How Technology is Helping Farmers at the Grassroots
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India is an agricultural country. India is considered to be the largest producer, consumer and exporter of spices and spice products. It gets a high, parsieworthy position when it comes to agriculture. Indian agriculture is afflicted with several problems, some of them being natural and some others being manmade.
Some of the major challenges faced by Indian farmers are as follows:
- Seeds: Seed is the basic input for obtaining higher crop yields in agricultural production. Distribution of good quality of seeds is critical as it is responsible for the production of crops. Usually good quality seeds are out of reach of the farmers, especially for small and marginal farmers as the prices are too high for them.
- Manures, Fertilizers and Biocides: Indian soils have been regularly depleted as the soils have now been used for thousands of years. The exhaustion of soil has resulted in the low productivity. This is a serious problem which can be answered by using more manures and fertilizers. Manures and fertilizers nourish the soil and a well nourished soil is capable of giving good yields. In India, the major difficulty is to provide sufficient manures and fertilizers in all parts of the country. Cow dung can be treatedas the best manure to the soils.
- Irrigation:In India most of the cropped area is under irrigation. Irrigation is one of the most important agricultural inputs in a country like India where rainfall is uncertain and unreliable. India cannot achieve stability in agriculture unless and until assured irrigation is provided to the cultivable land.
- Agricultural Marketing: Agricultural marketing still is in a bad shape when it comes to rural India.The farmers face a lot of problems in bringing their produce to the mandis and can't send their produce to whoever they want. In the absence of good marketing strategies, the farmers have to rely upon the local traders and middlemen for optimal prices of their farm produce, which is usually sold at throw-away price even after so much of efforts.
- Inadequate storage facilities: Storage facilities in the rural areas are grossly abrupt. Because of such conditions the farmers are forced to sell off their produce immediately after the harvest at the prevailing market prices which tend to be low. Such troublesome sale deprives the farmers of their reasonable income.
How Digitalization can help Farmers:
To overcome this situation and to help the farmers, TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) has taken up various initiatives across the country, using technology to mitigate the issues that are common in the agricultural sector. The most prominent among these initiatives is The Progressive Rural Integrated Digital Enterprise (PRIDE) model powered by the TCS mKRISHI platform. This has been brought through various stages of research in 2008. The aim of the platform is to provide the technology, a platform to transform Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) or any other farmer social network into an economically sustainable entity. The farmer groups are formed to increase the knowledge base.
MyFarmInfo.com is an agriculture information system, which helps farmers maximize their income by providing them with the ways to increase their output and help them get best price for their hard-earned produce.
Weather Forecast for India provides weather news and temperature of the major cities of the world. Live weather News and Updates about weather from India are also available.
Weather risk Management Pvt Ltd provides data on climate management and also tries to solve climate related challenges.
Kisan Suvidhais an initiative launched by the PM Narendra Modi in 2016 to work towards empowerment of farmers and development of villages, the application is quite neat and offers a user-friendly interface. It provides information on current weather,gives forecast for the next five days, market prices of commodities/crops in the nearest town, provides knowledge on fertilizers, seeds, machinery etc. The best option provided is to use the app in different languages, which makes it more widely usable.