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Smart & Youth-centric agriculture in India

  • Published
    19th Aug, 2023
Context

With the increasing challenges posed by climate change, population growth and evolving market dynamics, the need for sustainable, smart, yet localised agricultural practices has become more pressing than ever before.

What is Smart and Youth-centric Agriculture?

  • Smart Youth-Centric Agriculture" refers to the integration of modern technologies, innovative practices, and youth engagement to transform and enhance the agricultural sector.
  • It focuses on leveraging the potential of young people in agriculture by equipping them with knowledge, skills, and tools to address challenges and capitalize on opportunities in the agricultural domain.
  • This approach aims to make agriculture more attractive, sustainable, and productive while catering to the needs and aspirations of the younger generation.

Smart farming is a management concept focused on providing the agricultural industry with the infrastructure to leverage advanced technology – including big data, the cloud and the internet of things (IoT) – for tracking, monitoring, automating and analyzing operations.

How it can be beneficial?

  • For a sustainable future: The convergence of traditional wisdom and technology in smart agriculture can open the gateway to a prosperous future for Northeast India's farmers and communities.
  • Adaptations to changing environment: It will likely empower them to adapt to changing conditions, preserve their cultural heritage and build a stronger and self-reliant agricultural sector.
  • Inspire young minds towards agriculture: It will lead to further innovations. As we have witnessed the IT revolution, which was led by young minds who saw a dream and believed in it.
  • Making agriculture aspirational: A new approach to smart farming became possible with an effort to engage with children and youth at the school level, making community spaces into science and agriculture laboratories where children can connect with nature, science and technology while learning more about their agricultural and food histories.

How involvement of youth can be achieved?

  • Challenging modern techniques: Monocropping was becoming popular, adversely impacting diversity in local diets as crop and diet diversities are intrinsically linked. These disturbing trends presented an opportunity to rethink agriculture and innovation and make it more community-centric, in fact, even child-centric.
  • Promoting community-centric participation: Today, krishisakhi, pashusakhi and solarsakhi are creating an ecosystem of inquiry that helps open minds to the idea of smart agriculture that is community-centred.
  • Sense of coexistence: By attracting youth, helps them discover their relationship with the larger ecosystem, its relationship with parents, friends, their community and the environment around them.

Government Initiatives on similar lines:

  • Digital Agriculture Mission (DAM): It includes India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture (IDEA), Farmers Database, Unified Farmers Service Interface (UFSI), and Funding to the States on the new Technology (NeGPA), Revamping Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC), Soil Health, Fertility and profile mapping.
  • The GoI started eNAM (National Agriculture Market), an electronic trading portal which creates networks between the existing Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis for the farmers.
  • Common platform called KISAAN: The Farmer FIRST (Farm, Innovations, Resources, Science and Technology) initiative was launched by ICAR to enhance farmers-scientists interface to move beyond production and productivity.
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