Opinion

Smart tech is giving farm sector a boost

Anjami Nayyar | Updated on July 21, 2021

Smart farming is much more efficient than traditional methods

The pandemic has accelerated the digitisation of India’s farm sector. Digital agricultural applications will allow the industry to increase operational productivity and yield quality, at the same time reduce expenses and waste.

Smart farming is much more efficient than traditional methods. The IoT-based system can monitor agricultural land — soil moisture, humidity and temperature — with the help of sensors and mechanised irrigation practices. For instance, a farmer can monitor his field from anywhere and get an alert as and when the soil moisture level goes down, prompting him to initiate irrigation.

Here, both the digital and physical infrastructure work together, but small farmers in villages and cities face difficulty in pairing the two. Agri start-ups can reach out to all these farmers and make it a viable and cost-effective solution.

The government’s free app, Kisan Suvidha, provides farmers information on current weather, market price, dealer info, plant protection, and more. The app also shares market prices of commodities at the nearest location and the maximum price in the State and India. There is also ISRO’s Geo-platform, Bhuvan, which provides valuable data on the plantation, pest surveillance and weather.

The use of such information from these apps can be optimised by the farmer. As Covid-19 conformities and protocols continue to restrict the labour force, intelligent technologies like precision agriculture and drones can help manage the farms.

There are over 1.25 lakh panchayats with broadband access at present. Government measures like direct purchase from farmers and farmer producer organisation, besides online buying through e-Nam portals and private e-mandis like Agribazaar, are positive initiatives.

Agri-tech start-ups, by analysing various data, can help farmers get crop insurance and institutional credit. These tech agencies and government programmes will not only help sustain India’s agri sector but will also drive it towards significant growth even in the post-Covid era.

The writer is CEO, Knowledge Network Solutions

Published on July 20, 2021

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