By 2050, almost 10 billion is the projected world’s population furthering agricultural demand as part of the economic growth. This raises innumerable questions like can we meet the required production increase with the scarce water and land resources in the face of drastic global climatic changes already plaguing the world?
Technology is the enabler that will steer Indian farming towards an inclusive and sustainable farming to meet the agricultural requirement of the future. New technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Farm and Data Analytics, Aerial image-based analytics are being introduced by Agri-tech start-ups in India to make farming processes more efficient and lead to better decisions for improving yield and productivity.
Smart Farming Technologies to the Rescue
The Indian agricultural landscape is witnessing an onslaught of new technologies like drones, farm based mobile applications, and hi-tech sensors that connect buyers and sellers with important farm-related information among others. According to a research, the Global Smart Farming market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 13%.
Smart Farming IoT is the most visible farming technology that combines sensors and analytics to automate, monitor, or enhance and improve agricultural operations and processes. This is fueled by the Big Data phenomenon where IoT enabled sensors collect information on soil moisture, weather, fertilization cycles etc. and transmit that data over internet and cloud to a central hub for analysis. This enables farmers with real time access to information about their livestock, land, logistics and farm machinery.
Several Open source smart farming IoT platform offer solutions like Sensor-based field and resource mapping, Remote equipment monitoring, Predictive analytics for crops and livestock, Remote crop monitoring, Livestock tracking and Geo-fencing, Climate monitoring and forecasting among others.
By tying together different sensors, connected devices, and farming facilities, Smart farming technologies allow better and practical decision making to pre-determine the optimal usage of water and other agricultural inputs including seeds, fertilizers, etc.
Securing the Future
While Smart technologies will continue to influence Indian farming, the looming concern is the vulnerability to cyber threats from hostile attackers. Securing the platform with embedded firewall when upgrading or replacing older legacy systems, stringent risk analyses to understand where vulnerabilities may be and how best to address them and applying analytics to derive definitive insights will play a major role. The exponential amount of data that these smart farming applications reveal and benefit the farmers is unbelievable and it’s estimated that this will be roughly one million data points generated per day from an average smart farm. This will, no doubt, lead to further innovations in agricultural technology.