Innovation in Farming: Problems and Solutions

Innovation in Farming: Problems and Solutions Today, new-age farmers understand the importance of technology and are accepting the increased use.

India is a land of small and marginal farmers. There are roughly 14 crore farms in India. Of these, the number of small farmlands is high. It is a harsh reality that while the land for farming is shrinking, the dependency of the growing population on agriculture is increasing. To fulfill this high demand, farmers would have to understand new innovations.

Today, new-age farmers understand the importance of technology. They are accepting the increased use of technology in farming. Small farmers nowadays use tractors for ploughing land which helps them save time and reduces their dependency on labourers. Many farmers now use techniques like polyhouse, net house, drip irrigation, mulching, etc. to increase their production. The desire to increase production is one of the driving factors behind the adoption of technology in farming. Earlier, farmers used to take guidance from shopkeepers about seeds. Today they also consider the quality of seeds. Traditionally tomatoes or bottle gourds were grown on the ground. With the shift in traditional ways, now they are being grown via vertical farming or in pots. Apart from conventional farming methods which focused on growing only one crop, nowadays farmers use the crop rotation method to meet the demand for multiple commodities.

Market players bringing change to Indian farming

Earlier, people used to criticize contract farming but Bharti Airtel has been practicing contract farming for a long time in West Bengal. They studied the crop requirements of Arab countries and they connected with farming organizations to grow specific crops. These crops are then harvested, procured and sold to Arab countries. Similarly, ITC has been a part of the kirana bazar scene. They have been selling their products under the brand name ‘Aashirwad’ for a while now. Just like other big companies, Tata too is a player in the grocery market. They deal in pulses with brand name ‘Tata Sampann dals’. We all love to eat from McDonald’s – the lettuce they used is grown near Nashik and Nilgiris.

Reforms in farming methods

Apart from the introduction of technology to market players, new methods are being explored to increase cultivation and production on a small patch of land. The use of three, four and even five-stage farming methods are being encouraged. Other than these, efforts are being made to increase the carbon quantity in the soil by increasing the use of vermicompost. Farmers can associate with dozens of Self Help Groups(SHGs) and Farmer Producer Organizations(FPOs) to do business and increase revenues. These groups provide much-needed guidance and support.

There is a high demand for crops grown via organic agriculture. This increases the scope of organic farming. Similarly, custom hiring centers are being opened in many places. Custom hiring centers are places where small-time farmers can borrow machines on an hourly basis and return them after the task is completed. Such centers supply tractors, seed drills, sprayers, harvesters, threshers, dryers, along with irrigation services, weed control, transportation, storage, etc. They also help in generating work opportunities for farmers. Digital technologies are crucial to improving the condition of farmers. A lot is being done, yet a lot more needs to be done so that more farmers can benefit. A very important aspect is that agricultural policies need to be changed to make it more market-friendly. In other words, the government should focus on making farmers and market-friendly laws. Government should focus on removing challenges faced in using digital technologies. Storage and cultivation facilities at the grass-root level should be improved.

There are a growing number of agri startups that are planning to bring in digital solutions like remote sensing, mandi accounting, etc. With remote sensing, farms can be tagged online. Also, a control room is set up to understand the quality of the respective farm. As a result, the farmer is able to choose the right ways to cultivate, harvest and increase their production. Similar to this Bijak is also a digital solution that is helping farmers in every possible way.

Change to ChargeERP

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