Increasing awareness among farmers and emerging technology has opened many opportunities for agriculture such as crop production, the nutritional value of the crops. Online services help in reduced cost for farmers, development of process-driven supply chain and creating a network of farmers for marketing. Govt. of India is coming up with farmer-friendly schemes like minimum support price (MSP) which promises to provide the price equal to 1.5 times of the cost of agricultural production. Indian agriculture is on the verge of getting the technology revolution through various solutions available for farmers to manage their production and trade.
Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for almost two-third of the population but the industry is dragged back by a variety of challenges. There are plenty of issues like the use of outdated equipment and improper infrastructure. Farmers can’t reach out to global markets while agricultural economics allows them to make only limited profits on crop sales.
These digital services can be broadly categorized into three segments – informational applications, e-commerce platforms and technology-based solutions for the agricultural industry.
Mandi Trades app carries the government’s pricing information to a wider audience of farmers. Based on requests by the farmer for more information, Mandi Trades app added features like price alerts and agricultural news. The information is available in multiple languages including English. It is more of a social network for farmers which provides farmers with links to sellers and facilitates price discovery through discussion.
IFFCO Kisan is another informational portal which has transformed from platforms like kiosks to handheld smartphones in rural India. IFFCO Kisan is a premier app for all kinds of services on Agriculture & Allied practices.
Kisan Market is the website that intends to provide an organized and hassle-free way to sell farmers’ agricultural products at the best prices. The website is regularly updated and combines a comprehensive listing of farming as well as dairy products. It features a directory of companies related to agro-industry from where the farmers can make their purchases directly. The site is aiming to be an e-commerce giant in agriculture and will be of great value to farmers and retailers of Agri products.
farMart is a one-stop shop for farming equipment and machinery. It Started as a portal where farmers could rent farming equipment and machinery as needed. farMart enhances the use of farm equipment that is idle by offering them at cheaper rates to the needy and while generating income through the lease of machinery to owners. Payments are also made online by using the government’s United Payments Interface (UPI).
Agricultural procurement processes were very lengthy and caused losses loss-making for farmers of villages. Truce, formerly known as Bharat Bazar, provides an end-to-end farm produce procurement processes. It also launched a mobile app that brings together farmers, local aggregators, food processing industries, buyers and exporters from various states. The app also helps in getting logistics for transportation and payment services using information-driven algorithms.
Agroman is a similar e-commerce platform for farmers. Seeds, fertilizers, machinery, and equipment are available for rent as well as sale, and it also serves as a platform for sale of agro-produce.
Soil IQ is a unique app which was built on technologies that load the backyard garden with an intelligent network of devices. Their first product is a small soil sensor topped with a solar panel that streams data via a cellular network and Wi-Fi. Farmers can get the real-time information and nutritional data of their plantations and the same can be adjusted as per the requirement of the crop.
CropIn uses data solutions and farm digitization to improve the operations and efficiencies in farming just like FMCG or aviation. It provides solutions like Crop Analytics, Smart Sales, mWarehouse, Smart Farm and cutting across the major areas of farming and using cutting-edge technology like big data, geospatial analytics, and a dashboard for farmers to control the entire operations from production, pest control, inventory management, and tracking. It has built a digitized supply chain for fruits and vegetables helping both farmers and retailers to increase their income. Its revenue source is the commission in differential rates for perishables fresh vegetables, fruits, and other high-end foods.
Agricultural exports of India have increased consistently over the past few years but the progress is not reaching the supporting base of agro-economy – the farmers.
Low Land Holding
The sector is facing challenges like more fragmented land holding which is declining to an average of 1.4 hectares per farmer. The agricultural land is decreasing in comparison to a growing population. Decreasing resources like groundwater levels and lack of automation and technology are some of the challenges for the growth of agriculture in India.
The lack of specific and timely information among farming communities in India is limiting their business with traders. With new mobile apps, farmers can trade from across the country. Indian farmers are distressed for wan of fair prices for their farm products while consumers in cities are searching for farm-fresh produce at affordable rates. Another economic fault is that farmers buy agricultural inputs like fertilizers and seeds from retail stores at a high price and selling their farm products in the wholesale market at a low price. Such practices reduce the profits for farmers even though they take the highest share in risk within the agro-economics.
There are many organizations coming forward to tap this opportunity and serving the farmers gain a rightful share in the agro-economics. They are working towards solving the problem of inefficiency in agriculture wastage during distribution and selling of farm produce. Indian farming will soon set to join the professional league of businesses enjoying high efficiency and reliability in coming years.