Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Minister of State (I/C) Science & Technology; Minister of State (I/C) Earth Sciences; Minister of State PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh today formally released the data products and services of RISAT-1A satellite for the user community.
On the occasion, an MoU was signed between the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Department of Space to develop the Krishi-Decision Support System (Krishi-DSS) using geospatial technologies and related databases for enhancing evidence based decision making capability of all the stakeholders in the agriculture sector.
Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Manoj Ahuja and Secretary, Department of Space, ISRO Chairman and Chairman, Space Commission, Shri S. Somnath, Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR) and other senior officials were present on this occasion. The event was attended by representatives of various user Ministries/ Departments on online mode.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is developing Krishi-DSS, a decision support system, on the lines of Gati Shakti, using RISAT-1A and VEDAS of Department of Space. This will enhance the evidence-based decision-making capability of all the stakeholders in the agriculture sector by way of integration with MOSDAC and BHUVAN (Geo-platform) of ISRO and systems of ICAR.
Addressing on the occasion, Union Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said that a new dimension is being added in the field of agriculture. Revolution is being initiated in the agriculture sector through space science. He said that the agreement between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Space will further enhance the strength of the agriculture sector. If this knowledge reaches the farmers, their production and productivity will increase. The quality of production will increase and export opportunities will also increase.
Shri Tomar said that the agriculture sector is very important in our country and in the whole world. Along with livelihood, this sector is working to speed up the country’s economy and provide employment to a large population. Earlier the sector suffered due to lack of knowledge and private investment. The amount of change, knowledge and investment needed in this area has not happened. This is the reason why the agriculture sector has not progressed as much as it should. In the year 2014, when the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi took over the work, he had a desire to take the country forward and work was done to connect it with new dimensions. Because of this, all the departments including the Department of Space changed their working methods, fixed targets and planned effective targets. Its effect is visible in the country today. Agriculture Department is also working on AgriStack. Work is being done to increase the income of the farmer and to save him from losses by forecasting.
Shri Tomar said that crop estimation, allotment to states, survey to declare an area dry, disaster assessment, – all these tasks will become easy after adopting technology. This technology is very beneficial for the agriculture sector as well as the country. After the completion of AgriStack, there will be a revolutionary change in the field of agriculture.
Addressing the gathering, Minister of State, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that RISAT-1A data would be extremely useful in developing decision support systems for Agriculture, Bioresources, Environment, Water Resources and Disaster Management. He said efforts were made to make this coordination and cooperation possible.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the main achievement in the last eight years under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Modi was to use science for Ease of Living and it should be taken out from the laboratory. He further informed that in the year 2020, the rules of the Department of Space were amended.
He said that the Prime Minister talks about the “whole of Government” approach, today is a good example of this being achieved. The Ministry of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Home Affairs have been connected through this technique and now Ministry of Agriculture is also getting onboard. When the next generation of RISAT satellites will come, it will have more frequency as well as accuracy. This cooperation should increase further, he added.
Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Manoj Ahuja said that this initiative would help to increase the interventions in Agriculture through the use of emerging technologies and open up the power of data and digital opportunities in the Agriculture sector by fostering an innovation ecosystem. He said, with the help of RISAT-1A data, production and productivity and the quality of produce will also increase.
Secretary, Department of Space, Shri S. Somnath said that RISAT-1A is India’s first Radar Imaging Satellite, which was launched on 14th February 2022. RISAT-1A is an all-weather satellite and can penetrate deep into vegetation. It can take high resolution geospatial images regardless of lighting conditions. He said this MoU will provide the digital foundation for inclusive, self-sustained and sustainable growth of Indian Agriculture.
A technical workshop was also organised by ISRO as part of the event, wherein case studies and potential applications were demonstrated using RISAT-1A data for the benefit of the user community. RISAT-1A data is received, processed and disseminated by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad, through its Bhoonidhi Geoportal.