Doubling Farmers’ Income Current Affairs - 2019

Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link

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.

Chief Ministers Subgroup constituted to Coordinate Policy approaches for Agriculture and MGNREGS

The Union Government has constituted Chief Ministers Subgroup to coordinate policy approaches for agriculture sector and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). It will submit its report within three months from its date of constitution.

Composition: Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan will be its convener and CMs of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Sikkim along with Member NITI Aayog, Ramesh Chand as its members.

Background

CMs Subgroup formation comes in backdrop of vision of Central Government towards Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022 which requires multi-dimensional and inclusive approach. It comes close on heels of unanimous decision taken at 4th meeting of Governing Council of NITI Aayog chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the deliberations, it was suggested to come out with approaches with special emphasis on pre-sowing and post-harvest interventions using MGNREGS, for creating durable assets that will double incomes of farmers and reduce agrarian distress.

Terms of Reference of the Sub-Group

It will suggest wider choice of State specific interventions both for pre-sowing and post-harvest to improve thrust on incomes, waste to wealth and water conservation. It will align works under MGNREGS to requirements of achieving goal of Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022. It will help to improve thrust on individual beneficiary schemes, water conservation, construction of rural haats, vermi-composting etc.

It will make recommendations on interventions of MGNREGS that can facilitate reduction of agrarian distress including work availability, wage rates, seasonality etc. It will also explore possibilities of MGNREGS as livelihood resource for development and diversification of livelihoods of small and marginal farmers specially belonging to SC/ST households.

It will suggest ways of aligning MGNREGS and its livelihood thrust with women Self Help Groups (SHGs), producer companies and producer groups to enable better use of resources for livelihood. It will explore successful convergence of program resources across departments to ensure efficiency, effectiveness, optimal fund utilization and sustainability.