Agritech India: Emerging Technologies That Are Helping The Indian Agriculture Sector To Flourish
The Indian agriculture sector is largely unorganized and fragmented, with multiple levels of intermediaries and middlemen across the agriculture value chain. But with the growth of the tech ecosystem in India, there is a rise in numerous agritech startups leveraging tech to help farmers increase productivity and reap better yields.
These Indian agritech startups, through their services, are helping farmers to improve yields, optimise production, improve resilience, sustainability and much more. Implementing the latest tech to its core, the Indian agritech market has the potential to reach $24 billion by 2025, as per a report by EY.
Need For Tech In Agriculture
Indian farmers are facing a lot of issues like inconsistent water supply, lack of mechanisation, market linkage issues, inadequate storage facilities, etc.
Most of the agricultural operations in larger parts of India are carried on by human hands using conventional tools like a wooden plough, sickle, etc., leading to huge wastage of human labour and low yields per capita labour force. A major chunk of farmers is still irrigating with obsolete flood irrigation systems.
But by implementing innovative agritech solutions like artificial intelligence, data analytics, and the internet of things, major issues related to agriculture can be solved.
Present Tech Involved In AgriTech India
Though the Indian agriculture sector has started using modern equipment, a majority of the farmers still rely on conventional tech for their operations. The following are the most commonly used tech in Indian agriculture.
Livestock Farming Technology
Although it is undoubtedly the most important, the traditional cattle business is frequently disregarded and underserved. Livestock provides us with essential renewable natural resources that we use every day. Traditionally, livestock management has been associated with poultry farms, dairy farms, cattle ranches, and other livestock-related agribusinesses.
In recent decades, the greenhouse industry has evolved from small-scale research and aesthetic facilities (such as botanic gardens) to much larger-scale facilities that compete directly with land-based traditional food production. LED lighting and automated control systems are increasingly being used in modern greenhouses to exactly adjust to the growing environment. To capitalize on the ever-increasing demand for local food, successful greenhouse enterprises are ramping up and locating their growing operations near metropolitan centers.
Top Innovation Trends In AgriTech India
Modern-day startups are providing farmers with real-time farm data. They are using the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence and agronomy to provide farmers with insights to improve the quality and quantity of their produce while reducing the overall cost of production. The agritech ecosystem in India is evolving and with more advancements in tech, the sector is bound to grow.
Following are some emerging technologies that are helping the Indian agriculture sector to flourish. And as tech is evolving, the agritech market in India is set to have a bright future.
Internet of Things (IoT)
In traditional farming, crop field monitoring requires a lot of labour, physical equipment, time, and effort.
But by using IoT devices, one can collect data and deliver precise information in real-time via mobile apps or other means. It can also be used for a variety of tasks, including soil, temperature, and humidity detection, plant and livestock tracking, and more.
Labour shortages are a major issue for farmers. As a result, agricultural robots are being developed by tech entrepreneurs to help farmers with a variety of tasks such as fruit picking, harvesting, planting, transplanting, spraying, seeding, and weeding.
In order to automate monotonous labour in the field, farmers are increasingly using robots. For harvesting, they use GPS-enabled autonomous and semi-autonomous tractors. Auto-steering technology is also available on tractors for improved field navigation. Furthermore, robots are utilised in livestock management systems that are automated.
Artificial intelligence in agriculture gives farmers real-time information on their fields, allowing them to be proactive. AI provides predictive insights for weather data, crop output, and price predictions, allowing farmers to make more educated decisions. Farmers receive tips and input recommendations from chatbots, similar to Alexa for farmers.
Anomaly and disease detection in plants and cattle are automated using AI and machine learning methods. This enables rapid identification and, if necessary, corrective action. ML algorithms are also used in biotechnology to make gene selection suggestions.
It’s difficult to increase farm output while cutting expenditures. Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), assist farmers in effectively overcoming this problem.
Drones acquire raw data, which is then converted into valuable farm monitoring data. Drones with cameras provide airborne imaging and surveying of both near and far-flung landscapes. Drones are also utilized for livestock tracking, geofencing, and grazing monitoring, using GPS technology. They hover over fields, capturing photos ranging from simple visible-light photographs to multispectral imagery that aids in the crop, soil, and field studies.
Big Data & Analytics
Every day, a massive amount of farm data is created, none of which is useful unless it is examined. Using big data and analytics, this information can be converted into useful information.
Crop area, crop production, crop projections, land use, irrigation, agricultural prices, weather forecasts, and crop disease statistics are used to lay the groundwork for the next farming season. Analytical tools collect information pertinent to farm operations from data on weather events, farm equipment, water cycles, crop quality, and quantity. This aids in the discovery of patterns and linkages that could otherwise go undetected.
The potential of blockchain to keep ownership records and resist tampering can be utilized to address pressing concerns in the present food system, such as food fraud, safety recalls supply chain, inefficiency, and food traceability. The decentralized nature of blockchain ensures that products and processes are validated, resulting in a transparent market for premium goods.
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