Land is a shrinking resource in agriculture. While availability of land for agriculture is reducing, the demand for food grains is increasing day by day. The country’s food grain requirement is projected to grow to 340 million tonnes by 2020 from the current level of 240 million tonnes. This need has to be met through higher yields per unit of land, water, energy and time. This is possible only by adopting precision agriculture techniques, aiming at target yields that are in line with advanced countries like Israel.
A radical change in extension education and transfer of technology to farmers is needed to meet this goal. The methodology of harvesting targeted yields through precision agriculture needs to be practically demonstrated to farmers on a model farm. Zuari has made bold strides in this direction by establishing the Zuari Agri Park at Lamboti, near Solapur in Maharashtra.
Zuari Agri Park comprises of 104 acres of land, well suited for cultivating various crops. It has a well laid out irrigation system connected to a large well, which can meet the water requirement almost throughout the year. The standing crops are pomegranate, mango, sapota, sugarcane and banana. Plans have been initiated to lay out demonstrations on field crops such as wheat, paddy, jower, maize, redgram, vegetables etc, besides horticultural crops and showcase precision agriculture to farmers in the immediate future.