From the many and frequent headlines of struggle to clearly visible downsizing of the farm economy, if we say that farmers in India are cursed with misery, it won’t be far from the truth. With technology in the lead role, it initially failed to uplift this sector with its magic wand. But, the government has acknowledged that agriculture needs grassroots support before it can be served on a silver platter to machines and AI for the next step. Reiterating the same, Karnataka government during Bangaluru Tech Summit 2018 proposed a tech-led intervention that can solve this problem once and for all.
According to a recent NITI Aayog report, an average Indian family earns less than Rupees 10,000 per month, putting 22.5 percent of these below the poverty line. 68% of the country’s population who practice other professions earn 3.12x more than farmers. The shift of balance, in this case, is contingent on familiarizing farmers with helpful technology, its implementation, and review. Addressing the same, on the Day 2 of Bengaluru Tech Summit 2018, a panel addressed how interjecting technology in different stages of farming can double their income.
Agricultural economist Ashok Gulati said that farming is a coin whose two sides are technology and access to the market. He also suggested that the farmers should sow their seeds by thinking of the future and not about the past. "The technological improvement that has happened in the last few years has not entered the interiors. Food productivity has come from more lands and from yield gains," said Suren Tikoo, Director of Research - Breeding and Development of TIERRA Seed Research.
According to Manoj Rajan, IFS and MD of Rashtriya EMarket Services Pvt Ltd, the farmers are not getting the true price for their yields because of the market fragments. "A farmer doesn’t have an opportunity to decide when he has to go to the market and at what price he has to sell it," said Manoj. The state government of Karnataka has initiated to form a national commodity exchange or an agri-market exchange where farmers can bid electronically.
Whenever India has stepped forward to integrate technology with the rural zones, a common problem has been observed - lack of information. Majority of farmers aren’t educated or beside their degrees, they find it difficult to catch up with the technology. Senthilkumar Radhakrishnan, Academic Dean at the GPS Institute of Agricultural Management, says that he attempts to solve this particular problem by teaching B.Sc Agriculture dropout about the matrix of agriculture and how they can reap the benefits better.
Farming in India has faced more than expected struggles and the first step towards solving any problem is realizing it. The panel discussion that revolved around many such issues and established a clear path of progress that can change the coming years for agriculture and help cure long-standing diseases in the economy.
#Agriculture #Technology #Karnataka #Development