What is the agriculture industry?
In-country like India agriculture is the most important sector for the lives of people and also agriculture industry is one of the most affecting areas in the economy of India. 18 percent of India’s GDP is dependent on Agriculture and Agriculture industry provides employment to 50 percent of the country’s population. India is one of the largest areas of agriculture. The agriculture industry comprises various activities including Harvesting crops, plants, livestock feeding, and gazing, etc. these acts are surrounded by a variety of procedures in which natural resources give rise to a large number of products.
Why Agriculture is called as an industry?
Agriculture is called an industry because it is no less than that of any other industry in any area. The agriculture industry provides economic growth to various areas of community and an avenue of employment. Agriculture processes a raw material; these raw goods are later manufactured. Farming, fertilizer manufacturing, equipment sales, trucking, equipment repairs, breeding, seed manufacturing, agronomy, storage, and fertilizer distributing, transportation, processing of by-products, and direct sales, etc. are some areas of Agriculture industry. These aspects make agriculture an industry like any other industry.
Technology in Agriculture industry:
The agriculture industry had been developed so much and still developing, it had been successful in adopting new technology in it day by day. As we can see how a large number of machines are being used in agriculture nowadays. There were days when every single activity in agriculture required a large number of human powers. Various stages of agriculture involve crop selection, land preparation, seed selection, seed sowing, irrigation, crop growth, fertilizing, and harvesting the crop. These stages used to require a large number of human powers and time, but when technology got introduced in the agricultural industry a few of the very important stages of crop cultivation became easier, faster, and more productive compared to before.
When farmers believed only on human power, they used to get hardly 2 crops in a year but since the technology has been introduced into the agriculture industry the number of crop cultivation per year became 3 in many areas. This helped farmers to get more income in a year.
Types of agriculture in India:
Based on the seasons, crop cultivation is classified into 3 types. They are,
1. Kharif: The crops are grown in the period between June or July to October or November. Mostly at the start of monsoon to the beginning of winter. Rainwater and nature help farmers a lot during this period. The crops preferred to cultivate in this period are Rice, Maize, Millets, Cotton, Groundnut, and Green gram, etc.
2. Rabi: Soon after harvesting Kharif crops farmers start growing Rabi crops. This is a period between October or November to March or April. Wheat, Barley, Grams, and oilseeds are preferred to cultivate in Rabi.
3. Zaid: Zaid is a very less period that lasts for only 2 months, which is between the end of April to the beginning of June which is summer. Watermelon and cucumber are grown in Zaid.
Based on the type of farming practice agriculture is classified into 8 types.
1. Shifting Agriculture (Jhoom):
Shifting Agriculture is a type of agriculture in which the land for agriculture is created by cleaning lands in forests. In that land, agriculture is practiced for several years until the fertility of the soil gets exhausted. After this process, the farmer will over to another place and do the same activity. Mainly tribal people living in forests do this type of practice. Usually, plant, tuber crops like yam, tapioca, and roots crops are raised in such land.
2. Subsistence Agriculture:
Subsistence Agriculture is practiced by a farmer to produce cereals for their family and local market only, they do not make a big market by agriculture. We can see this type of practice in most parts of India. This agriculture mostly involves the cultivation of cereals like wheat, rice, and millets, etc.
3. Intensive farming:
Usually, intensive farming is practiced in most parts of highly populated areas. This type of farming aims at maximum production possible on the limited farms. Intensive farming has the ability to raise more than one crop a year. Huge number of human labours are employed every year and more capital is spent.
4. Extensive farming:
In extensive farming technology is involved in most of the areas, modern techniques are used in farming. There will be extensive use of machinery, so it is also called as mechanical farming. Due to the use of technology, it takes less time and very less capital comparatively. Extensive farming is performed in sparsely populated areas like Australia, Canada, Russia, and The United States.
5. Plantation Agriculture:
Plantation farming is capital-centred farming, it requires technical knowledge, good managerial ability, improved types of machinery, fertilizers, transport facilities, and irrigation. In this practice, a bush or tree farming is done on huge areas like Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Assam. Single sown crops like tea, rubber, coconut, coffee, cocoa, spices, and fruit crops, etc. are cultivated in this type of farming. The yield is usually obtained continuously for several years.
6. Commercial Agriculture:
Commercial farming aims to export the product of the crop to various countries and earn money. A large scale of the crop is cultivated in this type of farming. Commercial agriculture is mostly preferred to practice in sparsely populated areas. States like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, and Punjab practices this type of farming. Generally, wheat, cotton, sugarcane, and corn, etc. are a few commercial crops.
7. Dryland farming:
Dryland farming mostly practices in low rainfall areas or areas where there will be insufficient irrigation facilities, like central India, western India, and North-western India. Crops that do not require more irrigation like sorghum, Bajra, and peas are cultivated under Dryland farming.
8. Wetland farming:
Wetland farming is rain-dependent agriculture, which is practiced in north, north-eastern India and on the slopes of the Western Ghats. Rice, jute, and sugarcane are grown under wetland farming as they require more rainfall or more irrigated areas.
