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Secy of Dept. of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare Emphasized on Use of Tech for Informed Decision-Making in Agriculture

Ahuja emphasized the importance of increasing the use of satellites, drones, smartphones, and artificial intelligence techniques to develop scientific information products and services for informed decision-making by multiple stakeholders in the agriculture sector.

Shivam Dwivedi
Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare
Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare

On Saturday, Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, presided over a meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee on transforming the Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC) into a centre of excellence in the use of geospatial technology in agriculture. The meeting was attended by experts from ISRO centres, the International Rice Research Institute, the National Institute of Advanced Studies, and senior officials from the Agriculture Ministry.

According to an official release, Ahuja emphasized the importance of increasing the use of satellites, drones, smartphones, and artificial intelligence techniques to develop scientific information products and services for informed decision-making by multiple stakeholders in the agriculture sector.

It stated that the government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has always emphasized the use of technology for the benefit of the agriculture sector and farmers.

According to the release, the Central Government has taken several initiatives to promote Digital Agriculture. In 2012, the Agriculture Ministry established the 'Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC)' as an attached Office of DA&FW, with the goal of improving crop estimation using satellite remote sensing and GIS technologies.

Given recent advancements in geospatial technology, the Agriculture Ministry has recognized the need to scale up agricultural decision support technology solutions.

It was the first meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee, which was formed to strengthen and transform MNCFC into a centre of excellence in geospatial technology applications. Dr. Shailesh Naik, Director of the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bengaluru and former Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, praised the initiatives to upgrade the MNCFC as a major technology hub and advised participating in global crop surveillance initiatives.

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