Urgent measures are needed to attract bright students into agricultural, food, and natural resources sciences areas, and to bring about innovative changes in curricula and courses in the Indian agricultural universities. It will accelerate development and adoption of improved agricultural practices and technologies to meet future constraints imposed by Climate Change, population pressure, and increased food and feed demand. The coming generation of Indian farmers needs to be both innovative and competitive in the global market. It is the task of the government, policy makers, educators, researchers, and extension workers to ensure that they have the tools, technologies, and new farming systems that enable them to be innovative & competitive.
The Agricultural Extension System is expected to be “an Agricultural Knowledge & Information System (AK&IS), using Geomatics Technology”. This AK&IS for rural empowerment and improved livelihoods i.e. e-farmer, is the need of the hour. ICTs Diffusion and Infusion have many potential applications spanning the breadth of the agricultural industry, at all scales of organization from farmer to cooperative and professional bodies, from farm machinery vendors, fertilizer and chemical companies, insurance, regulators, and commodities, to agronomists, consultants, and farm advisors. Agriculture has to transcend from the present high material inputs to optimum levels, through appropriate use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and strategies for efficient resource use.
With the growing influence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), it becomes essential for the future agricultural graduates/post graduates to be acquainted with ICTs. Access to information, resources and markets are needed for improved agricultural productivity in India. Promoting ICTs among the agricultural graduates has direct bearing upon student's employability at grassroots level development, and therefore, the synergy between computer science and technology on the one hand, and agricultural science and technology on the other, is essential for "Agricultural Informatics" to emerge as a discipline. Agricultural sector is fully endowed with, only ill-structured and semi-structured problems to e solved and hence adoption of decision support systems (DSSs) based on database technology, statistical techniques, management sciences, knowledge bases, expert systems based in AI techniques, web technology, internet technology, multi-media technology, software technology, mobile technology (3G, 4G), GIS technology and remote Sensing Technology, Content management, modeling & simulation, forecasting, precision engineering (wireless and sensors, data / Knowledge mining, Knowledge discovery etc. Both Spatial information systems technology and Non-spatial information technology have tremendous applications in the area of sustainable agricultural development, which is inclusive of about 75 per cent of small and marginal farmers in India. DSS for interaction for tillage, irrigation, fertilizer and crop protection etc., is very much required for productivity increase.
Rural India requires agricultural experts who are in possession of theoretical and practical knowledge, to usher in on-farm S&T, Off-farm S&T and Non-farm S&T to increase Agricultural productivity, and of course, income rise for the crop farmers, Livestock farmers and Fisheries farmers. There are about 120 Millions farming households involved in agricultural activities, without even aiming at getting remunerative prices for their investment. The proposed “National Food Security Act” requires effective tracking and traceability built-in for its service delivery to the beneficiaries.
Agricultural Input Systems, Production Systems, Output System need to be built-in with effective “information Systems”, capable of delivering services, in Indian local languages (numbering more than 1600 languages and 22 languages constitutionally recognized). Research, Education, Development, Training and Extension are the five Pillars of sustainable development. These five pillars need a strong dose of ICT diffusion and infusion of ICT for bringing in all stakeholders of agricultural development into Supply-Chain Model (SCM), Customer-Relation Model (CRM), Value-Chain Model (VCM), Results- chain Model (RCM).