Govt to geo-tag agri land for crop management
The Government is going to geo-tag all the agricultural assets in the country for better land and crop management.
The geo-tagging will provide details of geographical location and size of the holding and help the Government in scientific planning of infrastructure projects.
The Ministry of Agriculture is going to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), ISRO, on Thursday for geo-tagging every piece of agriculture land created under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVA) in the country.
The move would provide crop-wise details as also evidence in case of crop damage and enable officials to verify claims. In terms of land management, satellite imagery would be used to cross check with the details on the ground. Ultimately, there would be data base of all lands under the Ministry.
The move comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the need for online recording and monitoring of assets to check leakages. Modi had on several occasions emphasised on the use of technology for reporting of assets created through geo-tagging.
The geo-tagging is a process of adding geographical identification marks like latitude and longitude. Geo-tagging can help users find a wide variety of location-specific information from a device. It provides users the location of the content of a given picture while geo-mapping is a visual representation of the geographical location of geo-tagged assets layered on top of map or satellite imagery.
“It is proposed to prepare inventory of the assets created in the last one decade (2007-2017) under RKVY through geo-tagging technique. The point is to keep track of these assets and to promote transparency. Once you know where the assets are and what the gaps are, it will be easier to fill them,” said a senior officer of Ministry of Agriculture on the condition of anonymity.
The RKVY provides funds through plan head to States and UTs for agriculture development.
Under the agreement, it is envisaged that the trained officers at the field level will take the photographs (with details of latitude, longitude, year of creation etc) of the assets and upload on to the Bhuvan-RKVY platform of NRSC. When the photo is uploaded on the mobile app, the location and time will get encrypted and there will be an option to add more information according to a few parameters.
According to officer, such assets include seed processing units, seed farms, soil testing labs, bio-fertiliser production units, seed storage godowns, seed certification infrastructure, labs for production of bio control agents, state pesticide/residue testing labs, machinery to reduce post-harvest losses, poly housesshade-nets and orchards among lakhs of such facilities across the country, will be geo-tagged with pictures, and will be visible on the Government-owned ‘Bhuvan’ platform that allows users to explore a 2D/3D representation of the surface of the earth. Bhuvan is developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It also acts as a platform for hosting government data. Bhuvan Application Services that are diversified and relevant for many ministries were released.
Since ‘Bhuvan’ is an open-source mapping platform, these assets will probably be visible for public viewing as well. Geo-tagged assets will not only ease identification and monitoring; it can also be implemented to perform additional developmental works on existing assets like creating watershed and drought-proofing irrigation facilities through terrain mapping.
The Ministry of Rural Development had earlier created such assets under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
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