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Agriculture 2.0: Incredible Makeover Coming in the Next Decade

The agricultural sector is poised for transformation driven by technological advancements, evolving consumer preferences, and environmental concerns, with innovations ranging from farm automation to digital connectivity.

KJ Staff
Image Source: Freepik
Image Source: Freepik

Most of India's population relies on agriculture for their livelihoods, emphasizing its importance and irreplaceability. However, in the 21st century, agriculture encounters numerous challenges. It must produce more food and fiber to feed the growing population. Thus, India must increase its demand for quantity, quality, and nutritious foods. To further this, the farmers must be more targeted and data-driven. Future farms must be more productive owing to the employment of robotics, temperature, and moisture sensors, aerial photos, and GPS technology. These cutting-edge methods will improve farm profitability, efficiency, safety, and environmental friendliness.

However, some major constraints in Indian agriculture are- The majority, 60-70% percent, fall under marginal and small farm categories of less than 2 ha. There is inadequate adoption of technology and mechanization that contributes to poor productivity. Value addition remains lower compared to developed nations, with minimal primary-level processing occurring at the farmer level. Alongside, poor farming infrastructure heightens reliance on weather, marketing, and supply chain factors, particularly for high-value crops.

Soon enough, agriculture will undergo significant transformations as below:

  • Farm Automation

  • IoT in Agriculture

  • AI/ML & Data Science in Agriculture Technology

  • Regenerative Agriculture

  • Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA)

  • Agricultural Robotics

  • Drones

  • Precision Agriculture

  • Agricultural Biotechnology

  • Big Data & Analytics

  • Connectivity Technologies

Upcoming Trends in Agriculture

1. The evolving demand, influenced by rising incomes, globalization, and health awareness, is currently impacting production and will continue to do so in the future. There is an anticipated increase in demand for fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fish, and meat.

2. There will be more claims for processed and affordable quality products.

3. Increasing competition among private companies will drive innovation in products such as seeds, fertilizers, plant protection chemicals, customized farm machinery, and animal feed, offering cost-effective solutions at competitive prices and yielding higher returns on investment for farmers.

4. Certain technologies will see rapid and widespread adoption while others may take longer to mature. Alternative methods of production will be explored to utilize resources efficiently, including hydroponics and plastics. Vertical and urban farming will become prevalent and efforts will be made to explore new production areas such as barren deserts and seawater.

5. Small and marginal farmers will adopt technologies with support from private companies, government initiatives, or farmer-producer organizations (FPOs).

6. There will be use of nano-technology for the enhancement of food quality and safety. Nano-materials in agriculture will reduce the wastage of chemicals, minimize nutrient losses in fertilization, and lead to increased yield through pest and nutrient management. IFFCO has already done successful tests in nano-fertilizers.

7. India has witnessed remarkable advancements in digital connectivity, facilitating easy market access. With internet users projected to reach 666.4 million by 2025, farmers will adopt smarter practices using mobile devices, enhancing awareness and connectivity with stakeholders. The government too can leverage digital technology extensively for farmer awareness, information dissemination, and direct transfer of funds through schemes.

8. There will be more work by the government, village communities, agri-startups, and private players in conserving sharply depleting water resources. The use of digital technology can make a revolution in this direction. Satellites, IoT, and drones will get picked up for better collection of data regarding soil health, crop area, and yield. This will make the cost for insurers less with better estimations and the system will be more exact and effective.

9. Niche marketers in operations, area, and crop-specific small equipment will make operations even at small farms easier and more efficient.

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