Visualise a farmer working tirelessly within the fields to supply for his household. He spends days to plan, nurture, shield, harvest, and in the end, promote the crop for a good worth out there. The earnings deliver meals and smile to his house. But, this happiness is fragile. Factors corresponding to erratic climate, premature pest infestations, and extreme use of fertilisers can lower the harvest high quality and amount thereby reducing his revenue and thus stealing the moments of pleasure.
The market worth of a crop for a person farmer and the contribution of India’s largest employment shareholder towards the nationwide financial system is immediately depending on productiveness. In phrases of agricultural value-added per employee as of 2018, India ranks lowest among the many high 20 world economies – a rustic that has 58 per cent of individuals employed, immediately or not directly, in agriculture. With a rising population-demand curve, Indian agriculture must be scaled in the direction of its true potential and that is the place the combination of know-how, notably analytics and then implementation, steps in.
Big Data and Artificial Intelligence type the spine of sensible farming. Accommodating knowledge through cloud computing, the previous is instrumental in deriving essential insights from key components like soil, climate, crops and machines. This permits farmers to determine on crop rotation patterns primarily based on the on-ground situations and make well-informed selections.
On the opposite hand, AI permits equipment to minimise effort and maximise productiveness. Functioning on automated cycles, the know-how permits environment friendly useful resource utilization with out compromising the agricultural productiveness. At this level, one can merely ask: If there are such a lot of advantages of know-how in agriculture, then the place are the outcomes?
There are two hurdles within the agri-analytics integration: affordability and consciousness. Analytics require equipment (drones, as an illustration) that poses the problem of affordability for Small Holder Farmers (SHFs). Taking cognizance, the federal government has initiated a sequence of modifications corresponding to drone operation SOPs, monetary grants for FPOs, and many others. These are optimistic and well timed indicators that denote the intersection of farmer issues and policymakers.
However, it’s crucial to understand that monetary assist have to be complemented with consciousness. Every dialog about agri know-how focuses on the “doable“ superior advantages. But, true success can’t be achieved with out convincing SHFs that this can be a higher observe than their archaic strategies. Regular consciousness programmes, knowledgeable interactions, reside demonstration of various applied sciences are the constructing blocks of higher farming selections.
The inflow of know-how creates the opportunity of malicious digital actions corresponding to malware assaults, Trojan viruses, and many others. Hacking and manipulation of I/O agricultural units can result in catastrophic outcomes corresponding to wrongful use of fertilisers, groundwater exploitation, and incorrect terrain knowledge that may destroy the whole plantation or minimise the land fertility.
In order to keep away from such conditions, the federal government and non-public gamers have to pay particular consideration to the safety measures at on-ground know-how use. A cluster of villages might have an information reporting middle with a devoted staff of safety professionals to make sure clean operations across the clock. Furthermore, this may be scaled up with random website/village visits to verify on the tools in addition to operational difficulties confronted by the farmers. This approach, buyer grievances may be resolved simply with a subsequent verify on equipment.
Analytics has the flexibility to drive Indian agriculture in the direction of marvelous productiveness enhancements, supplied that the decision-making our bodies, corporates, and farmers work in unison in the direction of know-how adoption. That stated, contemplating the funding, coverage modifications, and accessibility in AgriTech over the past 5 years, we’re traversing the trail in the direction of serving to the farmers make sure the happiness of their households and enhance meals safety for the residents of India.
(The writer is Group CEO, Sohan Lal Commodity Management Pvt. Ltd.)
April 16, 2022