According to the Census of India, our population is expected to increase from 1029 million to 1400 million during the period 2001-2026 with a rate of 1.2 percent annually. India’s food grain production has doubled from 102 million tonnes in 1973 to 247.6 million tonnes in 2012-13 due to the growing population. However, the production gains from Green Revolution technologies has been rather low. Despite being the second highest producer of wheat and rice in the world, India accounts for one-third of world’s hungry. This can be attributed to various factors such as technology, irrigation methods, pricing policy and more.
Internet of Things (IoT) is growing exponentially in India and is being utilized by various industries and verticals ranging from Healthcare to Automobiles, Supply management firms, and even startup companies. Indian Government has taken the initiative and framed policies to develop a connected, secure and a smart system based with an objective to create an IoT industry of USD 15 billion by 2020.
Being a farmer means shaking hands with nature.
The only way to improve the quality and quantity of produce to meet the growing population needs is by turning to Internet of things for smarter data-driven farming and agriculture.
So how does Internet of Things help the farming industry?
Better Pest Control
Crops across the world are only performing up to 20% of their full potential. Field Crop diseases are a threat to food security and by understanding the types of diseases that occur in their crops, farmers can take preventive measures and reduce their losses.
My Farm Info is an innovative platform that uses Internet of Things to prevent and mitigate crop losses for Farmer, Insurance Companies, and Government Stakeholders. With MyFarm info, farmers can begin to see results in such short time and by using this platform, they are able to reap benefits within the same season. The crop management section in this tool helps farmers find the probability of disease infestation in their crop ahead of time. Sophisticated algorithms are used from the last 10 years of historical data to find disease probability for farmer’s crop. Forecast Advisory can also be used by farmers to get early warning of disease infestation so they can take proper measures to minimize their losses.
Better Water Management
With the help of Internet of Things, farmers can now make irrigation smarter. India uses 82% of the total water supply for agriculture. The soil is one of the most important elements in agriculture and the right soil moisture helps in growing crops to its full potential. The soil has the power to hold and retain moisture. By understanding the water storage capacity of the soil, it is possible to optimize the water needed for growing the crop. Soil humidity index is one such feature that provides information about soil capacity and intimates on when irrigation is needed for the farm.
Reduction of waste
By monitoring soil, water retention, weather forecasts, pests etc, it is possible to increase the quality and quantity of production. Potato farmers in West Bengal’s key struggle have been to deliver potatoes based on the quality requirement set by Pepsico and therefore face a high rejection rate.Their potato produce was greenish in color, high in water and sugar content and the reason for poor quality of the produce is because of improper irrigation management that leads to sub-optimal yields.
A platform that utilizes Internet of Things can support farmers and help them increase their productivity? MyFarmInfo is one such tool. In fact, farmers have been able to increase their income by 130 rupees a day ever since they began using this tool.
Unlike the olden days in agriculture where farmers were isolated without proper technology to communicate, Internet of Things has made technology and connectivity available at fingertips. Farmers can receive SMS on their mobile phones on the weather forecast, and even schedules on pest control and irrigation. They can reach a ‘PLANT DOCTOR’ using WhatsApp and ask any queries that they may have about their plant. These knowledge and information help in taking better decisions in farming.
It is important to know which crop is best to grow on a piece of land for long term yields. In the crop feasibility section of My Farm Info, farmers can find the feasibility of growing any crop on their farm. Through this, farmers can grow the crop which will produce maximum yield and avoid growing crops that are not feasible for their area. Fields are also geotagged on this software. With this information, My Farm Info provides farmers the optimum NPK application, nutrition information and optimal Mandi for their crop. Farmers can find out the mandi prices for the nearby mandies on this tool. Farmers can By choosing an optimal mandi among all their nearby mandies, they can get the best price for their crop.
Internet of Things is bringing a global shift in the field of Agriculture and will help farmers shift their perspective of farming to better yields and profitability.