The government of India is considering an exclusive satellite for farmers to help in weather forecast and provide timely services for farming and agriculture, said minister Jitendra Singh in a reply to a starred question in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
Besides weather, the satellite-enabled services to support farmers include agro-advisory, agromet services, soil moisture and agricultural extension activities to support farming operations in the country by India Meteorology Department (IMD), Ministry of Earth Sciences. These services will be provided using satellite as well as ground based data, the minister informed the House.
Further, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has demonstrated the concept of Village Resource Centres (VRC) jointly with State Governments and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to provide space technology based services for development of rural areas in tele-healthcare, tele-education, natural resources information, advisories related to agriculture career guidance to rural students, skill development and vocational training, among others.
The satellite-enabled services to support farmers are integral part of a rural reach plan, which will be taken up in coordination with the agriculture ministry and CSIR and its affiliated institutions. The satellite based services meet the developmental needs of the country but no separate funds are being allocated exclusively for satellite-enabled services to farmers, said the minister.