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Siddhant Bhalinge

Siddhant Bhalinge is the Founder of Ugaao.com.

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How IoT will Shape the Future on Agri-tech Industry?

With adverse climatic conditions, it is impossible for an Indian farmer to predict and plan farming activities. Thus, there is a dire need of a system that could provide precise and accurate information about weather and crop cultivation needs.

Photo Credit : ShutterStock,

IoT or Internet of things can be interpreted as a system of inter-networking computing devices, mechanical or digital machines or objects that with unique identifiers can transfer data over a network without the need for a human interaction.

The IoT revolution in India is already catching on with increasing government and venture capital investments pouring into supporting startups.

For the agricultural industry specifically, I feel Internet of Things has unleashed efficient ways to regulate and maintain soil composition, water and crop health with the use of economic sensors. Prospering on this concept, smart farming applications are being devised that promise to deliver constant and live-time analysis of soil and crop health, machinery, storage condition and resource consumption level.

How will IoT shape the future on the agri-tech industry?

With adverse climatic conditions, it is impossible for an Indian farmer to predict and plan farming activities. Thus, there is a dire need of a system that could provide precise and accurate information about weather and crop cultivation needs. Below are few ways in which IoT will shape the future on the agri-tech industry:

Soil Sensors

The IoT industry has come up with many types of sensors which feed accurate data to Digital Controllers and the algorithm then, takes the call and automates the solution if there is any distress signal from the fields. The best example would be Soil sensors. These sensors measure vital components of soils such as pH value, acidity, salinity and important nutrients such as Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium. This data is then transmitted to the main controller which automates the process of releasing essential fertilizers and soil conditioners through drip irrigation technology. Such automation is extremely important and beneficial as majority of Indian farmers are still uneducated on sustainable agricultural operations and often end up abusing the soil with excess chemical fertilizers and micro nutrients. A calculative decision taken by technology and data would ensure adequate supply of these Agri-inputs and ensure better growth patterns with higher yield of crops.  Not only this, the data collected from the soil would also help the farmer to make a call on which crop should be opted for the ongoing season depending on nutrient availability and weather conditions.

Water Management

Water scarcity is increasing at an alarming pace in India. Although many countries have found solutions by way of utilizing existing water sources and connecting them, India still lags at connecting rivers and transporting water from abundant rainfall areas to drought hit areas. Technological innovations like drip irrigation has definitely helped in water management, however, there needs to be more done to ensure the crops get the plants when they need the most. Automated valves, fertilizer solution mixtures, pump switches connected to the system and automatic balancing of water pressure within lateral pipes is something that can be achieved by IoT and inter-connected systems. There is immense scope in this space and the market for this is huge. A perfect water management system will save a lot of costs for the farmers and more will adapt to them.

Integrated Pest Management or Control (IPM/C)

Pests are a farmers’ biggest enemy. They destroy their crops, and the farmer has to incur losses or spend a lot of available resources to rescue whatever is possible. To prevent this, IoT will play a major role in identifying the pests at the right time. There are many systems available in the market which are capable of analyzing possible pest attacks depending on weather conditions and other environmental parameters. There are digital pest traps which identify the insect and send data to the main controllers after which the right pesticide is released to the plants through connected foggers and drip lines. There are also many Apps being developed which identify the pest once you click a photo and also give the solution chemical to get rid of the problem.

Hydroponics and Aeroponics

IoT has made possible the invention of Hydroponics and Aeroponics. The agriculture community at large, sees this as a game changer for the future course of farming with higher yields in lesser space. These systems are made up of many sensors, pumps, mixers and humidity controllers which send in a lot of data at regular intervals. This data is processed by algorithms and machines and the future course of action is defined in advance. All these Hydroponic systems and Aeroponic systems are fully automated and connected to one another by IoT.

Thus all in all, the growth and consumption of IoT plays an in integral part in shaping the future of agri-tech in India, and with the government coming up with incentives and programs, the scope of growth in the industry is massive.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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