One of the significant sectors in the Indian economy, the agriculture sector, is currently valued at a staggering US$ 370 billion. Today, the sector is at the cusp of a significant transformation powered by modern technologies, such as IoT, AI/ML, and agri-drones for unmanned aerial surveying. It opens up tremendous opportunities for millions of farmers and several agri-input organizations.
Digital innovations have become extremely important in modern agriculture due to rising costs of supplies, changing consumer preferences, labor shortages, and many more challenges. Digital transformation is the one-stop solution to pave the way for the agriculture business growth.
Technology innovations in the agri-input supply chain
These technologies can help improve the tracking of produce from farms to consumers, boost food safety, disseminate information about the nutritional value and environmental footprint, reduce food loss and waste, and optimize business operations in the best possible ways. Learn how digital transformation is driving business performance.
The critical question is, “how to implement digital transformation that can improve agriculture?”
Read on to explore the top three ways how digital technologies can transform the agriculture business and enable your business to face challenges.
1. Implementation of cloud technologies: Lack of infrastructure and capital investment is one of the significant barriers to entry for digital transformation in the agriculture industry. Most farms are not feasible for on-premise software installations, and due to the same reason, cloud-based agricultural solutions are the best way forward. The cloud solutions allow farmers to experience the digital transformation benefits without heavy IT overhead and extensive capital investment. Some examples include:
- Smart farming: It automates the agriculture business’s production cycle and supply chain management. The automation of crop production is enabled with the help of robotic harvesters, autonomous tractors, drones, automatic watering, seeding robots, and more.
- Blockchain: It provides the capability to resolve urgent issues such as safety recalls, inefficient supply chain management, food frauds, and food traceability to ensure appropriate food safety levels. Explore the role of blockchain technology in the agriculture supply chain.
2. Focus on better visibility and control: Farmers mainly operate in a time-sensitive environment where they quickly need to respond to shifting crop, weather, and market conditions. And it becomes very challenging and time-consuming when the farming equipment and fields are miles away from each other. Here, digital technologies come to the rescue. The advanced cloud and mobility solutions allow farmers to monitor the status of critical equipment like irrigation pivots, control them directly from their smartphones or other mobile devices, adjust the water deliveries, start or stop the pumps, and much more. Some examples include:
- IoT-enabled soil and weather sensors: This technology helps detect the moisture level to estimate the water requirements for proper crop health. It significantly increases farming efficiency and reduces unnecessary water consumption.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): With a wealth of new data opportunities, digital technologies like remote sensors, UAVs, and satellites can interpret the entire field environment to gain a better understanding of the current situation and make informed decisions. Check out how data analytics is driving supply chain management.
3. Improve efficiency, sustainability, and regulatory compliance: Digital transformation in the agri-input supply chain enables farmers to utilize the resources more efficiently, increase sustainability, and reduce costs.
Farmers face a high cost of regulatory burden due to increasing environmental regulations, documentation, and compliance requirements. Digital technologies in the agri-input supply chain enable quick retrieval of crucial information and provide extensive archived data sources to improve regulatory compliance. For example, IoT systems allow farmers to manage irrigation pivots based on the rain levels, which results in reduced energy and water costs. Some examples include:
- Telemetry system to encourage agricultural sustainability: This digital technology utilizes a GPS to provide accurate information on the management and usage of assets and fuel, idle time, and upcoming maintenance to help make informed decisions.
- Agricultural transparency: The advanced sensors help monitor greenhouse gasses produced on the farm and present carbon emission reports. The captured information regarding carbon emissions and ethical practices can be easily accessed across the supply chain management, allowing better transparency.
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Going forward, technological innovation in agriculture is key to improving the business’s overall productivity, revenues, and overall performance. Leveraging the right technology also helps facilitate safe and sustainable food production within the marketplace. Getting a digital infrastructure for your agriculture business is no more a choice but a necessity now.
Get a free consultation to choose the most appropriate digital solution for your business.