05 May, 2023
Technology has upgraded almost every aspect of our lives and agriculture is no exception. From modern irrigation methods to advanced equipment, certain cutting-edge inventions have empowered Indian farmers so much that they manage to increase their yield, reduce wastage, and churn more revenue.
One such progressive technology is ‘Progressive Farming’- a proven way to be more productive. In this post, Indian farmers will be able to learn about:
- Meaning of precision farming
- Components of precision farming
- Advantages of precision farming
Let’s start the post with the basics. Precision farming is a modern farming approach that involves the implementation of advanced technologies and data analysis to optimize crop production and reduce waste. It involves using sensors, GPS mapping, drones, and other technologies to collect data about crop health, soil moisture, and other factors that impact plant growth.
This data is then analyzed using sophisticated algorithms to develop precise and targeted management strategies for crop production. The goal here is to include the power of data in farming so that the right resources are used in the right amount to deliver desired results.
Indian farmers have many mouths to feed. Other than feeding its own nationals, India is contributing heavily to the global agriculture industry by importing crops like wheat, millet, rice, and so on.
Considering this, it’s very important that Indian farmers adopt inventive techniques that are capable of delivering more with the least effort. Precision Agriculture is one such technology.
Presently, India's agriculture industry is facing a huge wastage challenge and is not in a position to bear the wastage for long.
According to a study by the Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), the annual value of post-harvest losses of major agricultural producers at the national level was estimated to be around INR 92,651 crore (approximately USD 12.4 billion) during 2012-13. This accounted for 18% of the total value of agricultural production in the country.
The study further highlights that fruits and vegetables are the most perishable crops, with post-harvest losses ranging from 6% to 18% in different stages of the supply chain. In addition, losses of cereals and pulses were found to be around 6% to 7%.
Another report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that about 40% of the fruits and vegetables produced in India are wasted every year due to poor post-harvest management practices, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of access to markets. This translates to a staggering amount of 35-40 million tons of food waste per year.
These statistics indicate the urgent need for better post-harvest management practices and infrastructure in India to minimize agricultural wastage and ensure food security for the growing population. Precision farming is supportive of this motive only.
As this technique keeps tons of factors under observation, multiple components form it. Have a look at the key components of precision farming.
- Sensing and data collection: Precision Agriculture relies on collecting large amounts of data about crop health, soil conditions, weather patterns, and other relevant factors.
- Data management and analysis: Once the data has been collected, it needs to be managed and analyzed to extract useful insights. This involves using data analytics tools and algorithms to identify patterns and trends in the data that can be used to optimize crop production.
- Decision support systems: Based on the insights gained from the data analysis, farmers can use decision support systems to make more informed decisions about when to plant, fertilize, and harvest crops.
- Variable rate technology: Precision farming also involves using variable rate technology (VRT) to apply inputs, such as water and fertilizer, at the right time and in the right amount to optimize crop growth. This can involve using GPS-guided equipment to apply inputs in a precise and targeted manner, based on the specific needs of each crop and field.
- Automation: Automation is becoming an increasingly important component of precision farming, with the use of autonomous vehicles, robots, and drones to perform tasks such as planting, spraying, and harvesting.
When implemented correctly, precision farming can bring tons of benefits to the farmers. Have a look at some of its prominent advantages.
- Boosted efficiency: Precision farming allows farmers to apply inputs, such as water, fertilizer, and pesticides, in a precise and targeted manner, based on the specific needs of each crop and field.
- Better yields: By optimizing crop management practices, precision farming can help farmers achieve higher yields and better quality crops.
- Optimized farming expenses: By reducing waste and optimizing resource use, precision farming can help farmers save on input costs, such as fertilizer and pesticides, as well as labor costs.
- Farming decisions based on data: Precision Agriculture involves collecting and analyzing large amounts of data about crop health, soil conditions, and other relevant factors.
It’s high time that Indian farmers learn about advancements that can uplift and upgrade. As precision farming encourages optimized resource utilization, data-based decisions, and increased productivity, it’s the need of the hour.
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