It’s much more than just sowing the crops and harvesting. Farming is challenging. Add to it the business dynamics, things get even more exigent. Farmers are always exposed to risks; risks around the yield, profitability, and various other aspects. In a way, they are tasked to effectively manage such agricultural risks to ensure maximum productivity, efficiency, and returns. This is not easy! For instance, preparing to combat bad weather or season is easier said than done. Such challenges have ushered modern farming technology into the mainstream. Powerful farm management software solutions are a prime example of this, which are now prevalently adopted by millions of farmers around the world. Technology-driven new methodologies are getting common and more talked-about.
In fact, a study by BIS Research suggests the global modern farming market will reach the $23.14 billion mark by 2022. Furthermore, governments of many countries aren’t just encouraging sustainable tech-driven farming but are even creating fitting policies and providing subsidies for that. Such a shift in the sector is significant and it underlines how farmers are modernizing their ways and approach with tech adoption to effectively manage the agricultural risks that otherwise brought them big losses.
As the name suggests, modern farming is leveraging advanced technologies and tech-driven practices to achieve better and cost-effective farming outputs. It brings a lot of benefits to the table, covering the flaws and loopholes that traditional farming struggles with.
Now, there are many elements to modern farming. Different parts of different technologies come together to create an efficient infrastructure, plugging farmers’ various needs, and paving them a way to higher efficiency and productivity. These elements aid in different ends of farming, from cultivation and irrigation to marketing and selling. Solutions like farm management software often integrate them together to deliver farmers a wholesome package, which caters to all their farming needs and requirements under a single roof.
The use of modern technology in agriculture – and the collective growth in the prevalence of modern agriculture in recent times – is a direct outcome of risks and the importance of managing those risks.
Farmers need to combat the uncertainty of weather (temperature, wind, altitude, rainfall); they need to effectively handle the countless risks that affect their yield, including poor quality soil; they need to address the risks posed by economic factors. This is important not just for their profitability but the collective society that now needs more food than ever. This is what modern technology in Indian agriculture, and across the world, helps with.
It plays a key role in agriculture risk assessment. It allows the farmers to effectively deal with such risks and achieve a much higher yield in the most efficient and cost-effective ways. What more, modern technology in agriculture is a boon in farmers’ lives; it allows them the space to live a better lifestyle, which is a big pro that we can all rally behind as a reason to discuss, encourage, and promote mass adoption of modern farming technology.
Farmers – and the farming community as a whole – widely employ technologies in their operations to manage risk. Some use cases are as small as using weather forecast applications to get a proper sense of the weather, accordingly which the farmers can make decisions to avoid spoilage; others are as sophisticated as machine learning-based crop spraying equipment that collects real-time data from the field to ascertain whether the plant needs fertilizers, pesticides and/or other inputs to maximize yield.
In the wave of modern agriculture, precision agriculture aka satellite farming has the most attention in the farming community, as well as among the enthusiasts. It is a management strategy that includes gathering, processing, and analyzing data to achieve increased yields through optimal utilization of inputs. In a broader sense, its core objective is to utilize the resources in a precise way that enables greater return on investment. As is evident, it has many benefits from the agronomical, technical, economic, and environmental aspects.
Further, there are countless examples of how modern technologies are helping farmers in big and small ways. Like soil and water sensors, which can detect nitrogen and moisture levels, providing farmers definite data to decide when to fertilize and water their plant. This minimizes the risk of the farmer inadvertently adding too much or too little inputs.
The use of satellite imaging and drones is another prime example of how prevalent – and impactful – modern technology is in the agriculture field; farmers can use drones and imaging to examine and monitor their plants. Imaging technology with AI capabilities can further add to these benefits. It can monitor the crop and if it detects any ‘red’ flags through on-field sensors, it can automatically alert the farmer, prompting them to take the necessary steps.
FID technology and modernized tractors, as well as mini-chromosomal technology (to avert plant disease), are some other popular advancements in the agriculture sector, which may not necessarily have wide adoption in the market at present but they tout high-flying promises for the farming community in the coming years.