While India’s farming crisis requires attention on numerous levels, this article stresses the importance of innovation – specifically, artificial intelligence (AI) – in raising agricultural productivity and, as a result, farmer livelihoods.
Agriculture plays a growing and going role in everyone’s life and the economy at large. Its importance for an individual can be as his/her livelihood, for the country, its economy, and as a means of survival for the human hood. Agricultural exports account for 10% of India’s total exports and are the country’s fourth-largest exported major commodity category. Agriculture is so important, yet this low output-to-input ratio reveals massive systemic problems in India’s agronomy, causing considerable misery for agriculture and allied labourers who face the impact of growing input costs, diminishing productivity, climate variability, resource depletion, inadequate market access, technological immobility, and so on. The agriculture sector is increasingly looking at methods to harness technology for improved crop yields in order to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture. Technological advances are helping to boost agriculture overall productivity much further. AI and other disruptive technologies are having a significant positive impact on Indian agriculture.
In 1989, PepsiCo set up a Tomato processing plant in Hoshiarpur, Punjab. The company planned to make packed tomato ketchup and for that, they required good quality tomatoes. When the company executive researched the Indian tomato market, they found that it is challenging to get their required homogeneous quality of tomatoes from the market as every farmer grows a different variety and quality of tomatoes at the farm.
AI in Indian agriculture has the potential to improve farm production, alleviate supply chain restrictions, and expand market access. It has the potential to benefit the entire agriculture value chain. By 2026, AI in global agriculture is expected to be a $4 billion opportunity.
Artificial intelligence in agriculture is divided into three categories: robotics, soil and crop management, and livestock farming. Its goal is to make farming simpler, more precise, lucrative, and fruitful for farmers. The global AI in the agriculture market was worth US$ 240 million in 2017 and is predicted to grow to US$ 1.1 billion by 2025. In addition, challenges like population expansion, climate change, and food security necessitate novel approaches to increasing crop output. As a result, comprehending AI’s application in agriculture becomes essential. By 2050, the globe will have to grow 50% more food. To accommodate this goal, unfortunately, only 4% of extra land will be put under production. At a time where the global needs to produce more food with fewer resources, AI has the potential to drive an agricultural revolution. Essential Artificial intelligence in agriculture at various phases of the agricultural process can pay off for farmers in terms of increased profitability and revenue.
Farmers may better grasp data insights such as temperature, precipitation, wind speed, and sun radiation by using artificial intelligence in agriculture. Data analysis of historical values allows for a more accurate comparison of planned results. The greatest part about deploying AI in agriculture is that it won’t take away human farmers’ jobs; instead, it will help them better their operations.
Given the advantages of artificial intelligence for sustainable farming, adopting this technology may appear to be a natural next step for any farmer. However, there are still some significant limitations.
The advantages of artificial intelligence in agriculture are apparent. Smart farming solutions can automate simple, repeatable, and time-consuming chores, allowing farm employees to focus on more strategic activities that require human intellect. It’s crucial to note, though, that, unlike a tractor, AI cannot be purchased and started. AI isn’t something that can be touched. It’s a collection of technologies that are automated through the use of the software.
Artificial intelligence is a computer simulation of thinking that uses data to learn and solve problems. AI is only the next stage in the growth of smart farming, and its successful implementation needs the employment of additional technologies. To put it another way, before farmers can gain the full benefits of AI, they will require a technological infrastructure. Infrastructure work will take months, if not years, to complete. Farmers, on the other hand, will be able to build a solid technology ecosystem that will last the test of time.
Farmers tend to think of AI as something that only applies in the digital world. They may be unable to see how it can assist them in working the real land. This isn’t because they’re fearful of the unknown or conservative. Their resistance stems from a lack of awareness of how AI tools can be applied in the real world.
For the time being, technology providers must consider a few things: how to enhance their tools, how to assist farmers in addressing their concerns, and how to communicate how machine learning can help solve real-world problems, such as lowering manual labour. AI’s future in agriculture is certain to be beneficial.