Technologies that caused the Agricultural Revolution
Agriculture is the primary occupation of people all over the world. Without the prosperity of the agricultural sector, no other sector could prosper. So, if any technological developments are needed, the agricultural sector stands at the forefront of such developments. From the early humans, we have been witnessing a number of developments in terms of food production.
The earliest humans were hunters and gatherers wandering in search of food, then came the pastoral economy and finally with the advent of agricultural economy, people settled in places. Over time, there has been constant innovations and developments which facilitate the agriculturalists to produce better quality crops with less cost of production. Here, in this article we are discussing some of these technological developments that caused the Agricultural revolution in 2021.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Agriculture is the core of the pillar of the Indian economy. It contributes to 16% of India’s national GDP. It has been predicted that India’s population will become 1.64 billion by the year 2050. With such a huge population in this country, the agricultural sector has to adopt the latest cutting-edge technologies to fulfil the rising demands of food production.The global agriculture IoT market is estimated to grow from 11.4 billion in 2021 to USD 18.1 billion by 2026 at a growth rate of 9.8% .
HOW DOES THE IoT HELP IN AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION?
With large crop fields to look after, it becomes a herculean task for the farmers to manage their crop fields. In order to lessen this burden on their shoulders, some farmers use ‘drones’ for crop analysis, livestock tracking and monitoring of their fields.
Using an excess or minimal amount of water can prove hazardous to the cultivation of the crops. IoT-connected sensors can help in analysing and then deciding the precise amount of water needed for the cultivation of crops.
One of the biggest challenges faced by the farmers is the unpredictable climate. The latest technologies come along with machines with inbuilt sensors that help to read the weather patterns of an area and predict the weather, so that the farmers are prepared for any harsh weather conditions in advance.
Crop rotation, management and monitoring can be made much easier with the data provided around crop growth anomalies, crop health and precipitation levels with the help of IoT-driven machines that work on an algorithm and provide accurate results from the given data.
GIS in Agriculture
The agricultural sector in India is the biggest employer in India. With the ever-growing population in India, the demand for food supply has been constantly increasing year after year. The future growth of agriculture must come from the new technologies which help the Indian farmers in several different ways for the cultivation of crops. Sustainable agriculture depends on the judicious use of natural resources like soil, water, livestock, crops, forest, climate, rainfall and topography.
The Geographic Information System (GIS) is an incredibly helpful device which is able to map the current and future fluctuations in precipitations of a place.
HOW COULD THE GIS TECHNOLOGY HELP IN AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION?
GIS could be incredibly useful in immensely increasing the food production by mapping the geographical features of the current and potential farmland. The important data provided by the GIS to the farmers and scientists could help in the development of more effective farming techniques.
GIS could analyse soil data which could be combined with modern agricultural techniques to determine the appropriate place to plant a particular kind of crop. It could also be a beneficial asset that helps to monitor the soil nutrition levels.
Floods and other natural calamities are some of the biggest hurdles in the proper harvesting of the crops. In India, many parts of the country, especially in the kharif season, are being affected by floods every year which costs billions of rupees to the agricultural sector and farmers on a smaller level. Satellite remote sensing provides significant information through the use of satellite imagery along with data collected from surveying the ground. The damage assessment of flood can significantly improve the role used in managing flood risk. (Source- agriculturepost.com)
Remote sensing technology can be a huge boon to the Indian farmers to analyse a large area of land to keep a check and prevent the spread of various types of diseases and pests. With the help of satellite imagery and spatial analysis techniques, the pest infected areas could be identified.
Data Science in Agriculture
Agriculture and its allied sectors employ the majority of India’s workforce, yet it contributes to less than only a fifth of the country’s GDP. Farm productivity and farmer income in India is plagued with several challenges that need to be acknowledged as soon as possible. Data science has changed the way farmers and agricultural professionals have been making decisions. Modern technologies have made it possible to collect data of soil, water and nutrients from farms, and store them in a centralized system with ease.
HOW DOES DATA SCIENCE HELP IN THE AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION?
Data science can be very beneficial financially to the farmers. The financial institutions tend to have an inadequate amount of data on crop performance which can be bridged with the help of data solutions. Data solutions can help to write the underwriting of loans and insurance products.
Data science plays a major role in today’s world in terms of improving the yield and productivity of the crops. The data collected can enable farmers to take appropriate action on what to plant, when to plant and what particular farm practices to deploy to increase agricultural productivity.
Data science enables farmers to employ smart farming techniques, and also provides solutions to enable real-time monitoring of farms which helps them to deploy corrective measures on time. Smart farming helps the farmers to monitor relevant parameters/factors continuously through IoT-enabled solutions.
Rise of data science along with digital technologies provides a treasure house of knowledge to the farmers. Remote sensors embedded in the drones can monitor plant health, soil conditions, temperature, nitrogen utilization and much more round the clock, thus saving a lot of time and work.
Automation in Agriculture
The automations are blessing in disguise to all the sectors of the economy. In today’s world, automation plays a very significant role in the business world. It has brought a revolutionary and radical change in the traditional and orthodox way of executing tasks. The slow and cost consuming human resource is now being replaced by the cost efficient and productive machines.
It is the next big revolution in the field of agriculture which has the capacity to transform the agro-economy of our country for the better in the coming years. These days not many people are willing to take up farming as their main occupation.The agricultural robot market is expected to grow at the rate of 34.5% between 2020 and 2025.
HOW DOES AUTOMATION HELP IN THE AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION?
Automated machines have the capacity to fill the vacuum left due to the labor shortage in an efficient manner and time-saving manner. Automated plants can use robots for seeding, not only from the surface, but also planting from the air. Robotic milking machines are already being used for milking cows on a large scale, helping in reducing the cost of labor and making the work fast and efficient.
Blockchain Technology in Agriculture
Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that has a potential to bring a radical change in the field of agriculture. It essentially refers to a system of recording information that is so secure that it becomes very difficult to hack or change it.
The global blockchain in agriculture and food supply market size is estimated at USD 133 million in 2020. It is projected to grow at a CAGR of 48.1% to reach USD 948 million by 2025. (source: marketsandmarkets.com )
HOW DOES BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY HELP IN THE AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION?
One of the most common and important uses of blockchain in food and agriculture supply chains is to improve traceability. It enables companies to quickly track unsafe products back to their source hence improving the quality of transactions and delivery of produce.
Blockchain technology helps the companies have the relevant information about any products they purchase beforehand. This includes information on crop health in terms of sugar and salt levels etc.
In blockchain, the information is highly secure and proof of any tampering. An efficient supply of products, fair pricing, efficient supply and improved product tracking are some of the benefits in using the blockchain technology in agriculture.
Blockchain technology provides lower cost and faster payment options to the agri-commerce industrialists. Many developers have already designed blockchain apps that provide for cheap-secure and quick peer to peer fund transfers.
Modern technologies have greatly helped in the agricultural revolution. It is evident that these technologies have facilitated efficient and quick food production, taking the burden off the shoulders of farmers and making them smart in terms of using modern technologies. With more and more agriculturalists adopting these smart methods of agriculture, there will be a considerable increase in yield with less cost of production.