Role of IT in Agriculture Industry
We all know that IT i.e. Information technology deals with the network and computers to transfer information. Nowadays, IT is collaborating with many sectors in which Agriculture is one of the main sectors. Agriculture is an important part of any country’s economy. Therefore, Technology in agriculture like information and communication, also known as e-agriculture. It focuses on the development of agricultural and rural development through improved information and communication processes.
There are different roles of IT in the agriculture industry-
- Weather forecasting- IT helps in finding out about the future reference of climate like if it is going to rain, what will be the climate according to agriculture leading in a better quality of crops and agriculture.
- Digital shopping- Nowadays people are shopping online everything just not clothes or other stuff but vegetables and fruits too. This is possible just because with the help of Technology.
- Pesticide control- Sometimes using pesticide more than the limit can damage the crops therefore with the help of IT makes possible the limit of pesticide or insecticide sprayed in the farm.
- GIS- Geographic information systems, It mainly used in precision farming where précising the nature of the soil or weather works. Like it helps in digital mapping and analysis of soil.
- GPS- Global Positioning System, It helps in Geo-fencing, map-making and surveying about the land.
- Remote sensing- It helps to connect directly to the satellite where farmers can find out about the weather forecast, smog, ozone layer depletion etc.
- Drones- Drones helps in collecting data about the land, atmosphere, crops etc.
- E-commerce- Online ordering of Agri-equipments, agri-inputs and other stuff.
Role of IT can be judged by the direct contribution to make agriculture productive and indirect tool for empowering farmers to take well-versed and quality decisions which will have a solid impact on agriculture and related activities are conducted.
IT made new methods for modern agriculture like Electronic sensors and identification systems, computerized farm equipment is used for fertilizer, pesticides operation, are used to fed and monitor the farm animals. Selling crop, buying seeds and pesticides online is adopted by the world. Many areas in the world are still lacking about IT therefore following are some specific ways IT being applied through agricultural education:
- Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
- PowerPoint Presentations
- Basic Internet Applications
Effects of IT in agriculture:
- Right decisions- technology leads in the right decision, and the right decisions lead to accurate results and wrong decisions often lead to bad results.
- Better planning- As the right decision has to be taken so is better planning. Better planning can be done by IT like planning according to the weather, soil quality etc.
- On-time harvesting
People in the agriculture industry farmers, food producers must embrace the digital transformation trends in agriculture.
IoT and Sensors in the Field disrupting the agriculture industry.
Sensor devices placed deliberately around fields along with different technologies so that farmers can view their crops from anywhere in the world. These sensors send farmers updated information or data in real-time, so changes can be made accordingly to their crops. IoT sensor devices in the field are doing many things for farmers, but obviously on a larger scale resulting in higher food production with less waste exactly what this industry desires.
- Efficiency in the use of resources like chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, water, fuel, soil etc.
- Improving the quantity and quality of production of crops
- Higher yield in the same amount of land with the help of different IT equipment.
- Reducing different environmental impressions
- Risks mitigation
Main Technologies in Farming:
- Field Monitoring- It determines the health of crops through the analysis of drone, sensor equipment, machines and satellite imagery. Well educated farmers go out in the fields with a tablet or any other equipment and collect important data about the crops. Many platforms analyse the data collected by the farmers and make sense out of this data. This helps farmers monitor pest populations, weed activity on their land, soil quality and allows other farmers to increase yields and make more profit out of it.
- Detection of soil and pests- With the help of automated machines and sensor devices detection of right soil for the crops become easier. Also with the help of drones, farmers can look out for pests and save crops from diseases.
- Yield Monitoring – The yield information can be collected either from satellite imagery or drones or from the sensor devices installed on the agriculture machinery. These yield sensors can be attached to different machines like tractors, and with the help of it, it can collect information and data of things like grain yield, moisture and its levels etc. allowing farmers to make better decisions on when to harvest, planting and fertilization, analyse field inconsistency and many other things.
- Farm robots are used in many industries especially to automate different tasks.
- Genetically produced crops- It is possible nowadays to genetically produce crops can resist diseases and pests, which rewards the farmer with good yields. These crops grow very fast and also they produce healthy yields. Since genetically modified crops are resistant to most diseases and pests, the farmer will spend less money on pesticides.
All the farmers around the world need to make their minds and modified to modern agriculture. Nowadays, the world is taking advantage of new agriculture innovations improving farm production. Therefore, IT helps the farmers to remain in touch with international and national markets. These technologies are being adopted by farmers at a speed up pace. It will improve the livelihood of farmers.
The forthcoming farming is very bright. There are more and more accuracy agriculture technologies coming out every month. Information technology is helping various sectors and agriculture towards advancement.
Farmers will get profit from each of these digital transformation technology trends in agriculture which gives them freedom from worries over the different issues like weather, environment etc. IT helps in yielding crop better and the ability to manage the crops in new and efficient methods.
It’s time to take advantage of the technology.