The Agriculture Department is concerned with activities relating to policy decisions on agricultural production and productivity. The Directorate and field level offices in the districts and the West Bengal State Seed Corporations under the Department are involved in the execution of these policies through generation and transfer of technology, ensuring availability and timely distribution of agricultural inputs viz., specially seeds, fertilisers, subsidy, credit etc. They also provide support services through soil testing, soil conservation, water conservation, and seed testing/ seed certification. These bodies are also involved in plant protection and quality control of fertilisers, pesticides etc. Main stake holders for the Department are – (i) Farmers (ii) Government (iii) Manufacturer, dealers and retailers of Fertiliser, Seed and Pesticide (iv) Citizens in General.
Soil Test based Fertiliser Recommendation System and Generation of Soil Health Card
Application Software has been implemented successfully in all the 10 Soil Testing Labs (Govt.) in West Bengal. At present, the percentage of samples received in a lab directly from Farmers is 2 to 5% of the total samples tested in a year. The Computerized System has helped farmers get the test results along with the recommendations within a sustainable time gap. This facilitation has motivated farmers to approach the Labs for testing more samples for cultivation of variety of crops in different seasons. Within six months of Implementation of the Application Software, the intake of samples directly from farmers in Labs has increased to 5% and within a year it is expected to catapult to 8 to 10%.
Fertiliser Control Management System
Fertiliser Control that involves Quality Control, Registration of Dealers and Retailers Distribution (includes movement of fertilisers through transport mechanisms) Management (that includes Sale, Release of Subsidy, etc.)
Farmers’ Advisory System has been developed from soil test data containing nutrient availability of West Bengal supplied by National Bureau of Soil Survey & Land Use Planning supported by the Department of Agriculture, Government of West Bengal. It is designed for rice, vegetables, pulses and oil seeds, cotton and fruit growers to develop strategies for fertilising their crops based on soil nutrient status. This web application acts as a DSS that calculates number of alternate options, which could be selected by the small, marginal and big farmers depending upon their requirement, availability of irrigations and socio-economic conditions. This Web Application will help render and serve information on crops that may be grown in that area and, the recommendation of fertilisers for the selection of crops by the farmer that may be cultivated in a particular agricultural year following a justified crop cycle.
Certification and Quality Control of Seed
The Application Software has been implemented successfully in all the Seed Certification Offices (4 nos.) and all the Seed Testing Labs (3) in West Bengal. The Agency Database (District wise Seed Grower wise) has been created.
Project Monitoring System (approval, physical and financial progress of various Central State Government Projects)
In the proposed Web-enabled System, the fund handling authority of the Department posted at Department, Directorate and District will enter the necessary data with respect to allocation, release and utilization for a particular scheme/ component, so that senior management can have a picture on balance fund available at any point of time and take a decision on mobilization of the balanced fund.
Plant Protection and Quality Control of Pesticides
The Application Status for Pesticide License will be available on line along with the list of Registered Pesticides. At any point of time, the Govt. will have a view on total list of Registered Licensees in the State with all transactions on their licenses, their Company Infrastructure, the licensees manufacturing and selling spurious pesticides etc.
Agriculture is weather sensitive. Crop production depends on weather and climate to an extent fuller than any other single factor considered. Since early days of human civilization that saw initiation of agriculture as an activity, crops were grown traditionally in areas based on climatic support. Meteorological factors influence and control Agricultural activities starting from selection of a variety of seed of a crop till the final stage of processing. Efficient and judicious usage of Meteorological factors and interpolation or extrapolation of related data is helpful as a decision support system for cultivators. Considering its tremendous importance and to place the Agriculture of the state on a more rational and scientific basis, Government of West Bengal has set up Agricultural Meteorological Wing under the Department of Agriculture with a considerable number of Agro-Meteorological Observatory Network of their own during the early seventies.