APN News

  • Wednesday, August, 2022| Today's Market | Current Time: 07:35:00
  •            By Vinay Raghu Prasad, Founder & Director, Atomaday

    New technologies have changed the way the world functions and food industry hasn’t been left untouched. Technology being the most sought-after ingredient for all businesses to succeed, the food tech companies have been leading the change to fulfil the needs of the consumers for healthier and sustainable food products and to create a favourable eco-system for the farmers

    The agriculture sector in India is not considered a desirable choice by much of the educated populace. Those who are not educated enough hope that their kids can get out of the cycle of agriculture as a business or profession because the payoff for the hard work is not proportionate with the risks and efforts involved.

    Indian agriculture needs a second green revolution, to make agriculture more climate independent, environmentally maintainable and directed to the agriculture-water-energy relationship. The use of biotechnology and nanotechnology has become very important in creating disease-resistant, climate-adaptable, more nutritional and diversified species of crops.

    Agri-tech has altered agricultural methods with the use of technology in farming practices. This has happened with tech diversities like hybrid seeds, precision farming, data analytics, artificial intelligence, geo-tagging, satellite monitoring, mobile applications and special software for farm management that could be used in every aspect of agriculture to enhance farm productivity and income.

    Select Indian graduates from engineering and management backgrounds and some with substantial work experience have ventured into the domain of agriculture. There is a new tide of budding entrepreneurs and start-ups that are making use of tech-based collaborative farming that is driving the way to a new ascent in the agricultural sector in the country. Companies like Atomaday have been a front-runner when it comes to the concept of collaborative farming, where both the farmers and the consumers on a whole reap the benefits. This fresh talent along with agri-tech is hence, the enabler of this new green revolution, being driven by the following parameters.

    E-commerce

    Transactional platforms and market linkagesare being employed to help farmers engage digitally, giving them a platform to purchase inputs and sell their products effortlessly without the stakes of middlemen and reduce food wastage as well.

    Financial Technology

    Fintechplatforms provide applications and the required forums to farmers for any financial, agricultural and government-related assistance based on their crops and different crop cycles.

    Post-Harvest Technologies

    These provide the machinery and know-how for clearing, sorting & processing of crops at the farmland and cold storage, and how wastage can be decreased and the shelf life be increased of the produce.

    Smart machines

    These are being used to develop something called ‘smart greenhouses’ that help run machines remotely and operate with greater accuracy and execute specific operations using farming robots, seeding devices, electrostatic sprayers, etc. These machines control the light intensity, temperature and humidity conditions reducing the requirement of physical human labour.

    Precision farming

    These have been initiated topromote the application of accurate amount of inputs like water, fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides at the exact or right time and for increasing productivity, and innovations like AI-driven automated weeding and the like.

    Farming-as-a-service

    There are companies, whichprovide farming services and machinery on rent to the farmers for reducing ‘capex’ costs and increasing productivity.

    Biotechnology & Nanotechnology

    Considered a game-changer by many, these are being used to deliverfacilities such as nano-particles, various capsules and other viral and bacterial capsid to the crops to fix diseases and improve nutrient absorption by the plants.

    Internet of Things (IoT)

    With wider internet penetration and affordable data packs, IoT is being employed which enables easier data collection and decision-making processes by making use of drones, sensors, data analytics and various IoT tools for waste management, farm management, regular monitoring of crop quality and soil monitoring as some of the categories.

    The aim of the first green revolution was to supply enough food to India’s growing population at the least cost possible. However, with changing times, the question arises not just of quantity but of quality as well to improve the standard of life for all people. This is where agri-tech will play a crucial role to change the current dynamics. Agri-tech and its induced new green revolution will definitelyhave far-reaching social impacts that can cause a domino effect to solve the different challenges of the agricultural sector in particular and the economy in general.  Current activities around the agri-tech sector can increase the employment opportunities and income of farmers. The increased income can, in turn, limit the migration from rural to urban areas. Rural areas can flourish, leading to the sufficient purchasing power of the rural population, which would benefit the overall economy as well.

    The recognition by organisations and people that development and productivity will have to go hand-in-hand with sustainability in agriculture is a step in the right direction. Government policies, emerging technologies and sustained efforts of the youth in the right direction to address environmental questions, especially – land degradation, depletion of groundwater, water logging and excess use of chemical inputs – will possibly expand the sustainability and growth of Indian agriculture utilizing agri-tech throughout the country.

    SEE COMMENTS

    Leave a Reply