IMG-20211009-WA0003-removebg-preview-1.png

Contents

Future of Digital Agriculture in India

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of things are revolutionizing and modernizing agricultural value chains. India is still in the early phases of digital adoption, while other countries have successfully integrated and utilized digital technologies to revolutionize agriculture.

Digital Agriculture
Using Artificial intelligence in agriculture

Indian agriculture realities

As we all know, our farmers are still responsible for all of their business risks. They are fully reliant on others for their land’s produce. Whether it’s money for seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, or the weather. They are plagued by water scarcity, a lack of qualified labour, and so on. Even the income from their produce is uncertain, and because their produce is perishable, they must accept whatever price they are offered due to a lack of storage space. When it comes to implementing technology, the majority of Indian farmers have extremely small landholdings. And they are unable to afford the cost of purchasing seeds and other necessities. Farmer can be encouraged to use technology that boosts yield and is environmentally friendly in order to increase inclusive growth.

Sustainability

It is common knowledge that the usage of fertilizers and pesticides causes a great deal of pollution around the planet. In the process of industrializing agriculture, expanding production, and establishing criteria for the production of a given size, color, and other characteristics, a great amount of food is wasted, while many people live without a daily square meal. There is a growing consensus that having a huge quantity of products with little or no nutritional value is unimportant. As a result, despite a concentration on providing technology to precisely target fertilizers or pesticides, we are still a long way from achieving a step-change in sustainability outcomes.

Application of Digital Agriculture   

  • Farmers may gather, visualise, and assess crop and soil health conditions at various phases of production using technological interventions. They can serve as an warning system for identifying problems and providing solutions.
  • Artificial Intelligence can deliver real-time actionable insights to help farmers enhance crop output, control pests, assist in soil screening, provide actionable data, and reduce effort.
  • Blockchain technology allows for exact data on farms and inventories, as well as fast and secure transactions and food tracking. As a result, farmers are no longer reliant on paperwork or files to record and keep critical information.
  • Geeken Chemical India Limited is highly familiar with the process of turning obstacles into viable solutions.
  • As well as Geeken Chemical helps in unwavering active participation in bringing the country ahead toward prosperity.
  • Geeken Chemical India tries to combine worldwide and new approaches to offer great crop protection solutions. It will serve to mitigate any risk related with crop cultivation as an agrochemical company.
  •  Geeken Chemical India Limited  used various digital mediums such as social media campaigns, video conferences, live streaming messages and electronic Krishi meetings to guide farmers and also agri-input dealers.To increase farm yields with various crop protection chemicals and new farming techniques.

A farmer’s problems

  • Hardware for portability: Because most Indian farms are tiny, plug-and-play gear has a better chance in India. Agricultural land leasing is also common under various farming agreements, so a farmer who is now cultivating on one plot of land may transfer to another plot the next season. In such situations, farmers would be better off investing in portable equipment.
  • Platforms for renting and sharing agricultural equipment and machinery include: Due to limited financial resources and small agricultural plots, digital platforms that offer equipment renting and sharing services instead of outright purchases are becoming more popular.
  • Technology with a low cost: An Indian farmer’s average annual income is too low. As a result, cutting the cost of technology will be beneficial.
  • Academic assistance: Farmers are regularly interacted with by local agricultural organisations and academic institutes through a variety of locally run programmes and government initiatives.

Here are some of the agricultural  organizations uses latest  technology:

  • Weather prediction: Because agriculture is reliant on climate around the world. So there is need of AI to anticipate the weather. There are numerous projects to anticipate weather across countries, both at the government level and by businesses.
  • Crop Monitoring with Image Processing: Whether we take photographs with a satellite or a drone, image processing is sometimes employed to assess the crop. This comprises agricultural vegetation index monitoring in real time using satellite photos, insect monitoring, soil assessment, and a variety of other applications.
  • Self-driving tractors: Our agriculture ecosystem uses lift tools and remote senses.
  • Our agricultural ecosystem has long been beset by obstacles that prevent farmers from utilising cutting-edge technology to boost farm output. As a result, the current administration has urged Farmer Producer Organizations to make the entire value chain more open and efficient in order to remove these impediments.
  • These solutions help farmers manage price insecurity more effectively while also allowing them to access new financial sources.

