Despite encountering the largest number of revolutions, the agriculture industry needed a restructuring overhaul of massive scale to adapt to the ever-growing demands of India’s booming population.
The agricultural industry has always been the backbone of India’s economy since ancient times and the fact remains. Agriculture market accounts for 18% of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and therefore serves more than 70% of rural families for their livelihood.
Sensing the big market of the farming-based country, India also gains huge profits while exporting large amounts of food products all across the globe. Being titled as the second most populated country in the world, India still faces the tough challenge of fulfilling the demands of agricultural commodities.
This urge led to redesigning and upgradation of traditional farming practices to prepare for a tech revolution to develop eco-friendly systems. In this modern era of the 21st century, where phones are smarter than humans and farmers depend on the change in monsoon till now, Smart Farming in India has tipped the scale of modern farming to a whole new level.
Integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) in modern farming practices will not only provide a way to better measure and control growth factors, such as irrigation and fertilizer, on a farm but will also change how we view agriculture in its entirety.
But before going on the long tirade of benefits and various technology types used in Smart Farming in India, let’s take a step back to better understand the concept of smart farming.
Decoding Smart Farming
Smart Farming can be simply defined as skillful management of farms using modern information and communication technologies, to increase the quantity and quality of products while also optimizing the human labour required.
Smart farming can also integrate several agriculture methodologies with different technologies like Sensors & Actuators, the Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and Drones.
Smart Farming in India is also used to increase the production efficiency and the quality of farming products.
Thus, Smart Farming in India can also increase farmer’s standards of living by minimizing heavy and monotonous work on their end cost-effectively.
IoT Solutions to Agricultural Issues
Smart Farming in India can add value to various traditional farming practices while integrating IoT. Some of the major areas of agriculture that IoT can revolutionize includes:
- Precision Farming
- Farming Automation/Robotization
Precision farming, just like its name, refers to an IoT-based approach that makes farming more controlled and precise in nature and techniques.
Here, plants and livestock get precisely the treatment they need, which is determined by machines with superhuman accuracy.
The main difference separating Smart Farming in India with its precision technique from traditional one is that precision farming enables decisions for every square meter or even per plant to be made separately and with utmost precision unlike for an entire field.
Similar to Precision farming techniques, Smart Farming in India possesses solutions for livestock’s enables farmers to better monitor the needs of individual animals and to adjust their nutrition accordingly.
This can be done using wireless IoT applications to monitor the location, well-being, and health of their cattle. Farmers can then identify sick animals, and separate them from the herd to prevent the spread of disease.
Automation in Smart Greenhouses
Given the sporadic nature of India’s climate, many monsoons related crops are always at risk to get damaged when climate change happens. Therefore, giving rise to another subset of Smart Farming in India.
Smart greenhouses can be easily monitored and controlled via various sensors deployed in various locations inside the greenhouse to accurately measure the environmental parameters according to the specific requirements of various crops.
In turn, that data is stored in a cloud-based platform for further processing to control the artificial atmosphere inside the greenhouse with minimal manual intervention.
Other Popular Smart Farming Techniques
Though we talked in detail about two of the most popularly used Smart Farming in India techniques, various IoT-based practices are now getting adopted all across the country, with their innovative way of thinking to efficiently enhance crop productivity.
Some of these techniques include:
- Remote Equipment Monitoring
- Predictive Analytics for Crop and Livestock
- Remote Crop Monitoring
- Livestock Tracking and Geofencing
- Sensor-based resource and Field Mapping
- Smart Logistics and Warehousing and many more.
Though a profitable venture, Smart Farming in India is still at a nascent stage. The successful deployment of precision agricultural techniques in full-scale is still a far-off possibility for the Indian agricultural market due to its poverty-tainted bloodline and extreme exploitation of uneducated farmers by middlemen.
Despite these challenges, the government’s various initiatives with the Farming portal and direct benefits scheme, India’s agriculture sector will pave the way for such smart farming concepts soon.