Agriculture must become Profitable for farmers in India
Guess what would be the population on Earth by 2050? It’s going to be 9 billion! To feed all the hungry stomachs we need to increase the food production by 60% in the available cultivatable land. Simply put with the existing farmland farmers are expected to give higher yields. For attaining the desired yield farmers need to become highly efficient and this is possible only by using relevant technology. Technology should be used for building “Must Have” solutions than “Nice to Have” solutions.
The informed consumer understands the ill effects in unnatural processed foods & the dangers of consuming them. This awareness has led to an interest by the average consumer in understanding farming, food, and the agriculture industry. Many schools are making agriculture as a part of their curriculum so that the children appreciate the farming community & also learn how food is cultivated. Consumers & farmers are collectively voicing that the food that is being produced should be done by using techniques that try in preserving natural resources and restrict environmental strain. The future will see farmers to be the leaders in nutrition provision by using multiple technologies to produce nutritious food to consumers at large.
Technology should be used for transforming the Agriculture Industry as it has done with other industries. Agri-Tech innovators need to collaborate with farmers & other stake holders to deliver integrated solutions not just to the local farmers but to farmers all over the world. Farmers are ready & willing to embrace new innovations & techniques in farming technologies if it shows significant results. The produce that reaches the consumers food basket should be faster, fresher and at a reasonable cost. This can only happen with leading-edge technology in agriculture. To achieve this goal, it is imperative that the ecosystem needs to focus towards driving innovation, data collaboration, easy working capital and providing digital infrastructure to enable real time access to farmers across the globe.
Agriculture in India
In India agriculture is in crisis not because farmers are not able to produce but because farming is not seen as a viable profession. The bitter truth to be said- a farmer usually doesn’t get the price he deserves for growing the crop.
India being considered as an agricultural country has only 16% of its GDP from this sector but is the largest sector for employment. Officially farmers are only a few hundred million, but when we add the uncalculated hands -the family members who help to farm, the number of farm workers would be closer to half a billion people. Farming is just seen as an option and not as a priority because the average Indian farmer receives only 10-23% of the price that the Indian consumer pays for the same produce
Farmers cannot afford to undertake long term investments & innovations. The present younger generation do not see agriculture as a desired profession. The agriculture sector in India has many wants like Supply Chain, Cold Storage, Efficient Transportation & Logistics. An estimated 20% of food produce goes to waste in India. A change in the Agriculture Sector can happen only with the amalgamation of technology, organisational support, infrastructure support, and economic support.
The major barriers in improving farm productivity in India is the lack of new technologies and major breakthroughs. The key is to focus on Research for developing appropriate technology that aids in better farming. India has been far behind in the use of Technology in Agriculture as compared to other sectors as Agriculture has mostly been done by traditional methods & practices.
At present, the technology that has become a huge success with the rural areas is the use of Smart Phones that has helped to improve farming. The Agriculture community is now ready to imbibe Technology in its methods & practices both for Pre-harvest & Post-harvest. A transformation in Agriculture sector is possible by the convergence of mobile networks, broadband internet, cloud platforms, IoT, AI and open data. There has also been a surge in the number of entrepreneurs working in this space to solve the Agri crisis and modernize India’s Agri processes. A ray of hope appears for Agriculture with Agriculture technology taking the wheels. A keen interest has been shown by a lot of private companies that build robots, data analytics tools and drones for the agriculture sector. With effort from companies and the right implementation of policies, the Agri-tech business should hopefully make the Agriculture sector to flourish.
To know if Agri- Tech is the sole saviour for the renaissance of Agriculture in India read our blog articles frequently we are keen in creating a better life for farmers.