The 2011 Census says there are 118.9 million cultivators across India or 24.6% of the total workforce of over 481 million. With such a large proportion of the working population employed in the sector, it is imperative that we not only strive to achieve food security for the nation through increased productivity of the farmers’ work on the land, but also that farmers have income security through this increased productivity.
Cloud technology is just one of these technological innovations already being piloted in India among farming communities. Last year a pilot for the groundnut crop in Andhra Pradesh, run by a partnership between a private sector technology firm, state government and our agricultural research institute, showed how developing a mobile application and interactive dashboard for farmers could empower them with the right information, at the right time.
The pilot program results show a 30% higher average in yield per hectare for the groundnut crop. The success of this pilot suggests a path forward for digital agriculture in line with the Government of India’s Digital India campaign, collaborating between sectors to share knowledge and develop innovative solutions.
But to improve the impact of these potentially transformative technologies, we first need to foster dialogue between the development sector, private sector and governments, to explore partnerships and build on each other’s experience. Dialogue is a vital component of the knowledge exchange needed to manage disruption and harness frontier technologies in productive ways so as to create sustainable impact among the communities and on the challenges that need it the most. In agriculture, we know that technology is the key to delivering sustainable solutions to increase both productivity and profitability of the smallholder farmers across India, and in so doing, to boost the agriculture sector in India.
Source: Huffington Post India