What is the Future of Agriculture in India?

Did you know that India ranks second in farm output in the world? An output of Green Revolution! Green Revolution has considerably added to the production of crop production. But has Green Revolution really benefitted the farming and farmers of the India? This is a long debated issue which fails to find its answer. The increase in production has been welcomed with open arms but on the other hand the fertility and environment impact is still a big question!

 

More than 65% of the rural population is engaged in agriculture which leads to an average income of approximately Rs.6500 a month. This is a clear indication of under-employment, and low per capita. These numbers clearly point out that an unsustainably excessive part of the population is dependent on agriculture and that we need to wean away labour out of agriculture to other sectors. The prevailing situation also calls for a need for major policy measures to boost the rural economy and create new infrastructure for the agricultural sector. It is unfortunate that the farmers are unaware of the new farming equipment and agricultural techniques. It has become very important to make farmers realise the importance and need for new technologies.

 

Use of Existing Farming Equipment in India

 

Farm equipment

 

There are a lot of new developments in the farming sector with modern mechanised tools that can help in crop production. India, in 21st century, is getting Improved agricultural implements and new mechanized farming tools. We can review the importance of farming techniques, which can lead to high crop yield and maintenance of fertility of the soil while saving the time and utilising it in other fields. Equally, we should not forget that taking care of the fields and crops is important along with a revolution in farming equipment in India.

 

Small changes that do not require any technical knowledge should be encouraged and farmers should be educated by conducting. E.g.

 

  • Farmers should use tractors instead of relying on animals.
  • Use seed drill to increase the agricultural efficiency.
  • Pressure sprayer should be used throughout the farm to protect the crops from being infected.
  • Sprinklers should be used to evenly irrigate plants for healthy and consistent growth.

 

This simple implementation of existing machines and improved agricultural implements can help farmers with the crop yield as well as better health as the load of heavy supplies is reduced.

 

But now, more and more innovations have taken place in agricultural field and these new technologies need to be promoted for the agricultural processes. The next big step needs to be taken to lead onto the path of fruitful farming!

 

Need of New Techniques

 Need of new techniques

 

It is important for the farmers to understand the need of new techniques. New techniques can help farmers save time which can be productively used in other activities and professions. For how long can they be dependent on – Monsoon, Limited Irrigation and Old Methods of farming? It is a shame that agricultural country like India has to go through evil practise of Crop Residue Burning to prepare farms for the next season. If only modern techniques and farming equipment were used, then India would not have seen the burning of 19-20 million tonnes of paddy straw, which could have been widely used for other uses. The agricultural efficiency can be improved by introducing latest agricultural implements on the field for the smooth cultivation of land. It is the farmers who need to understand the importance of modern farming equipment in India.

 

Recommended: How to Modernize Agriculture in India? 

 

Limited use of mechanized farming techniques has prevented the development of a more organized and productive agricultural sector. India is aware of the technologies but the farmers fail to adopt due to cost of the new agro machines and knowledge. Financial viability has to be leveraged by the government and introduce renting machines or schemes like Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana so that new technologies can be brought in to practice.

 

New Agro Machines and Techniques for India

 New Agro Machines

 

Indian farmers are using some technologies but they need to take the next step and be well versed with other factors that improve the yield other than just the High Yielding Varity (HYV) seeds. They have to discover the soil requirement for their particular crop; know the land and atmospheric conditionsfor their crop as they are different for different crops; have the knowledge of when and how to use pesticides; have the knowledge of the right tools to be used withprecision for farming.

 

With technology enabled solutions, on soil data, crop variety, productivity and nutrients loss in soil; farms and farmers can prosper. Now, tractors come with agricultural implements like cultivators or broadcast seeders which greatly help in plantation of crops. Disc rotators attached with the tractor disperses seedlings evenly. Seeds can be easily drilled without much effort and labour of the farmer. Water sprinkler helps to irrigate large parts evenly.

 

Other new agricultural technologies that are of great importance are sensors and automated agricultural machines. Sensors track real-time information on farms and ancillary infrastructure along with the habitat of animals which can help in improving farming practices. Some of the areas where they are applied are - soil sensors, crop sensors, and livestock biometrics.

 

With the recently launched Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, the government is keen to support and reach irrigation to every farm. Agro machine manufacturers have to support the agricultural growth in the country.

 

Automation is another area that is gaining popularity has a good potential to improve farming methods for the future. The chores of planting, harvesting and irrigating can be automated with absolute accuracy.

 

You never know that in the future, you may see a swarm of agricultural bots working on the farm in a network to sustain the farming industry. The benefits of Automation could be less human intervention, more productivity of crops, less environmental waste and fewer farm injuries.

 

Intervention of Private Sector

 

Modern agro technologies are prevalent in developed countries but they need to be adopted in developing countries like India. Private sector has played an important role in advancement of the agro technologies, and now same needs to be arranged in India. Even government needs to actively participate and encourage farmers to use modern techniques with incentives. With the vision of ‘Make In India’, government involvement and government adhered innovation and investment is increasing. Now, it is the modern agricultural implements and machine manufacturers that needs to bring innovation and new agro-techniques to Modernised Farmlands of India.

 

In seed sector, the growing need of R&D along with developments in agrochemicals such as increasing use of bio-fertilizers and bio-release smart fertilizers has been developed.

 

Must Read: All You Need to Know About Agricultural Equipment

 

The farm implements sector, however, is yet to become a major market segment and tractors remain a major sector of investment. The irrigation sub sector also needs to evolve for Indian farming with large investments.

 

Future with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

 

With recent advancements in technology coupled with favourable government policies, we have seen many agro-tech start-ups. AI comes as a great boon to the agricultural sector which is heavily dependent on climatic conditions which are often unpredictable.

 

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

 

A small airplane called as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can be used to monitor and observe important data like multispectral imagery, visual and thermal imagery, humidity, the weather condition at a resolution of up to 1 cm/pixel and air pressure. This data can help the farmer make an informed decision.

 

Artificial intelligence (AI)—

 

  • Crop and Soil Monitoring– crop and soil health can be monitored with sensors.
  • Predictive Agricultural Analytics–Farming practices due to lack of access to scientific understanding of crop lifecycle, pests, quality metrics and the latest micro-fertilizers. Supply Chain Efficiencies– Real-time data analytics can be used for efficient and smart supply chain.
  • Agricultural Product Grading—Crop diseases or pest infestation in the crops can be accessed by an image on a farmer’s phone and determine the product quality in real time, without any manual intervention. Farmers just need to know the operation of app in their phone.

 

These modern techniques are the future of the Indian Agriculture. They capture complete information about the commodities (growing information, pre- and post-harvest, transportation, warehousing etc.) and proactively advice farmers on sowing, pest control, harvesting etc.  

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