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Innovation in Traditional Practices of Agriculture

Published: 11th Apr, 2024


In Rajasthan’s Shekhawati region, farmers are opting for innovations in traditional practices and adopted new techniques to turn their land into a profitable venture amid the decline in the groundwater level and erratic rainfall. 

Adopted techniques:
  • Solar power panel running pumps, slim polyethylene hoses for drip irrigation, uniformly spaced trees, jets shoot water mixed with fertilizer directly at the roots; climate-controlled greenhouses, rainwater harvesting techniques, establishment of climate-controlled polyhouse for growing vegetables, organic farming with the help of vermicompost
    • Sundaram Verma of Danta village has developed techniques to grow crops with less water and conserve water in the arid regions. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2020 for developing ‘dryland agroforestry’, a method to help tree plantation efforts.
  • Technology in Agriculture: Sensor Data Used for Smart Farming, Climate Smart Agriculture Mechanization Using Robotics, GPS Technology for Climate-Smart Agriculture, Drones for Climate-Smart Agriculture, Precision Agriculture
1: Dimension- Significance for the farmers
  • Increased income: The average income of farmers in the region, which was earlier about Rs 1 lakh per hectare in a year, has touched about Rs 8 lakh a year.
  • Increased sowing area: The expertise at the farmland has led to significant expansion in the sowing area for crops and vegetables, higher yield, and enhanced annual income per hectare of land.
2: Dimension- Emerging e-Technologies in Agriculture
  • Agriculture Sensors: These sensors can detect moisture and nitrogen levels. This information can be used to determine when to water and fertilize rather than rely on a predetermined schedule.
  • Weather Tracking: Drones, remote sensors, and satellites gather 24/7 data on weather patterns in and around the fields. This provides farmers with vital information on temperature, rainfall, soil, humidity.
  • Satellite Imaging: It allows for real-time crop imagery. It lets a farmer examine crops as if he or she were standing there without actually standing there.
  • Pervasive Automation: It refer to any technology that reduces operator workload. It expands accurate and controlled growing through proper guidance to farmers about optimum planting, timely harvesting, nutrient management and pest attacks.
    • Examples include autonomous vehicles controlled by robotics.
  • Minichromosomal Technology: Using minichromosomes, agricultural geneticists can add dozens and perhaps even hundreds of traits to a plant. In this, the plant’s original chromosomes are not altered in any way.
  • Radio-frequency identification (RFID) Technology: RFID based sensors provide information that can be associated with farming yields.
    • For example, barcode on the yields can be scanned with a smartphone in order to access information about the soil that yielded them.
  • Vertical Farming: Vertical farming a component of urban agriculture is the practice of producing food in vertically stacked layers. Farmers in all areas can use it to make better use of available land and to grow crops that wouldn’t normally be viable in those locations.
  • Blockchain in Agriculture: Blockchain technologies can track all types of information about plants, such as seed quality, and crop growth, and even generate a record of the journey of the plant after it leaves the farm.
  • Internet of Things (IOT): The buzz word in precision farming lately has been IOT. In IoT-based smart farming, a system is built for monitoring the crop field with the help of sensors (light, humidity, temperature, soil moisture, etc.) and automating the irrigation system.
  • Drone Technology: Drones can help in the analysis of soils and drainage, crop health assessment and are being used in variable rate application of liquid pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides.

Fact Box

Agriculture Statistics

  • Rajasthan is India’s largest state with 61% arid or semi-arid climate.
  • Rajasthan is India’s largest producer of mustard, with a 48% share in national output.
  • Despite being mostly arid, it is also the country’s largest producer of bajra (pearl millet), guar (cluster beans) and coarse cereals, apart from spices.

Steps taken by the Government in the Direction

  • AgriStack: AgriStack is a government initiative to build an ecosystem that facilitates the delivery of digital agriculture services, including responsible advisories and access to quality inputs. 
  • Digital Agriculture Mission: This has been initiated for 2021 -2025 by the government for projects based on new technologies like artificial intelligence, block chain, remote sensing and GIS technology, use of drones and robots etc.
  • Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM): Under this Scheme, subsidies are provided for purchase of various types of agricultural equipment and machinery.
  • Other Digital Initiatives: Kisan Call Centres, Kisan Suvidha App, Agri Market App, Soil Health Card (SHC) Portal, etc.


Q1: How does e-Technology help farmers in production and marketing of agricultural produce? Explain it. (UPSC 2023)

Q2:  What are the present challenges before crop diversification? How do emerging technologies provide an opportunity for crop diversification?  (UPSC 2021)

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