Satellite imagery for assessing crop yields in Shivamogga

In a bid to clear crop insurance claims faster, the Agriculture Ministry on Monday roped in Isro for pilot project to use satellite imagery for gathering accurate data on crop yields and the extent of losses due to natural disasters.

The pilot project would be carried out in the rice fields of Shivamogga in Karnataka and Kurukshetra in Haryana as also in the cotton fields of Yavatmal in Maharashtra and Seoni in Madhya Pradesh.

The project will also be carried out during the 2015-16 Rabi season in eight districts in same states to assess the crop yields of rice, wheat and sorghum.

Getting timely data on crop losses has always been a problem area which has led to delay in crop insurance payouts, Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Balyan said adding that the new project - Crop Insurance using Space Technology And Geo-informatics - would address the issue.

Balyan also launched an Android-based application for assessing the large-scale damage to standing crop due to hailstorm.

The app will be used by state agriculture officials and the data will help the Union Agriculture Ministry in having very fast assessment of damage to crops because of hailstorm. Farmers can download the app and send pictures of hailstorm to government officials using smartphones.

“This will help the government in very fast assessment of hailstorm damage to crops,” the minister added.

The project will be jointly conducted by Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation, India Meteorological Department, State Agriculture Departments and Remote Sensing Centres, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

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