India is traditionally an agrarian economy, where the agriculture sector contributing about 16.0% of the GDP (Gross Development Product) in 2019 to the country's economy. The sector plays a vital role globally, however, with assistance and backed by technology, the agriculture industry can achieve more.
Tech to the Rescue!
Technology has been evolving and transforming every industry and sector. With the help of AI, Machine learning, IoT, and Cloud technology, the agriculture sector can also benefit from the evolving tech. Since the introduction of technology, a more efficient cultivation system has become possible and is believed to have increased the speed and productivity of farming equipment. Cloud technology can help farmers with insights on weather predictions and conditions and various parameters that might affect crop production. Cloud technology may also allow farmers to access information on predictive analysis from institutions. Modern farmers can learn and upgrade their knowledge with the help of internet access and mobile phones. Various government and private institutions which have programs and courses designed for farmers will help them learn new techniques and technologies in the field.
However, farmers face certain critical obstacles, overcoming which may seem to be a challenge. These may include issues like power shortage, water supply shortage, access to modern technologies and market trends, lack of resources, poverty, transportation, and lower education standards. The technology could be used as a tool utilized to solve these challenges.
Feeding the Future
To be able to grow, cultivate and supply produce continually throughout the year for a growing world population may prove to be a challenge. To meet global water needs, the water supply may see a fall. Farmer's presently are likely to face several challenges such as unfair prices on their produce, lower returns, climatic conditions, and indebtedness. The likely reason for this barrier could be a lack of resources and access to information. While there appears to be better accessibility to mobile phones and the internet, certain rural areas may face additional challenges such as lack of access to electricity. Despite these circumstances, data and connectivity on mobile phones have opened up options for farmers. Technology may significantly help the Agro-industry to be able to provide, sustain and thrive.
Cloud Tech making its way…
Emerging technologies like sensors, artificial intelligence, and analytics may help with enhanced water supply management, increase yields, and build resilience across crop cultivation. There are apps and products available in the market that attempt to help enhance the productivity of crops and get timely monitoring information and yearly growth pattern reports. With features like cattle monitoring and management for keeping track of farm animals' health and log performance, IoT sensors to monitor the field, and satellite mapping and surveying tools. Agriculture drones are also available to assist farmers with various tasks like crop infestation monitoring, spraying of pesticides, yield counting, etc. These applications could help farmers become more technologically efficient, allowing the agro-community to meet shifting demands. Cloud computing allows users with real-time data, which may be beneficial to the farmers. Soil profiling, analyzing information, future trends, the current status of the soil are some of the features of Cloud tech. When in need, certain agriculture apps may also provide expert consultation for solving specific issues. Another important feature in certain apps may be eCommerce support, wherein by avoiding middlemen, farmers could sell directly to retailers.
While implementing cloud computing, there are certain issues to be reviewed, like internet bandwidth, cyber laws, and data security, to name a few. Technology and cloud computing have the potential to help the agriculture sector flourish.
Author - Sameer Redij, chief revenue officer (CRO), ESDS Software Solutions Limited