QUEST TO TRANSFIGURE THE AGRI-TECH SECTOR

Mr. Santosh Shinde | COO & Co-Founder | FarmERP
Mr. Santosh Shinde | COO & Co-Founder | FarmERP

Agriculture is the life of Indian economy. It constitutes 19.9% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employs approximately 41.49% of workforce in India. India’s burgeoning start-up ecosystem has been playing an important role in disrupting the agriculture sector.

Traditional agricultural techniques are time-consuming and prone to errors due to human efforts. Tech-driven and environmentally-sound Precision Agriculture aid farmers with better and precisive agriculture techniques. Companies are incorporating advanced technologies such as IoT, Machine learning, AI, and GPS in machinery to facilitate ease of information, increase yield productivity, minimize variable risks, and track unfavourable weather conditions.

Precision Agriculture is a concept centred around ‘farm-management’. It is established on the pillars of responding, measuring, and observing to inter and intra-field mutability in crops. These practices aim to provide end-to-end analysis for a cost-effective farm eco-system.

The data provided by Precision Agriculture provides farmers with the following information:

  • Enhance the inherent quality of farm products
  • Foster greater traceability
  • Improve decision-making
  • Building record of farming activities

It also helps farmers to increase the yield with minimum human efforts while reducing wastage. The precision farming strategy identifies site-specific variances and farming decisions based on theoretical concepts. Precision agriculture facilitates the use of agricultural inputs depending upon the crop, soil, and weather requirement to optimize the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation requirements for maximum productivity.

It simplifies the entire management decision-making process of the field by allowing us to apply agricultural inputs in the right amount at the right time as and when required. Precision agriculture offers advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and Machine Learning (ML) which helps farmers to achieve various benefits.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly evolving across the globe. The issues due to the overriding phenomenon of global warming are uncontrolled. This stands true especially for developing countries. Farm equipment and machinery based on AI have brought today’s farming system to the next level. Farmers use AI for techniques such as precision farming, tracking crop harvest, and soil composition. It helps with data that can guide farmers to study how to take care of their crops and decide the use of water or fertilizer for better yield of the produce. Robots are assisting in the promotion of efficient agricultural methods that take agriculture verticals to new heights to save energy, reduce pesticides, and procure harvest time.

Machine Learning

The wide range of soil characteristics including moisture, temperature, and nitrogen level play a vital role in ‘crop wellbeing’. The farmers traditionally spread equal amounts of pesticides per square meter, which ultimately leads to waste of resources. This method of farming hampers the farmer’s yield as well as tampers with flora and fauna, reducing the number of pollinator species.

Machine Learning in the spectrum of agriculture calls for a greater amount of precision allowing farmers to treat plants and animals almost individually and give them the required attention, which notably ascends the effectiveness of farmer’s decisions while improving the wellbeing of flora and fauna.

Machine learning with the support of image analysis software can analyse the soil erosion levels and soil health condition of crops on an individual basis. The data attained by the Machine Learning process is used to determine the exact regions of the fields to be infested, which permits farmers to use pesticides where they are required. It provides an in-depth analysis and customized treatments that can help the farmer take precisive decisions.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Farmers are being educated about the advantages served by IoT in Precision Farming. Agribusiness and AgriTech start-ups believe incorporating technology into crop and cattle management will improve the quality of decision-making, site security, and investment decisions.

The most popular IoT applications used in Precision Farming are:

  • Climate monitoring
  • Crop monitoring
  • Cattle monitoring
  • Greenhouse automation

These tools and technologies allow farmers to collect precise data through the sensors, UAV devices, and stationary IoT solutions for Precision Farming. With the aid of digital tools, growers can monitor a wider range of metrics including rainfall levels, the quantity, and quality of nutrients that crops require to grow to a peak level, soil samplers, fertilizer inputs. An in-depth analysis and understanding of the crop and crop-health will help the farmers/growers make more informed and calculative decisions across all fields.

The use of sensors will facilitate farmers to monitor the field, with long-term access to real-time data. A field manager can distinguish the patterns and predict changes, potential risks, and yields, both through harvest and growing season.

With Precision Agriculture and the use of IoT-driven tools and technologies, the team members can have easy access to data from any device, even when not remotely operating from workspaces.

The utility of chemicals and pesticides can lead to wastage and damage soil or crop health. To protect the yield from crop-damaging insects, farmers go overboard with their nitrogen usage. With precision agriculture, a farmer will be able to administer chemicals only when there is a need and protect crops with great efficiency.

Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) play a vital role in Precision Agriculture. The technologies, tools, and devices offered by them aid farmers with the entire farm-ecosystem and allow them to make sustainable and sensible decisions.

About the Author
Mr. Santosh Shinde
COO and Co-Founder

FarmERP:
Mr. Santosh Shinde is Co-founder of Shivrai Technologies Pvt. Ltd. and FarmERP with an extensive background in operations and technology. Having substantial experience of managing technology projects covering various business verticals, Santosh Shinde possesses more than 22 years of industry and financial expertise as Chief Operating Officer (COO). His current responsibilities include business development, Sales, Management of financial infrastructure, and general operational management along with customer relationship management. He holds Engineering degree in Computer Science from the University of Pune, India.

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