Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister conferred the `Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration’ (2012–13) to Crop Pest Surveillance and Advisory Project (CROPSAP) for pest management in major crops in Maharashtra.
CROPSAP project, a multi-stakeholder initiative was undertaken by Commosssionrate of Agriculture, Pune, ICAR-National Centre for Integrated Pest Management, New Delhi involving other National level Crop Research Institutes (CRIDA-Hyderabad, DOSR-Indore, ICCR-Nagpur, CRRI-Cuttack and IIPR-Kanpur) and State Agriculture Universities (Dr PDKV-Akola, MAU-Parbhani , DBSKKV-Dapoli and MPKV-Rahuri) in the backdrop of severe pest outbreak on soybean crop during 2008-09 in Maharashtra that resulted into crop losses over an area of 9 lakh ha. Since regular and wide area pest monitoring is the cornerstone for pest management so to automate and speed up the process of pest monitoring, ICAR-NCIPM designed and developed a three tier architecture based system of pest monitoring called “e-Pest surveillance & advisory system”. System also has the provision for submission of pest management advisory to be disseminated to farmers through SMSs. The system was implemented in Maharashtra state covering area of 112.19 lakh hectares under Rice, Soybean, Cotton, Pigeonpea and Chickpea crops.
Use of ICT in pest monitoring helped in providing prompt and reliable pest reports to the concerned agencies on real time basis so as to provide timely and correct advisory to the farmers and thus confirmed the operation of effective monitoring.
Since inception of the project there has been no outbreak of any major pest in the mandated crops. Number of farmers enrolled for SMS service doubled, advisories issued increased by 4.63 times, SMSs sent increased by 11.30 times and shift towards use of bio-pesticides increased by 1.57 times.
On behalf on the Project Sri Prabhakar Deshmukh, then Commissioner of Agriculture, Maharashtra received the award on Ninth Civil Services Day held on 21st April, 2015 organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances.