Agri Stimulus Newsletter – August 2020
Digital Transformation and smart farming empowering agriculture:
Increasing productivity using lesser resources through smart farming and digital transformation is the need of the hour. Systems like cloud computing, big data platforms, IoT, predictive analytics will enable transformation of products and services and optimize operations. Microsoft is offering start-ups build these industry specific solutions through their vast industry experience.
Covid disruption unable to hamper Indian farm agricultural exports:
March – June have observed around 23% increase in the farm agricultural exports despite the disruptions caused by Covid. Agricultural exports in 2018-19, as a part of India’s agricultural GDP, have increased to 9.9% compared to previous year’s 9.4% and imports have declined to 4.9% from 5.9% indicating decreasing dependency on import and export surplus.
Centre releases Rs.553 Cr to states to promote farm mechanization:
Centre releases Rs 553 crore from a budget of Rs 1,033 crore to state governments under the scheme, Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) which was launched in 2014 to promote mechanization in the agriculture sector. Agricultural mechanization helps in increasing production through timely farm operations and cut in operations by ensuring better management of inputs.
Private sector lender ICICI Bank to use satellite data to assess credit worthiness of farmers:
ICICI Bank will be the first bank in the country to use satellite technology to help farmers to get better access to credit. The bank will be using imagery sent by Earth observation satellites to measure an array of parameters related to the irrigation and crop patterns. It has already conducted a pilot study in 500 villages and would scale up to 63000 villages soon.
Unfold: New joint initiative by Bayer and Temasek to unlock potentials of Vertical farming:
Unlike other vertical farming start-ups, Unfold will be focusing on unlocking the genetic potential of vertical farming by developing new seed varieties using vegetable seed germplasm for unique indoor vertical farm environment. These efforts will enable high productivity, enhanced flavor and incorporate customer preferences.
Kashmir on the global map for its saffron:
Kashmir saffron has been awarded the GI tag. This will prevent adulteration and fetch the Kashmir saffron a good price. This saffron is the only saffron grown at 1600m altitude and has a distinct bitter taste, deep red color and long stigma.
OPDPA aims to encourage oil palm production in the North-East:
Oil Palm Developers and Processors Association (OPDPA) welcoming the Union Government’s vision on the need of being self –reliant in edible oil according to according to the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme has asked the government to bring in structural and policy changes to promote the domestic potential of oil palm through changes in pricing mechanism among others.
Government launches an online platform to monitor its Agri Infrastructure Fund:
The government launched an online Management Information System (MIS) platform to manage and monitor its Agri Infrastructure Fund (AIF). An integrated monitoring system will be developed at district, state and national level to monitor the implementation of projects. Effective real time monitoring will be carried out by geotagging of all assets created under the scheme.