The Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr S M Krishna, inaugurated a Workshop on Agro-Climatic Planning and Information Bank (APIB) on June 25, 2001 at Bangalore. Dr K Kasturirangan, Chairman, ISRO presided over the inaugural function. Mr T B Jayachandra, Minister for Agriculture, Government of Karnataka was the Guest of Honour. The Workshop was to launch the service dissemination from the pilot Centre on APIB.

Agro-Climatic Planning and Information Bank, (APIB), is a concept-demonstration project executed by ISRO and the Planning Commission towards establishment of a single window access to all agricultural related information and decision support to users of agricultural and allied sectors. The objective of APIB is to use the power of information technology to collect scattered information and provide access to any type of information as and when needed. The Regional Remote Sensing Service Centre (RRSSC) of ISRO has carried out this demonstration project and covers the erstwhile Tumkur, Shimoga and Bijapur districts, which represent three broad agro-climatic zones of the country. The development of this system has taken into account the main users, namely, the farmers, financial institutions, agro-based industries and traders, extension officials, researchers/consultants/journalists and state level administration.

The APIB involved extensive interactions in data collection. Universities of Agricultural Sciences at Bangalore and Dharwad, Indian Institute of Horticulture Research, Karnataka State Department of Agriculture and Department of Horticulture, Karnataka State Agro Industries, Karnataka State Agricultural Marketing Board, various private organizations and many more agencies were involved in this effort.

The data collected have been organised in a database for analyses and retrieval using modern computer tools. The information is available in the regional language so that it is more useful to the actual users.

Some of the information that can be retrieved from this data base include: crops that can be grown with farmers’ soil and water resources, varietal/hybrid selection for principal kharif crops, comprehensive package of practices from public and private sources, fertilizers, plant protection, cost of cultivation and prices in various markets, area under cultivation and yield, dairying and insurance. The information will be made available to the farmers through the Extension Officers of the Departments of Agriculture and Horticulture.