E- Technology in Agriculture
30th Dec, 2022
Digital technologies are finding increasing use in the agriculture, and farmers are increasingly becoming more informed, as various measures are taken to provide them ready access to technology and information.
- Agriculture in India is the core sector for food security, nutritional security, and sustainable development and for poverty alleviation.
- The future of agriculture growth and food security in India depends on the performance of small and marginal farmers.
- Technology here plays a vital role to enhance productivity sustainably. Innovation mechanisms for technology transfer are required to bring relevant tools, knowledge and knowhow to farmers.
Importance of Agricultural Technology
- Higher crop productivity
- Decreased use of water, fertilizer, and pesticides, which in turn keeps food prices down
- Reduced impact on natural ecosystems
- Less runoff of chemicals into rivers and groundwater
- Increased worker safety
Role of Robotic Technologies
- It enables more reliable monitoring and management of natural resources, such as air and water quality.
- It also gives producers greater control over plant and animal production, processing, distribution, and storage, which results in:
- Greater efficiencies and lower prices
- Safer growing conditions and safer foods
- Reduced environmental and ecological impact
Emerging Agriculture Technologies
- Agriculture Sensors: These sensors can detect moisture and nitrogen levels.
- This information can be used to determine when to water and fertilize rather than rely on a predetermined schedule.
- It helps in conserving water, limiting erosion and reducing fertilizer levels in local rivers and lakes.
- Weather Tracking
- Drones, remote sensors, and satellites gather 24/7 data on weather patterns in and around the fields
- This provides farmers with vital information on temperature, rainfall, soil, humidity.
- Farmers can get advanced notice of frost, hail and other weather that they can take precautions to protect the crops.
- Satellite Imaging: It allows for real-time crop imagery. It lets a farmer examine crops as if he or she were standing there without actually standing there.
- Reviewing images on a weekly basis can save a farm a considerable amount of time and money.
- Pervasive Automation: It refer to any technology that reduces operator workload.
- Examples include autonomous vehicles controlled by robotics.
- It expands accurate and controlled growing through proper guidance to farmers about optimum planting, timely harvesting, nutrient management and pest attacks.
- Minichromosomal Technology: Using minichromosomes, agricultural geneticists can add dozens and perhaps even hundreds of traits to a plant.
- In this, the plant’s original chromosomes are not altered in any way.
- Radio-frequency identification (RFID) Technology: RFID based sensors provide information that can be associated with farming yields.
- For example, barcode on the yields can be scanned with a smartphone in order to access information about the soil that yielded them.
Steps taken by the Government in the Direction
- AgriStack: The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has planned creating ‘AgriStack’ - a collection of technology-based interventions in agriculture.
- Digital Agriculture Mission: This has been initiated for 2021 -2025 by the government for projects based on new technologies like artificial intelligence, block chain, remote sensing and GIS technology, use of drones and robots etc.
- Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM): Under this Scheme, subsidies are provided for purchase of various types of agricultural equipment and machinery.
- Other Digital Initiatives: Kisan Call Centres, Kisan Suvidha App, Agri Market App, Soil Health Card (SHC) Portal, etc.
- Vertical Farming: Vertical farm technology Vertical farming a component of urban agriculture is the practice of producing food in vertically stacked layers.
- Farmers in all areas can use it to make better use of available land and to grow crops that wouldn’t normally be viable in those locations.
- Blockchain in Agriculture: Blockchain technologies can track all types of information about plants, such as seed quality, and crop growth, and even generate a record of the journey of the plant after it leaves the farm.
- Internet of Things (IOT): The buzz word in precision farming lately has been IOT. In IoT-based smart farming, a system is built for monitoring the crop field with the help of sensors (light, humidity, temperature, soil moisture, etc.) and automating the irrigation system.
- Drone Technology: Drones can help in the analysis of soils and drainage, crop health assessment and are being used in variable rate application of liquid pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides.