What is digital farming?
Digital farming also known as digital agriculture refers to the use of digital technology to integrate agricultural production from the fields of production to the final consumer. This includes technologies that assist the agricultural sector with tools and developments that provide information to easy the decision-making process by taking informed decisions and improve agricultural productivity. In a constantly changing external environment farmers need to innovate and maintain their practices and constantly improve their efficiency to keep up with rising demand. Digital technologies have the capacity to assist farmers to meet the challenges posed by the industry and take advantage of opportunities for growth.
Digital agriculture in India:
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in India tries to increase farmer awareness, knowledge and efficiency. The final goal of this Ministry is to increase the farmers income by following the suggestions of the Doubling Farmers Income (DFI) committee and creating a Digital Agriculture Division specially for this purpose.
A comprehensive ICT strategy has been developed by the Ministry to reach out to farmers easily and in the planning and monitoring of schemes so that any government level decisions can be taken faster and farmers can see their benefits sooner. This can easily be accessed via smartphones, digital appliances, SMS advisories and a free Kisan Call Center to assist farmers.
The National e-governance Plan in Agriculture was launched in 7 states- Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh to achieve rapid development in India with the use of Information and Communication Technology by providing timely information for any agricultural queries to farmers.
As a part of this scheme the government has developed a one stop window- farmers portal for dissemination of information on various different agricultural matters like seed variations, pests’ control, plant diseases etc. the department has also created a SMS Portal for assisting the farmers on agricultural matters via SMS options.
Various mobile apps like Kisan Suvidha, which was launched in 2016 are also actively available to provide information to farmers on important factors that can affect their production. The app is extremely successful reaching over 13 lakh farmers and assisting them on a regular basis.
Precision agriculture is also picking up in the Indian agricultural landscape where inputs are utilized in the exact and precise format to increase yields as compared to traditional methods. Agricultural biotechnology includes a wide range of tools like traditional breeding techniques that can alter the living organisms partially, improve plant quality and also develop micro-organisms in a controlled environment for certain specific agricultural practices.
The agricultural sector plays a vital role in the Indian economy and accounts to almost 17 percent of the Gross Value Added in the country. The sector faces major challenges that can be combated by improving the technology used for the same. It helps in developing the entire industry and creates a positive environment for the famers to work in. From assisting farmers in installing better technology in the fields of production to equipping them with options of Net Banking, the Indian digital agriculture has achieved many milestones by itself.