmer’s income.

To examine various provisions of Essential Commodity Act (ECA) so as to attract private investments in agricultural marketing and infrastructure.

To suggest mechanism for linking of market reforms with e-NAM (National Agriculture Market), GRAM and other relevant Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS).

To suggest modalities for adoption and time-bound implementation of agriculture sector reforms.

To suggest policy measures to raise growth in food processing, boost agricultural export and attract investments in value chains and logistics, modern market infrastructure.