With close to 50% of India’s workforce involved in agriculture, the GDP contribution to the nation stands significantly at only 18%, which creates a significant gap between involvement of the workforce and the output.
Also with world population set to cross 9.5 Billion people by 2050, and with India being the most populous nation, there is an estimated need to increase agriculture production by up to 70%, making it imperative for us and all the stakeholders to collectively come together, in benefitting the country’s food security along with farmer’s income and his family’s prosperity.
The challenges which needs immediate attention are (a few): –
- Consolidating the net acreage of irrigation lands available in the country.
- A shift from genetically modified seeds (green revolution) to organic-based farming.
- Limiting usage of manure & fertilizers, ones which are environmentally harmful
- Improving irrigation channels and better farm mechanization
- Preventing soil erosion (weather sustainability) & improving adequate post-harvest warehouse and
- Providing adequate cover of crop insurance & farm loans.
So how do we overcome these challenges and make agriculture a profitable business for all?
How do we make every farm a factory in itself and increase the per acre value for all in the ecosystem?
‘Agriculture Technology’ is the next wave in agriculture revolution which is set to drive the ‘Ag Ecosystem’ with new age solutions, such as farm monitoring and produce mapping, predict fertilizer usage, crop stress timely detection, data collation on cloud servers, and farmer/area auditing of farm lands.
With these – food security, process improvement and farm to fork traceability will set in, benefitting all in the value chain.
Elements of Ag Ecosystem which ensure agriculture, economic and environmental sustainability are:
Internet of Things:
IOT includes tools such as Robotics, Drones, GPS & Remote Sensing Technologies and Computer Imaging.
These refer to various low-cost sensors (with the rise in demand) on field and in space which helps determine soil conditions, groundwater levels, determine NDVI, Chlorophyll Index and highlights crop stress in time, ensuring harvest predictivity at each crop stages.
The adoption of IoT devices in agriculture is on the boom, which speaks a testimony in implementing technology-based data-driven agricultural practices.
Big Data Analytics:
Touchpoint (Data points) on farms help create millions of raw data. These data are then stored on cloud servers and algorithms are carried out, which help provide us insights into the farming agronomy and help create:
- New breed of drought-resistant seeds
- Ensure food tracking and traceability and
- Enhance the supply chain of seeds, crop inputs and post-harvest management
- Develop forecast predictability for crop cycle and increase in business avenues.
Artificial Intelligence (AI):
AI refers to creation and study of computers, and software’s capable of intelligent behaviour. This helps create ‘Self Learning Algorithms & Capabilities’, and helps automate on-ground agriculture practices.
Modern day farm activities such as field sowing, ploughing, fertilizer spray, harvesting, weeding and post-harvest land-replenishing will be carried out via applications and processes developed around AI.
Though currently in a nascent stage, with time & capital investment, all modern-day farm mapping, observation, predictability and on ground operations will be automated, leading to increase in efficiency and reduction in production cost and minimizing environmental impact.
So how does one leverage from the ‘AgTech’ revolution, and benefit from
higher productivity and profitability?
CropIn Technology, a “Make in India” startup is benefitting over 500,000 farmers through digital technology and is managing over 1 million acres of farms with IoT based mobile application for 70+ clients across 5 countries.
Enterprises across the agriculture ecosystem such as contract farming, organic farming, BFSI’s, Exports, Food Processing, Input seeds & chemicals have started benefitting results of SaaS based IoT solutions which are coupled with farm data analytics and AI for remote sensing, farm plot benchmarking. Also, farmers are now availing crop insurances / agricultural loans, transparently.
A snapshot of CropIn’s applications, which define the new age of ‘Technology based Farming’ for global agriculture:
SmartFarm: Solution for food processing, contract & organic farming companies which incorporates end to end operations, guidance system and alerts. The tool provides a real-time view of the farms: Complete geo-tagged information about the People, Produce & the Production operations. It also enables simplified control of complete farm undertakings/ set-ups scattered over geographies through a single click or a single touch.
SmartSales: Solution for Input seeds & fertilizers companies. Ensures retailer management for order, stock and payments. Provides ground level sales visibility (POG), flexible systems to conduct events and training and also empower sales staff with marketing and sales strategies.
mWarehouse: Solution for export companies and post-harvest inventory pack-house management. Ensures to provide traceability to the last mile. The application records and reports the journey of harvest produce from planting to harvesting and to the initial packaging, until the last mile of delivery.
SmartRisk: SaaS-based application which connects BFSI’s to agriculture by helping banks & insurances conduct farm linked credit portfolio & risk management services using satellite-based remote sensing and big data algorithms.
To know more about how you can benefit from these technological advancements, for your farm based agribusiness get in touch with us on: