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How technology helps in harnessing data to guide field decisions

Technology has enabled farmers to retrieve information about their farm and such valuable information helps in making calculated decisions for the advancement of crop yield in the agricultural sector. Writes Sonu Agrawal 

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Technology has enabled farmers to retrieve information about their farm and such valuable information helps in making calculated decisions for the advancement of crop yield in the agricultural sector. Writes Sonu Agrawal 

 

With the increase in the population every year, there is a need to increase the production of food with the available soil and water resources. With changing times and development of the new technologies, farmers can produce more, reduce wastage and preserve valuable natural resources and actually practice sustainable agriculture. With the development of the IT sector, sharing of information or exchange of knowledge from people and resources is possible through SMS, WhatsApp and many other apps. Technology has enabled farmers to retrieve information about their farm. Such valuable information helps in making calculated decisions for the advancement of crop yield in the agricultural sector.

E-Mandi stabilises price
For years, farmers have been exploited by intermediaries such as money lenders who force them to sell their produce for extremely low prices. With the advent of E- Mandis, farmers now have the opportunity to find out the mandi prices for the nearby mandis available. They can now select the optimal mandi from where they can get the best prices for their output.

Understanding Crop Feasibility
Climate plays a major role in crop growth. Sunshine, rainfall, temperature also plays an important role in the quality of the production. With the help of technology, farmers can see feasibility of growing any crop on their farm. By choosing what crops to produce, what is suitable for that piece of land, farmers can maximize their yield and also increase their profitability.

Identifying and preventing Crop Diseases
There has been a huge loss in economic product per annum due to crop diseases in India. A crop like Maize alone can have over 61 types of diseases. Good agronomic methods can help in decreasing the incidences of certain disease groups.

The crop management provides years of historical data that helps the farmers to discover the disease probability for their produce. With the use of algorithms, farmers can make calculated decisions on the best suited crop to grow in their land for better outputs.

The forecast provides early warning of diseases and pests for farmers to take preventive or proper measures to minimize their losses.

Weather Risk Management Services (WRMS) has launched two free services for farmers, “Plant Doctor” and “Soil Doctor” in their MyfarmInfo initiative providing real time plant disease and soil disease diagnosis services. Farmers just need to Whatsapp a photo of their plant to receive an instant disease diagnosis from the experts. 

Farm Management
With the rise of technology, the world has become a small place. The farm management provides valuable information on nutrition, optimal mandis etc. It is also easy to take help of the experts on any problem that may arise;farmers may use WhatsApp on their mobile phones.

Crop Scheduling
Farmers can use the crop schedulers to help them keep a check of all the stages of crop life cycle. Farmers get messages according to the schedule regarding upcoming crop stages. Forecast and disease alerts can also be accessed through SMS, making scheduling easy and hassle free. Crop scheduling helps farmers to schedule their crops, maintain the records and manage their farm.

Water and Nutrition Advisory
Satellite-based information on water and nutrient requirements is being used by myfarminfo to produce effective crop advisory for farmers. Such information has been provided to farmers in local languages using SMS services. Farmers have reported having doubled yield using such timely information.

Farm Risk Management
Risks related to natural conditions like flood and temperature are projected by technological models using historical information and current weather information. Crop insurance solutions are also recommended where-ever needed.

Weather Updates
Farmers can use the flood and wind risk informationto find out the impact of the floods and the wind on their produce. With timely and accurate weather forecasts, the farmers are able to either plan their farming activities or be ready to respond to the changes accordingly.
Technology has made its way into agriculture and has given a positive outcome. It has helped farmers to make better decisions, planning, and connection with the experts and are able to utilize their resources properly to improve the quality and volume of crop production at a low cost.


 (Sonu Agrawal is Founder of Weather Risk Management Services. Views expressed in the article are personal)

 

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