Current Initiatives under Digital Agriculture in India

  • The importance of digitisation in Indian agriculture is widely recognised, and efforts are underway to digitise the current value chain. To encourage farmers to utilise technology, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has developed many significant digital applications.
  • Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, announced the launch of the Digital Agriculture Mission 2021–2025 ,  to advance digital agriculture through pilot projects.It aims to encourage and accelerate projects based on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, geographic information systems , and the use of drones and robotics.
  • In  2019, Cisco released an Agricultural Digital Infrastructure solution that improves farming and knowledge exchange. This ADI is likely to play a key role in the data pool that the Department of Agriculture will build as part of the National Agri Stack. This initiative’s pilot project will take place in Kaithal and Morena.
  • The Jio Agri platform, digitises the agricultural ecosystem throughout the whole value chain in order to empower farmers. The platform’s main function provides advisory using data from standalone applications; advanced functions use data from numerous sources, input the data into AI/ML algorithms, and deliver accurate tailored advice. This initiative’s pilot project will take place in Jalna and Nashik.

Some other Initiatives

  • Using a digital crop monitoring platform hosted on ITC’s, ITC has proposed creating a personalised ‘Site Specific Crop Advise’ service to change conventional crop-level generic advice into a personalised site-specific crop advisory for farmers. This initiative’s pilot project will take place in Sehore and Vidisha.
  • Electronic National Agriculture Market is a pan-India electronic trading system. It will integrates the existing Agricultural Produce Market Committee mandis to form a unified national agricultural commodities market. It supports farmers in selling their products without the use of brokers by earning competitive returns on their investment.
  • Central Agri Portal for Direct Benefit Transfer is a centralised portal for agricultural initiatives across the country. Through government incentives, the portal assists farmers in adopting modern farm machinery.
  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft in June 2021 to operate a trial programme in 100 communities across six states. Microsoft will use its cloud computing resources to establish a ‘Unified Farmer Services Interface’ as part of the MoU.This is a key component of the ministry’s long-term ambition to develop ‘AgriStack,’ a unified platform that would supply farmers with end-to-end services across the agriculture food value chain.
  • However, the question from India’s perspective is whether the latest instruments and techniques will be valuable to Indian farmers.

Benefits of Digital Agriculture

  • Increases agricultural productivity and lowers production costs.
  • Prevents soil degradation.
  • Reduces chemical use in crop production.
  • Promotes effective and efficient use of water resources.
  • Improves farmers’ socio-economic statuses.
  • Reduces environmental and ecological impacts.
  • Implementing  these technology solutions in place allows for more reliable farm management and monitoring.
  • Farmers may act accordingly since they have a complete digital analysis of their farms in real-time and don’t have to apply excess pesticides, fertilisers, or minimise total water use because they have a complete digital study of their farms.

Conclusion

Due to digitization, access to finance will be provided through exposure and awareness, climate change forecasts will enable right decisions, farm equipment and new technology will be accessible, inputs for better soil fertility and soil structure will be available, access to markets, access to information, smallholdings will be utilized, and predictive analysis will be possible. It necessitates planning, capacity building, identification of appropriate stakeholders, governance and monitoring mechanisms, and the provision of a single platform for buyers and sellers. This technology platform will lower costs, raise productivity and quality, lower prices, lower risks, and create a more sustainable ecosystem. Digital technologies have the ability to achieve the required circumstances such as distributed low cost and customized delivery and innovation to flourish.

Digitization can help to create high and inclusive growth. Farmers in India want incentive and encouragement to use proven yield-enhancing, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly technologies. Finally, technology will alter the future landscape of Indian agriculture. It will ensure more income for farmers and reduce hardship.

Related Blogs: INNOVATION TO INDIAN FARMING