Precision farming workshop creates awareness about water usage

Dr. T.N. Prakash Kammardi (third from left), Chairman, Agriculture Price Commission, seen with other dignitaries during the inauguration of the workshop on ‘Precision Farming’ organised by Maharaja Institute of Technology in association with Agriculture Department, GoK, at Naganahalli Research Centre on Dec.29.

Mysuru: Which crop, at what time, requires how much water? To answer this question, Maharaja Institute of Technology (MIT) under Maharaja Research Foundation in association with Agriculture Department, Government of Karnataka, conducted a one-day workshop on ‘Precision Farming, a Pilot on Water Conservation’ at Naganahalli Research Centre on Dec.29.

Speaking after inaugurating workshop, Dr. T.N. Prakash Kammardi, Chairman, Agriculture Price Commission, said that to answer the question of how much water a farmer needs for his crop, the wireless technology advocated by Dr. Mahesh Rao is very useful.

He said that in the last four years due to drought and untimely rains, the farming community was severely affected. In the current year though pre-monsoon failed, the post-monsoon did help the farmers. In the light of these issues, the wireless technology will definitely help the farmers to use water efficiently.

State-wide precision farming

Maharaja Institute of Technology Electronics and Communications Head Dr. Mahesh Rao-led wireless sensor network has been used for precision farming using temperature and humidity sensing instrument, ‘Vispro.’ It is an equipment  to measure water flow and if this works, then it will be used all over the State through the Commission, said   Dr. Kammardi.

Due to falling prices of crops and the resultant losses to farmers, the Government is buying many of them including green gram. Similarly, the State Government had come forward to purchase corn. However, the Government by enforcing a rule that if it purchases corn from the farmers, it has to be distributed to the ration card holders, it did not allow the Central Government to do this, he alleged.

Agriculture Department Joint Director Somasundra said that including Mysuru region, there is drought all over the State since the last three years. However, in Mysuru district in August and September there has been record rainfall. Precision farming means, to look at various stages of development and create conditions for growing good crops, he explained.

In the workshop,  nearly 100 farmers from Varuna, Mandya district and Pandavapura limits participated and Vispro equipment was distributed  to them for free.

Maharaja Education Trust President Dr. S. Murali, Secretary Dr. T. Vasudev, MIT Professor Dr. Mahesh Rao, District Agriculture Training Centre Assistant Director Shivakumar and others were present  during the event.

“The State Government of Karnataka has set up the Agriculture Price Commission three years ago, which no other State Government has done. The Commission has fixed fair price for the farmers’ crops and also has given several recommendations to the Government regarding issues related to farmers. This year, rate for ragi has been fixed at Rs.2,300 per quintal and paddy, cotton and Bengal gram will fetch good prices. There are possibilities of prices going down among other crops. In this background, the Government has come forward to protect the interest of the farmers to see that they do not suffer losses.”

—Dr. T.N. Prakash Kammardi