Bayer Crop Science brings high-tech digital tools to India’s farms

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By Rajesh Bhayani

To launch such tools for advance farming, a pilot project giving farmers agronomic information has already been launched; pest-protected seed varieties on cards

Digital farming is slowly entering Indian farms, with some companies already having introduced technologies that measure land moisture and sprinkling water. And now, German MNC Bayer Crop Science has outlined its vision and plan for the future of agriculture in India using its digital tools. Land mapping through satellite to estimate crop is already happening in India.

Under its plan for introducing digital farming tools, the company has launched its trademark product called ‘FarmRise’ Mobile Farm Care in India on pilot basis. “The company intends to broadly launch FarmRise in India in 2019, with additional expansion plans in the future for Asia, Africa and South America,” said a company’s vision for future of farming.

This month, The Climate Corporation, a Bayer subsidiary, commercially launched its industry-leading Climate ‘FieldView’ digital agriculture platform in Europe. The technology enables farmers to easily collect and visualise field data, analyse and evaluate crop performance, and manage their field variability through customised fertility and seeding plans to optimise crop productivity. This could also later enter India.

While Bayer is yet to discuss details of the plan, several experts have recommended a brown revolution (farm land revolution using digital tools) with digital technologies that have entered the global market. They say Indian farms badly need such technologies to meet water shortages and reduce vagaries of monsoon.

Once the moisture level is known, which can be achieved even by land mapping using digital cameras, the next step is to sprinkle fertilisers and agri chemicals using drones. Huge savings are possible if digital tools are used, while productivity will also surge. India’s recent decision to permit commercial use of drones is quite useful for this purpose.

After the merger with Monsanto, Bayer organised its first major event last week on ‘Future of Farming Dialogue 2018’. Liam Condon, a member of the Bayer Board of Management and President of the Crop Science, said at the event, “Digital transformation is one of the driving forces of innovation, giving farmers completely new ways to look at their fields and providing them with data and insights to take smarter decisions. Digital tools have shaped many industries and we are just scratching the surface on what it means for agriculture. Through the power of new digital tools and data analytics, we can help increase farm productivity and sustainability”.

The company is also launching in 2019, ‘vayego’, a foliar and soil-applied insecticide for use in rice, corn and horticulture crops. This is an innovation in crop protection that offers farmers a broad and multi-faceted range of benefits for controlling destructive caterpillars, beetles and other pests.

Company’s other upcoming launches include multiple varieties of seeds developed to deflect pests and work with crop protection tools to make each acre optimally productive. These innovations include second-generation insect-protected soybeans and cotton. The vegetable seeds R&D team also provides over 200 new varieties across 20 crops to improve produce choices for global farmers and the consumers they serve each year.

Source: Business Standard

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