Agriculture is a word that is heard by almost everyone in their lives. Its presence in the Indian landmass goes back to hundreds of decades. Agri-business contributes to a major share of the Indian economy. With time, we have constantly updated the techniques and technologies used in farming to suit our needs better. We have successfully transformed agriculture in many ways, from famines to agri-revolutions – we have come a long way.
However, the changing environment has also lead to many challenges faced by the agriculture industry. Let’s not forget that all problems come with solutions. We are living in the times where advanced technology with the right mindset assists in overcoming most challenges.
Let’s look at the current challenges faced by agriculture and the future technological advancements in farm technology to get over those challenges.
Common Challenges Faced by the Agriculture Industry:
- Increased population growth
According to the statistics, the world population will increase by 33 per cent till 2050, resulting in higher demand for agricultural production. The rural population is supposed to decrease with the coming years, which will impact the farmer population.
- Inclination towards urbanization
With the increase in population, approximately 2.4 billion will become an addition to the urban areas. This will cause increased demand for processed food, which will stress the per capita consumption.
- Degrading natural resources
Deforestation, overcutting, overgrazing, etc. have already degraded approximately 25 per cent of the natural farmlands. A huge amount of investment is needed to revive the agriculture lands by 2050.
- Climate change
The intensity of greenhouse gases has increased with time, and agriculture is affected by it as the climate changes like droughts, floods, etc. have a major impact on the farm yields.
- Wastage of food and natural resources
As per a recent study, 33 per cent of the production goes wasted, which results in the wastage of agriculture resources and create methane, a deadly gas that is a part of greenhouse gases.
We need to increase food production by approximately 70 per cent. At the same time, we focus on decreasing the intensity of the above-stated challenges by using futuristic farming techniques.
How to transform the traditional approach to farming with new technologies?
With the advent of technology, we have developed smart methods of farming that are trouble-free and convenient. Some of the methods are still being tested, but farm technologies will certainly get more efficient in the future. Here are a few of them:
It is a type of horticulture that allows the crops to grow without the use of any soil. This method uses sunlight and minerals filled with essential nutrients mixed in water. It is a highly feasible method that can be used for landless production.
Using plastic made out of renewable resources like vegetable fats, corn starch, sawdust, etc. helps balance the temperature at the roots, maintain the nutrients in the soil, and improve the development of the crops as a whole.
- Desert and seawater farming
We should use the desert lands and saline waters for crop production to preserve the already scarce resources. The breakthrough in agriculture will come with enhanced stress tolerance by the crops. This way, we can manage to produce more while conserving the fresh resources for future generations.
- Vertical farming
It is the process of producing crops indoors in vertical layers under challenging atmospheres. This method uses less water, fewer fertilizers, and zero pesticides while enhancing productivity.
- Precision agriculture
Artificial intelligence will be used with full force in future to increase the efficiency of agriculture production. With data-driven farmers, agriculture will become a healthy mix of technology and biology. Chatbots might become one of the best technologies for farmers to answer farmer’s queries in real-time.
- Drone technology
Agriculture drones are being used to deepen soil analysis, plant pods, monitor crops, irrigation, etc. These have the capability to assist farmers in most of the routine crop functions.
This is a unique process that eliminates the supply chain, and connects the farmers directly with the consumers, labelling them as crowd farmers. This helps the farmers get a good return in exchange for their products and take direct feedback from the end consumers to improve quality.
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