Agriculture is the largest sector of India contributing almost 75 percent to the nation’s GDP through farming or other agricultural services. With time, agriculture has seen a boom with the changing technologies and advancement tools. The animal sowing has been replaced with tractors and now, with other machines. The cutting of crops is not a manual activity anymore.
Just like this, technology has proven to be the magic spell for the agriculture sector. Recently, the government announced the digital expansion of the sector which will give space to digital start-ups to intervene and bring a revolution in the sector.
Agriculture still needs revamping and involvement of many technologies. Let’s look at some of the innovations which can transform agriculture completely:
- 3D Chemical Printing
3D printers, if introduced in India, can revolutionise agriculture. Through this technology, farmers will be able to produce important farming chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides and veterinary medicines at their farms only. It won’t require additional time as it can be produced anywhere, anytime. 3D printing requires three important elements – a software app, a 3D printer and chemical inks. The technology is currently not available in India. However, if this inexpensive technology arrives in India, it can transform agriculture.
The amalgamation of two technologies can produce food in a sustainable environment even in urban areas. The technology uses the technique of hydroponics i.e the way of growing plants in water without soil, as well as fish farming. As per the estimates, we will have more than 70 percent area urbanised by 2050, given the increase in population. In such cases, the world needs an alternative to traditional farming. Aquaponics is that alternative. It is a loop system that not only provides nutrients to the roots of the plants through water but also creates a system to consume less water and less energy.
- Remote Sensing and Internet of Things
Remote sensing technology enables farmers and other stakeholders to make management decisions based on landscape-level datasets, taking into account soil type, water table depth, land cover, resource use, ecosystem data, pest and disease data, and weather. While this data can come from sensors located on the landscape or on satellites, there are increasing opportunities to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones to monitor local land use and obtain satellite information in real-time using Internet of Things or IoT.
- Digital Imaging using smartphones
A new low-cost hyperspectral imaging sensor for smartphones could provide an easy way in developing countries to detect crop diseases early and significantly minimize crop losses. This technique allows expansionists to scan plants for disease signals, which can match databases of possible diseases and recommend interventions. As new diseases are discovered, scalers can also add them to the database while building the database and providing an early warning system.
- Sentinal Plants
Sentinel plants, which are also known as signalling plants, act as indicators of biotic or abiotic stress in crop systems. They provide early signals of crop stress such as changing of leaf colour. These plants can provide early warning of emerging pests and diseases, nutrient deficiencies, or changes in soil conditions.
Keywords: Agriculture, Technology