The world as we know is now entirely reliant upon technology. It is inescapable for a multitude of reasons, including reach, accessibility, and the ease that they bring in our lives. Since no sector has been left untouched by it, similar is the case with agriculture. Technological innovations have shaped the way agriculture production, packaging, and trade happen in the 21st century. The influx of technology has also revolutionized the way the Indian government takes gauge of crop production and storage in the country.
From tools like plow and harvest machines to GPS-driven irrigation, farmers are eager and happy to get the help of technology. But has all of this come at an acceptable price? Is the afflux of technology in agriculture a boon or bane? Let’s discuss:
The expanding role of technology in agriculture
Modern farms and operations are laced with technological equipment and facilities that reduce crop wastage and result in optimum profiteering. Sophisticated technologies developed by the agricultural college in Bhopal such as moisture sensors, temperature control, aerial images, GPS, and water management systems are all crucial additions to a crop cycle that lead to profitable results and efficient farming.
Technology has led to:
- Increase in crop production
- Decrement in water wastage
- Decreased use of pesticides and fertilizers
- Reduced impact of wastage on the natural environment
- Decreased chemical remissions
- Increased safety of farming personnel
- Precise monitoring of natural resources like wind and rain
- Greater control over plant production, storage, and distribution
- Safer working conditions
- Reduced ecological impact
The excessive and sudden evolution of technology-based agriculture is a twin-edged sword. While the advantages are undeniable, there are also some factors that must be taken into consideration. Here’s a breakdown.
The Merits of Technology in Agriculture
- Time-saving and efficient production
It is no secret that technology saves time by cutting manhours and taking care of excessive strength-related chores. Students from the best agriculture colleges in MP seek employment in the sector due to the options opened by technological interventions. Agricultural technology is designed to manage strenuous tasks such as sowing crops, checking up on growth and yield, reviewing the soil underneath, and so much more. Technology adds an extra pair of eyes to the deed and makes the job easier for farmers. The reduced manhours and reduction of waste lead to efficient production and a stronger crop market for the people.
- Chucking out the repetitive work and toiling hours
Most of the farming is just daily reviews of the crop, reshuffling the yield, and guarding the fields. This is made easy by the monitoring technology, which chucks out manual hours and replaces them with durable vigilance. Most farmers have embraced this technology, which subsequently made the job way easier for them.
- Effective irrigation methods
GPS-backed sprinklers, which take into account the rain cycles of the year, are a boon to the farming sector. Since water is the most valuable natural resource, it is essential that a seamless cycle of irrigation, performed with science and precision, goes on farms across the country. Technology shoulders the irrigation aspect with much ease.
- Better storage and distribution
High-tech storage in agriculture has revolutionized the way high-duty and low-yield crops are stored and distributed across the country. Most high-level farmers have evolved into using revamped agriculture warehousing, which is operated by those with B.Sc in agriculture, and have benefitted from using the Cover and Plinth storage system. The separate treatment of perishable items and their storage in Grade-A facilities and vertical silos has led to an immense positive economic impact in the cycle.
- Precise weather tracking
Technology and meteorology have joined hands to offer the best, most precise way of handling weather tracking for farmers, which allows them to plan ahead and structure their crop cycles. Gone are the days when farmers had to rely on prayers to get the proper gauge of rain. In today’s day and age, weather tracking has made planning possible and reduced plenty of wastage and the occurrence of disasters.
The Demerits of Technology in Agriculture
- Excessive government surveillance
It is no shock that excess technological-based tracking and digital records add up to government surveillance, which can be exploitative for small farmers and independent business owners.
- Liability of driverless machinery
Most technological-backed machines prompt driver-free operation, which is dangerous and can turn into a liability in the Indian markets. This has proven to be a great business strategy in the west, but the Indian fields are the livestock are a completely different picture.
- Not enough awareness or education for baseline technology
The technological revolution is unequal and hasn’t reached the entire country. While some farming families in affluent states have access to the latest technology, a majority of them don’t even have the most basic technological equipment. This takes away from the purpose of technology and creates an unstable playing field that ultimately hurts small business owners.
- Lack of practical knowledge among primary beneficiaries
Most technology is introduced to farmers by land owners and large agency players who take operational leverage from those working in the field. This creates a gap between the main performers and often leads to disasters. Farmers can be aided by graduates with a diploma in agriculture culture from MGU university in Bhopal but that cannot be accessed by a majority of the sector.
- High maintenance costs
Most machines run hefty maintenance costs which are unaffordable by farmers. A majority of machinery supplied in the rural areas turns to dust and scrap as farmers resign themselves to taking its care. Implementing technology is noble, but without government assistance, a majority of farmers simply can’t access or take advantage of it.
The role of technology in agriculture cannot be challenged. There are many ways in which technology has covered the tracks of traditional agriculture methods and replaced them with scientific and data-based solutions. Although there are some serious drawbacks, we can conclude that the influx of technology in agriculture is ultimately a boon.