The Centre has launched a pilot project on Digital Crop Survey (DCS) in 12 States from the Kharif season this year to create a single and verified source on crop cultivation data.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, said the DCS reference application has been developed as an open source, open standard, and inter-operable public good. Geo-referenced cadastral maps with Geographic Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies are used to ensure the farmland position.

Some of the States selected for the pilot on DCS include Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Assam.

The States have been selected based on the preparedness in respect of pre-requisite criteria for DCS such as geo-referencing of village maps and digitised Record of Right (RoR) with ownership extent.

“The project aims are to create a single and verified source of truth about the “crop sown data” which is useful for accurate crop area estimation and development of various farmers centric solutions,” he said.

The statement assumes significance in the wake of the country facing wheat and rice supply shortage despite estimates of record production.

Climate change

To a separate query on the impact of climate change on crop yields, the Minister said rainfed rice, wheat, kharif maize, and mustard are the most vulnerable crops to climate change.

Referring to ICAR’s network project on National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA), he said the projected reduction in crop yield could be 20 per cent and 47 per cent, respectively, by 2050 and 2080 for rain-fed rice.

The projected reduction in crop yield could be 19.3 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, by 2050 and 2080, for wheat; and 18 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively, by 2050 and 2080 for kharif maize.

Mustard’s crop yield is expected to come down by 7.9 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, by 2050 and 2080.

Following the framework of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), ICAR has carried out the climate vulnerability analysis and identified 109 districts in the ‘very high’ risk category and 201 districts in ‘high’ risk category under ICAR’s network project on NICRA.

Responding to a question by one of the members, Tomar gave data on the requirement and availability of certified/quality seeds in the country. While the requirement of certified/quality seeds was 464.14 lakh quintals for 2022-23, the availability was at 514.26 lakh quintals, he said.

Mango production

To another question, he said the production of mango has increased by 12.7 per cent over the last 10 years from 184.31 lakh tonnes (lt) in 2013-14 to 207.7 lt in 2022-23 (first advance estimates).

Quoting the reports received from the States, he said the production of mango and its quality have been adversely affected in the current year due to unseasonal rains, thunder, hailstorms, pest infestation, etc.

To a separate query on the spending by the Government on agriculture and farmers, Tomar said the Government spent ₹6.48 lakh crore during 2022-23. The expenditures included around ₹2.25 lakh crore on fertilizer subsidy, ₹2.87 lakh crore on food subsidy, ₹76,279 crore on agriculture and allied activities (excluding PM-KISAN), and ₹60,000 crore on PM-KISAN.