Top 5 AgTech Trends Transforming Agriculture

Vishal Pratap Singh | Tuesday, 14 September 2021, 14:39 IST

Agriculture plays a significant role in the economic development of India. With the advent of new technologies, automation in agriculture has become one of the main priorities and the emerging subject across the country. With the rapid increase in population, the demand of food is increasing and many traditional methods used in the farming are no longer sufficient enough to fulfil the present requirements. Thus, many new technologies have been introduced in the agricultural sector by agtech companies to meet the requirements.

The global agricultural robots market was valued at $4.1 billion in the year 2020. AgTech is making it easier than ever to collect and share data, which is great news for farmers, landowners and investors. “With more accurate and robust data collection, there will be improved data transparency which helps ensure that the farms are being maintained with care, as farmers work to sustain healthy soils and deliver strong yields, year after year”, says Debjani Ghosh, President NASSCOM.

Robotics in Agriculture

In the last few years, issues such as shortage of labourers and their frequent demand to increase wages is affecting the agricultural industry. After the surge of Coronavirus pandemic, these issues have increased further and exposed the inabilities of AgTech industry in India. These inabilities mainly revolve around the mismanaged supply chain capabilities of the Industry. Many startups have come forward to develop farm machinery that will help in automating the existing processes and increase the productivity and safety by reducing the need for human labour. Many technologies have come up in the last few years such as sensors for monitoring fields, drones and analytical software which help the farmers in monitoring and managing the farms in a proper way.  

5G Connectivity

Experts believe that reliable and affordable connectivity is critical for the agricultural producers. It is the need of the hour as with the help of 5G technology, farmers can monitor the input of fertilizers, water, pesticides and other important agricultural ingredients which are responsible for the better yield of crop. There is a need of rapid implementation of 5G which could solve the challenges related to connectivity in villages and businesses dependent on agriculture. Also, predictions are that the use of autonomous tractors will be increased after the 5G connectivity.

Software for Farm Management

Farming has gone a notch high in the present times. The use of software for Farm Management can provide control to farmers over the activities going in farm such as sprinkling of pesticides and fertilizers, performance of crop etc. Software developers have come up with farm management software that helps the farmers to monitor farm yields with ease. The most talked about feature of this software is that it can be used with any mobile gadget be it an android phone, iPad, windows or tablets. Agworld, Trimble and Conservis are some farm management softwares being used currently. These softwares can streamline production and work schedules, automating farm activities such as record management and data storage.

Augmented Hybridization

The use of hybrid seeds enables the better adaption in unfavourable soil and climatic conditions such as saline soils and rain-fed habitats. To decrease the use of chemicals in plants and minimize the residue level of chemicals in soil and water, additional disease tolerance can be generated by hybrid seeds with inbuilt quality. This extensive root system also increases the nutrient uptake as hybrids are known to provide greater water and nutrient use. Hence, farmers witness the spike in productivity and yield on daily basis.

Edge Computing in AgTech

Edge Computing provides the benefits to agricultural sector by tracking various aspects of the agricultural activities remotely. It makes it easier to generate and collect data that is required to deliver better solutions for the crops. The concept of transparency and traceability brought by Edge Computing catches the attention of consumers and they have always been eager to know more about the origin of the food products consumed by them. Edge Computing can help in providing sensor networks which tracks the present condition of soil such as acidity and pH levels, weather, humidity, temperature etc.

The Way Forward

In the age of technological advancements, farmers will be having many smart tools at their disposal with mobiles in hands and would be able to be more aware and connected with different stake holders. AgTech has the potential to transform the landscape of agribusiness. The next few years will be crucial as the desire of farmers to gain a rapidly evident return on investment through technology that can provide accurate information through which in-season decision making will continue to gain steam. By the end of the decade, enhanced connectivity in agriculture could add more than $500 billion to global gross domestic product, a critical productivity improvement of 7 to 9 percent for the industry.

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