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How Technology Enables Farmer Empowerment And Its Social Impact Major tech innovations in farming such as automation and robotics, livestock technology, modern greenhouse practices, precision agriculture and artificial intelligence and blockchain are enabling the shift towards modern farming practices

By Shan Kadavil

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Food-based businesses and focus on farming go hand in hand. The journey from the farmer to the consumer in a food business is paramount to ensuring quality and taste for the consumer while empowering farmers. Contract farming establishes conditions for the production and marketing of farm products after a farmer signs an agreement to provide a designated quantity of an agricultural product.

Today, technology has enabled sellers to organize fishermen and farmers across large number of coasts and farms across the world to deliver fresh products right at the customers' doorsteps. This has led to a rapid growth and demand for online food platforms.

Major tech innovations in farming such as automation and robotics, livestock technology, modern greenhouse practices, precision agriculture and artificial intelligence and blockchain are enabling the shift towards modern farming practices.

We have seen business such businesses having a double bottom line impact with generating profit while also having tremendous social and economic benefits including direct and indirect job creation, farmer empowerment and positive social impact, which is the need of the hour. It enables fishermen and farmers in India to sell their products more effectively and with a better price realisation. Directly procuring from the farmers via sellers on the platform, also allows the customers to get access to fresh products, thereby restoring their faith in fresh food platforms. This lucrative business opportunity has led to large investor interest due to high consumer stickiness and amazing unit economics. This implies that this business has great potential and is experiencing rapid expansion.

Farmers and fishermen are the backbone of the food trade

Farmers and fishermen are often underrated even though they feed the population and also contribute towards exports. Apart from offering valuable products, they also contribute in soil, water and wildlife conservation. They also conserve open space and scenery. They are therefore the mainstay of the food industry.

Why is this change important?

Climate change, small land holdings, water scarcity, competition with branded varieties in the market are just some of the reasons that affect farmers in India and abroad. The shift towards contract farming can help them become economically stable. The spotlight on farmers is needed to nurture them as much as the need for them to nurture their land. The change would influence the quality inputs and agrochemicals used in agriculture in a positive way. Thereby, having a positive impact on the economy and food chain. Motivated farmers can then focus more towards quality seeds, fertilizers and agro products. All they require is a little handholding when it comes to becoming profitable. Good use of technology can cut down the middlemen and the direct profits can be enjoyed by the farmers and the fishermen. This process leaves the customers equally happy as they get fresh food at reduced prices.

Shan Kadavil

Co-founder and CEO, FreshToHome

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