India is one of the largest and most diverse agricultural countries in the world. As per the Land Use Statistics 2016-17, the total geographical area of the country is 328.7 million hectares, of which 139.4 million hectares is the reported net sown area. The net irrigated area is 68.6 million hectares. Agriculture contributes to about 17% of the country’s GDP and employs more than 50% of the workforce.
However, Indian agriculture faces many challenges, such as low productivity, climate change, water scarcity, pest infestation, post-harvest losses, market inefficiencies, and lack of access to credit and insurance.
What is AI in Indian agriculture?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that aims to create machines and systems to do several jobs that normally need human intelligence, such as observation, cognition, learning, and decision-making. AI has the potential to transform various sectors of the economy and society, including agriculture.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the ways that AI development company can help modernize Indian agriculture and make it more sustainable, profitable, and resilient.
How does AI help in modernizing Indian agriculture?
AI can help improve crop productivity and quality by providing farmers with timely and accurate information and recommendations on various aspects of crop management, such as soil health, nutrient management, irrigation scheduling, pest, and disease detection and control, crop growth monitoring, and yield prediction. Furthermore, the technology can also assist in optimizing the use of inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and water, thereby reducing costs and environmental impacts.
Automation and surveillance
The technology of Artificial Intelligence enhances farm mechanization and automation by enabling the development and deployment of smart machines and robots that can perform various tasks on the farm such as sowing, weeding, harvesting, sorting, and grading. You may monitor and control these machines remotely through sensors, cameras, and drones. With the latest technology, the efficiency and safety of farm operations are improved as it can reduce human drudgery and errors.
AI is known to improve post-harvest management and value addition by providing solutions for the storage, processing, packaging, and transportation of agricultural produce. Farmers opine that artificial intelligence has enabled them to reduce post-harvest losses by detecting spoilage and contamination using image analysis and spectroscopy. Using various technologies such as smart packaging, cold chain management, and traceability, farmers can increase the shelf life and quality of agricultural products.
Crop and yield selling
Artificial Intelligence enabled tools are said to improve market access and increase income for Indian farmers by providing them with real-time information on prices, demand, and supply of agricultural commodities across different markets. AI can also help connect farmers with buyers directly using digital agriculture platforms and mobile applications such as BadiKheti; furthermore, farmers may opt for online transactions and payments using blockchain technology. AI tools are programmed to provide farmers with customized financial services such as credit scoring, loan approval, and insurance claims using data analytics.
The contemporary tools powered by AI can empower farmers with knowledge and skills by providing them with access to relevant information, education, and training on various aspects of agriculture using online platforms, chatbots, and voice assistants.
Social media tools powered by Artificial Intelligence could be used to build a community of farmers who can share their experiences, best practices, and feedback using social media and online forums; moreover, the technology fosters innovation and entrepreneurship among farmers by providing them with opportunities to participate in hackathons, competitions, and incubation programs.
Other latest technology in Indian farming that might use AI
Advanced technology, using AI directly or indirectly, in Indian farming is transforming the agricultural sector and empowering the farmers.
Some of the technological innovations that are being adopted or piloted in India are:
- Data preserved in soil: This technology uses sensors to collect and store data on soil moisture, temperature, pH, nutrients, etc., and provides real-time feedback to farmers on optimal crop management practices.
- Monitoring and controlling crop irrigation systems using smartphones: This AI-powered technology enables farmers to remotely control their irrigation systems through a smartphone app and save water and energy.
- Crop sensors: These are AI-enabled devices that measure various parameters of the crops, such as growth, health, stress, yield, etc., and help farmers optimize inputs and outputs.
- Yield assessment technology: This technology uses satellite imagery, drones, AI, and ML to estimate crop yield and quality before harvest and help farmers plan their marketing strategies.
- Digital innovations in agriculture in India: This is a broad category that includes various initiatives by the government and private sector to digitize the agricultural value chain and provide services such as advisory, insurance, market linkages, etc. to the farmers.
- Technology turning unused land into profitable farms: This technology uses GIS and AI-enabled remote sensing to identify unused or underutilized land and convert it into productive farms using suitable crops and practices.
- Image processing in agriculture: This technology uses cameras, drones, AI, and ML to capture and analyze images of crops and fields and detect pests, diseases, weeds, nutrient deficiencies, etc. and provide timely interventions.
These are some of the examples of advanced technology in Indian farming that are enhancing the productivity, sustainability, and profitability of agriculture in India.
Are you a future-ready farmer?
In conclusion, AI can play a vital role in modernizing Indian agriculture by addressing some of the key challenges faced by the sector and enhancing its performance across the value chain. However, to realize the full potential of AI in agriculture, there is a need for a conducive policy environment, adequate infrastructure support, skilled human resources development, ethical standards implementation, and stakeholder collaboration.
By harnessing the power of AI in agriculture, not just farmers can gain profits, but India can also achieve its goals of food security, income generation, rural development, and environmental sustainability.