Seeds of Change: POCRA and WOTR Forge New Pathways for Climate-Resilient Farming in Maharashtra

Climate Resilient Agriculture, CSR Partnerships

February, 2024

Seeds of Change: POCRA and WOTR Forge New Pathways for Climate-Resilient Farming in Maharashtra

farming

The Project on Climate Resilient Agriculture (POCRA), an initiative under the Department of Agriculture, Government of Maharashtra, and the Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR), have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that promises to usher in a new era of digital advisory services tailored to promote climate-resilient agriculture.

This MoU, effective from September 2023, is a testament to the shared vision of leveraging technology for sustainable farming solutions. POCRA and WOTR have embarked on this journey with the mutual goal of enhancing the resilience of agricultural practices to climate variability, ensuring food security, and improving the livelihoods of farmers across Maharashtra.

The essence of this partnership lies in the mutual sharing of data and information to refine and expand digital advisory services. WOTR’s FarmPrecise Mobile Application, developed with the support of Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach Program, is at the forefront of this initiative. This app offers dynamic, weather-responsive advisories that are customised for specific crops and farm conditions, helping farmers make informed decisions about irrigation, pest management, nutrient management and agricultural practices. 

In particular, FarmPrecise offers the following features:-

  • Advisories customised with regards to:
      1. Irrigation Management
      2. Nutrient Management
      3. Pest & Disease Management
      4. Package of Practices
  • Weather Forecast
  • Fertiliser calculator tool
  • Pest & Disease Library
  • Krushi Manch (Community Forum)
  • Market information

The use of FarmPrecise is an integral part of a broader project titled ‘Building Resilience in Agriculture and Allied Sectors in Rural Maharashtra,’ supported by the India Climate Collaborative (ICC).

On the other hand, POCRA’s ambition to develop an Integrated Farmer Mobile Application is set to be bolstered by this collaboration. The application aims to provide comprehensive, farmer-focused solutions that facilitate better decision-making and enhance crop productivity under varying climatic conditions. Additional features are being developed, such as: 

  • Satellite-based predictive advisories for plant protection, irrigation, and nutrient management
  • Content discovery through search and cascading categories/subcategories
  • Insect-pest, disease and weed identification in crops via digital images
  • Advisory and updates via push notifications
  • Query resolution through a community forum

The integration of WOTR’s advanced APIs into this platform will enable access to a wealth of predictive advisories, pest and disease management tools, and a host of other features designed to empower the farming community.

Both parties are committed to share their resources, knowledge, and technologies under the MoU. The terms of reference laid out in the MoU detail the mechanics of this partnership, including the sharing and integration of APIs, data maintenance, and the methodology for implementing the agreed-upon functionalities. This collaborative framework is designed to ensure that both organisations can effectively leverage each other’s strengths to enhance the digital advisory services offered to farmers.

By harnessing the power of digital technology and collaborative innovations, this partnership aims to transform the agricultural landscape, making it more sustainable, productive, and resilient to the challenges posed by climate change. As the implementation of this MoU unfolds, it holds the promise of pioneering advancements in agricultural practices, ensuring the well-being of farmers, and contributing to the broader goals of environmental sustainability and food security.

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