“The discovery of agriculture was the first big step toward a civilized life,” says Arthur Keith, a Scottish anatomist, and anthropologist.
India is renowned for its agricultural practices and methods. Indian agriculture was and is a pivotal contributor in the growing economy and withstands to be one of the major employers across the country. In 2018, the GVA for the agricultural sector was INR 17.67 trillion, says independent research. The research also adds that the sector is all set to grow at an approximate rate of 2% year-on-year.
Today, Indian agriculture is facing various challenges related to funding, adverse climatic conditions, uneven distribution, etc. But the industry players, as well as the existing and emerging organizations, are placing their best foot forward in tackling these agricultural problems in order to pass on a better earth to the Gen Z. Let’s get more insights about the trends which are likely to contour the agriculture landscape in 2019.
Digital Innovation in agriculture is one of the major trends to look out for economic growth. Currently, the government is striving hard to streamline the policies, creating necessary infrastructure and commercializing this innovation for the betterment of the masses. Many organizations are making strong moves in order to create incentives for adoption of this innovation in agriculture sector. The innovation in agriculture and food systems in the digital age like 3D Printing, Robots, Drones, Sensors, AI, AR/VR, and Blockchain are playing a significant role in helping farmers to generate profitable outcomes.
This role of innovation in agriculture is transforming the infrastructure development space and supply chain management. An extra plus is being added to quality, traceability, logistics and distribution, and other areas of the value chain of the Indian agriculture.
Mitigating Climate Risk
The changes in climate are another significant trend to watch out for this year. An effective climate risk mitigation strategy is helpful in improving water management, adapting to rising temperatures, and facing drought situations in the longer run. The government is rolling out curated solutions for early warning system which plays a vital role in evaluating and reducing the risks related to erratic climate changes. Many ventures are edifying farmers with prominent expertise in water management and optimum utilization of available water resources. These associations will go a long way in benefitting the agrarian society as well as Indian agriculture as a whole.
Effective climate mitigation is an effort for sensitizing the adoption of climate change measures in order to ensure countless benefits for farming and trading fraternity.
The Evolving Startup Ecosystem
2018 has been a year filled with challenges and opportunities focusing on developing the startup ecosystem. This development and creation of digital agriculture is likely to disrupt the Indian agriculture with its full pace in FY 2019. Independent surveys assure incubation of developmental and early-stage startups like never before. On the other hand, funding is likely to continue in order to empower mid-stage startups. Further, the startup ecosystem in India is addressing crucial issues including the collateral requirement for loans, availability of growth capital, taxation on angel investment, applicability to government schemes etc.
Empowering the Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs)
The FPOs play an important role in the upliftment of the Indian farmers, thereby supporting the economy. There is a great potential in monetizing the number of farmers that are connected to each other through FPOs. Empowering the farmer producer organizations in India can help them in securing business acumen and market linkages with utmost prominence. As such, many giant companies, as well as the government, are fuelling the FPOs with better insurance terms, quality assessment infrastructure, and precision agriculture solutions for better crop management. They are also successfully addressing the needs of access to finance, IoT-based applications, etc. for the betterment of the FPO’s as well as Indian agriculture.
Enhancing Water Management Efficiently
The novel water management and conservation initiatives like watershed management and drip irrigation play a pivotal role in cementing the Indian agricultural sector. Being aware of the relevance of water resources in the country, people are coming forward and making concrete endeavors for conserving water. The government agencies are monitoring water usage and empowering the farming fraternity by maintaining national and international standards. Besides, providing loan waivers and incentives to the farmers using water judiciously would add an extra plus to their survival leading to the development of the economy.
The Future Harvest
Apart from all these, solid strides like expanding the insurance net, effective claim management, controlling distress sale and the oversupply of agricultural commodities during the peak season and efficaciously mitigate the agricultural losses in the near future. The contribution of government organizations, industry players, and budding startups can together transfigure the face of Indian agriculture to its best.
Industry 4.0 is witnessing technology advancements and evolutionary changes that would drive the country towards getting ‘developed’.
– Rahul Niraj, Editor
Disclaimer – Some of the information has been gathered from various sources for reference.