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The Indian agriculture sector contributes nearly 18 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and 40 % of the total rural Net Domestic Product (NDP). Despite its significant contribution to driving socio-economic growth, Indian agriculture still faces a number of challenges. These range from issues such as low productivity to climate change, and lack of access to finance.
A majority of Indian farmers are small landholders who rely on traditional resource-intensive farming techniques. They have limited access to modern machinery, logistics and storage facilities, and information such as data on weather patterns, soil health, and protection of crops.
The agriculture sector in India is expected to generate better momentum in the next few years due to increased investment in agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation facilities, warehousing, and cold storage.
Furthermore, the growing use of genetically modified crops will likely improve the yield for Indian farmers. India is expected to be self-sufficient in pulses in the coming few years due to concerted effort of scientists to get early maturing varieties of pulses and the increase in minimum support price.
To have an increased level of production within the nation as part of fulfilling the required population proportional gain, it is important to provision various methodologies and advancements into action. These Technologies of importance include the Agritech or also known as Agricultural Technology which focuses mainly upon Crop productivity and proportionality analysis by integration of various modules in its growth.
Agricultural technologies are developed to increase production, resolve chemo-physical, biological, and socioeconomic constraints related to crop production systems. During the past three decades, there has been an increasing realization that technologies need to be tailored to the circumstances of farmers as well as to future sustainability goals including climate change projections.
Multiple structural challenges are inhibiting Indian agriculture sector from reaching its full potential. Yields on crops such as cereals are lower in India by 50% compared to countries such as the US or China.
Presence of numerous intermediaries throughout the value chain contributes to a reduction in farmers’ income. Limited access to technology, credit and marketplaces are some of the other challenges that India’s agriculture sector is grappling with.
It is imperative to recognize that small and marginal farmers constitute the lion’s share of India’s farm holdings (86%). As a result, solutions to challenges in Indian agriculture need to be inclusive of the needs of these small and marginal farmers. Agritech market opportunity is spread across multiple segments, therefore, assessing the market potential for each segment is critical to understand the headroom left for growth in this sector.
A bottom-up approach has been used across each segment to first estimate the size as well as growth of the underlying market (e.g., agricultural output is the underlying market for “Supply chain tech and output market linkages” segment). Constraints such as relevance of the corresponding segment towards serving the needs of small and marginal farmers are used to further estimate the addressable market potential for the segments.
Optimization of agricultural practices for enhanced crop yield is considered to be essential phenomena for countries like India. In order to strengthen the economy and also to meet the food demand for the exponentially growing population, optimizing agricultural practices has become a necessity. In India, weather and geographical conditions are highly variable and were thought to be the major bottleneck of agricultural practices to achieve improved crop yield.
Economic loss due to the lack of information on crop yield productivity is another major concern in the country. These hurdles can be overcome by the implementation of advanced technology in agriculture. Some of the trends observed are smart farming, digital agriculture and Big Data Analytics which provide useful information regarding various crop yields, influencing factors and predicting the accurate amounts of crop yield.
Some of the important advanced agricultural techniques which can transform Indian Agriculture are as follows: Biotechnology: This is a technique which helps the farmers produce more in lesser areas by use of advanced agricultural systems. This technique is also environment friendly and helps in increasing food production by the use of plant and animal wastes/residues.
The exact prediction of crop yield helps farmers to develop a suitable cultivation plan, crop health monitoring system, management of crop yield efficiently and also to establish the business strategy in order to decrease economic losses. This also makes the agricultural practices one of the highly profitable ventures. This paper presents insights on the various applications of technology advancements in agriculture such as Digital Agriculture, Smart Farming, or Internet of Agriculture Technology (IoAT), Crop Management, Weed and Pest control, Crop protection and Big data analytics.
The Indian Market of Agricultural Technology can be segmented into following categories for further analysis.
The agricultural sector carries immense importance for the Indian economy. It plays a significant role in the overall socio-economic fabric of India. It contributes about one-sixth of the national income and provides direct employment to nearly 50 per cent of the workforce. It has positioned itself as more relevant for meeting the food, feed, fodder, fuel, fibre, and timber demands of an increasing human and animal population.
Green farmhouses, poly houses and small bio farms for growing vegetables etc are becoming beneficial for the farmers due to their quality and fair prices. These days organic farming is becoming popular among women farmers also. Today a farmer can start an agricultural business plan as a start-up, develop it as a source of permanent income and sell his products in the open market.
Amongst the latest technologies in use within India, The Most innovative and improvised one include Nano Science based Agricultural Intervention, which is a technique which provides information to the farmers through use of smart delivery systems and nano sensors as to whether or not plants are receiving water and other necessary inputs in adequate quantity. Besides, it also provides information about the quality of food produced.
By adopting geo spatial farming, agricultural production can be increased on a large scale. Higher production can be achieved on the basis of factors like weeds, quality of soil and its moisture content, production (fertility), rate of seeds, need of fertilisers and other such factors. Big Data: Big data will help in smart farming and it will help the farmers in taking appropriate and timely decisions. This will help in forecasting and advance estimates and will strengthen agricultural development.
Big data has now become a key player for the utilization of technology for agricultural development. Big data plays a significant function in Agro-business by improving harvest yield, overseeing risk, and increasing efficiency. Data given to farmers can assist them with settling on timely decisions which can provide astounding outcomes. Soil sampling data can assist farmers with knowing the expected yield on their farm, efficient use of fertilizers and pesticides which can reduce their input cost.
The deployment and development of AI in agriculture is increasing because of the accessibility of the precision data. Artificial intelligence-based modern and cutting-edge tools can help get precision to large-scale farming. Farm equipment can plant various densities of seeds and apply varying amounts of fertilizer in different pieces of a field.
Agriculture sector in India is suffering from a variety of problems like the use of outdated equipment, improper infrastructure, and farmers unable to access a wider range of markets with ease while making just limited profits on crop sales.
Proper infrastructure and supply chain management are the more pressing concerns. With improvement in areas of technology, digitization and start-up culture growing rapidly, there are many new ones entering the Indian start-up ecosystem.
The Agri startups in India are providing information, techniques, and efficiencies to farmers. This shows an Internal Competition being placed in terms of the presence and technological implementations being brought into existence by these Agritech Startups around the country.
The Major competitors in this sector are mainly the startups which includes SFarms India, Kethi Gaadi, Farm 2 Farm, Cro Farm, BOHECO, AUS – Aarav Unmanned Systems, Aibono, Agricx Lab, Cropin, Fasal and Gold Farm. Boheco is an Agro-based start-up that is reinventing the future of agriculture and sustainable living with hemp as their lens in India.
The start-up harnesses the power of agriculture by advocating industrial Hemp and its benefits to society. Alongside this, based and Built on high-tech angular technology, Agritech company KhetiGaadi portal is as safe as an online banking portal. To make the platform user friendly for the farmers, KhetiGaadi has made it available as an App in 10 languages and the company’s website can be viewed in 3 different languages, English, Hindi, and Marathi.
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