Indian Space Research Update – Satellites Designed for Benefit of Farmers

PSLV - Launch by ISRO
PSLV - Launch by ISRO

Satellites Designed for Benefit of Farmers

The satellite-enabled services in conjunction with ground data, to support farmers in India include weather forecasting, agro-advisory, agromet services, soil moisture and agricultural extension activities to support farming operations in the country by India Meteorology Department (IMD), Ministry of Earth Sciences. Also, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) collaborates with Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on various applications using satellite data and geospatial technology in agriculture sector, which include – (i) horticultural crop inventory and site suitability for expansion in under-utilised areas, (ii) crop assessment using medium and high resolution satellite data, (iii) field data collection with field photos using mobile App, (iv) crop cutting experiments based on satellite derived crop vigor information. Earlier, ISRO had transferred the technology to Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmer’s Welfare for (i) Forecasting Agricultural Output using Space, Agro-meteorology and Land based observations (FASAL) and (ii) National Agricultural Drought Assessment and Monitoring System (NADAMS) and internalised the monitoring of irrigation infrastructure at Central Water Commission.

The satellites designed by ISRO, which are currently in operation, to support these services and applications, include Resourcesat-2, Resourcesat-2A, RISAT-1, Cartosat-1, Kalpana-1, INSAT-3D and INSAT-3DR.

The details of their launching, cost incurred towards building these satellites, along with objectives are given below:

SN Satellite

(Launch Vehicle)



Cost incurred

(in  Crores)

1. Resourcesat-2


20.04.2011 138.71 To provide multispectral images for inventory and management of natural resources, Crop production forecast, wasteland inventory, Land & Water Resources development, and Disaster Management Support.
2. Resourcesat-2A


07.12.2016 106.11
3. Cartosat-1


05.05.2005 248.49 To provide high resolution images for Cartographic mapping, Stereo data for Topographic Mapping & DEM, and host of DEM Applications – Contour, Drainage network, etc.
4. RISAT-1


26.04.2012 375.38 To provide all weather imaging capability useful for agriculture, particularly paddy and jute monitoring in kharif season and management of natural disasters.
5. Kalpana-1


12.09.2002 71.30 To provide meteorological data to enable weather forecasting services.

(Procured launch)

26.07.2013 206.00 Designed for enhanced meteorological observations, including vertical profile of the atmosphere in terms of temperature and humidity for improved weather forecasting and disaster warning.


08.09.2016 116.38


The data and value added products derived from these satellites have benefitted the concerned user ministries/ departments in Natural Resources Inventory & Monitoring, crop assessment, wasteland inventory, topographic Mapping & DEM, land & water resources development, weather forecasting and Disaster Management Support. These applications are useful to the decision makers to adopt suitable interventions for planning and management of various activities in agriculture sector.

This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.