After independence, India has taken several steps to improve the agricultural sector and food grains production. According to Economic Survey 2017-18 tabled in Indian Parliament, the agriculture industry is forecasted to grow at 2.1% in 2017-18 compared to 4.9% in the previous year 2016-17. The survey also indicated that the government is intended to double up farmers’ income by 2022, for which it has already introduced various new initiatives that incorporate activities from seed to marketing.
From Green Revolutions (1960) to alleviating poverty in India, it has been advanced developments in agricultural technology. However, only a third of Indian farmers have adopted advanced technology. The rest are not aware of agricultural innovations and farming practices that can lead to higher crop yields and quality.
Being an agricultural country, India has reached a level of development where it demands ‘evergreen revolution’, i.e. producing more with a less natural resource (water, land, and energy). In this post, I will talk about 5 techniques or strategies that can improve agriculture productivity in India:
1. Soil Health Enhancement
Soil health can be determined as the optimum status of the soil’s physical, biological, and chemical functions. With some smart approaches and advanced techniques, it’s easy to improve soil organic matter while maintaining its biological fertility. Soil health enhancement techniques aim at improving plant productivity and promoting the effectiveness of the agronomic use of nutrients.
You can consider the following approaches to improve agriculture soil health:
- Avoid soil compaction
- Reduce tillage
- Grow cover crops
- Focus on crop rotations
- Use organic amendments
When you creatively follow a reasonable number of techniques, most of your soil health problems can be resolved along the way.
2. Irrigation Water Supply Augmentation and Management
In India, water distribution is filled with uncertainties and may lead to water wars in local communities. If you live in the desert or dry regions with limited water supply, how will you grow plants?
The lack of water during the initial crop development may lead to decreased yield or failure of the whole production. In order to satisfy crop needs during the growing season, additional water must be supplied artificially. By establishing the irrigation water supply augmentation and rainwater harvesting, you can supply the amount of water highly required for the crop. The primary goal of this technology is to control the water supply and observe the plants using a smartphone.
Besides, improved irrigation practices such as sprinkler and drip irrigation should be taken into account. Seawater farming also needs to be cultivated in coastal areas through the advancement of Salicornia, casuarinas, mangroves, and other relevant halophytic plants.
3. Advanced Technology
In order to protect the farmers’ exploitation, significant steps are needed to be taken by Government. The farmer in our country must be provided with quality inputs at economical prices.
Here are 3 advanced agricultural technologies that must be considered here:
AI (Artificial Intelligence): Farmers from a dozen of villages in Maharashtra, Telangana, and Madhya Pradesh have already started using AI (artificial intelligence) to boost crop yields. Agricultural Robots are also being developed to monitor soil health and perform other agricultural tasks such as harvesting. Machine learning models can also track and predict environmental impacts such as weather changes.
Tractors on Autopilot: As the name indicates, it is an autonomous farm vehicle which delivers a high tractive effort at slow speeds to perform agricultural tasks. Based on GPS technology, this types of tractors are programmed to track their position autonomously, determine the speed and avoid obstacles while performing several agrarian duties such as tillage.
Crop Sensors: Such sensors are used to measure essential soil properties with the help of Global Positioning System (GPS). Crop sensors are also used to control variable rate application equipment in real-time.
Farmers can keep a proper balance between production and post-harvest technologies while adopting an advanced farming system orientation.
4. Credit and Insurance
The range between the lending interest rates and deposit is high in India. But, it’s easy to enhance the productivity of small farms with credit reform. The idea is to boost efficiency in the financial delivery system while controlling transactions and risk costs. Here, the government must take some significant steps to provide relief to the farmers in the case of continuous droughts, floods and heavy pest infestation.
In order to save the farmers from the dominance of moneylenders, adequate credit facilities, and the agriculture-risk fund should be made available in rural areas. The Central and State Governments need to give support to the banking system that will ultimately reduce the rate of interest for crop loans and improve plant productivity. Moreover, co-operative credit societies and land mortgage banks need to be encouraged to provide loans to the farmers.
5. Agricultural Education
Indian farmers are good at adopting new and advanced technology. But, they are not aware of modern agricultural techniques. In order to guide the farmers regarding the adoption of new technology, several educational and awareness programs must be initiated. All these initiatives would assist the cultivators to take proper crop-care which will ultimately lead to boost crop productivity.
In order to promote advanced technologies, several agricultural trade shows and expos held in different countries where investors and other technology-based companies showcase their ideas and advanced techniques to the general public. For instance, one of the biggest agro-technology expos – Agri-Tech is going to be held in Taiwan. In this event, the most advanced technologies in agriculture will be presented and the leading agricultural companies and inventors will introduce their innovative ideas to the world.
Today, India needs to make significant investments in food processing and the modernization of agriculture. With a high-value addition in Indian agriculture, several investors and agricultural companies are also ready to transform the agri-business in India. In this addition, all Indian farmers and investors just need to be aware of diversification in agriculture.
If you want to visit Asia’s biggest agro-technology expo – Agri-Tech, register here and make yourself aware of modern agricultural technology.
Remember, there is no shortage of innovative ideas, but there is a shortage of people driven enough to execute on them.
| About the Guest Author:
Gaurav Prabhakar Mali is an enthusiastic writer & filmmaker. New trends & technologies inspire him to write engaging articles and blogs. He keeps himself up-to-date with advanced web and mobile technologies.