DAILY MAINS ANSWER WRITING CHALLENGE
Practice Question 14
Q) How can big data and upcoming startups help bring next green revolution in the Indian agriculture? Examine.
Big Data are extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations. Projected population growth and urbanization rates will have dramatic impacts on food security across the world by 2050. Increasing connectivity, spawning massive data and its exploration across the world can help to drive decision making that can transform the farm source-to-consumer value chain.
Role that big data can play in next green revolution:
1. Big-data businesses can analyse varieties of seeds across numerous fields, soil types, and climates.
2. Similar to the way in which Google can identify flu outbreaks based on where web searches are originating, analyzing crops across farms helps identify diseases that could ruin a potential harvest.
3. Big Data has the potential to add value across each touch points along the agri-value chain starting from selection of right agri-inputs, monitoring the soil moisture, tracking prices of markets, controlling irrigations, finding the right selling point and getting the right price.
4. Precision agriculture aids farmers in tailored and effective water management. Recent progress in Big Data and advanced analytics capabilities and agri-robotics such as aerial imagery, sensors, and sophisticated local weather forecasts can transform the agri-scape and thus holds promise for increasing agricultural productivity over the next few decades.
5. Information access - Farmers need accurate weather forecasts and accurate information on the inputs they can use. Optimizing input factors (e.g., nutrients, irrigation, and pest control) can help protect natural resources. Analytical capability to integrate various sources of information (such as weather, soil, and market prices) will help in increasing crop yield and optimizing resource usage, lowering cost.
6. Big Data and advanced analytics are streamlining food processing value chains by finding the core determinants of process performance, and taking action to continually improve the accuracy, quality and yield of production.
From precision agriculture to real-time price updates, advanced data analytics can help farmers usher in a new era in farming.
Role that upcoming startups can play in next green revolution:
There is growing investor and corporate confidence in nascent sector, known as farming-as-a-service, or FaaS. FaaS seeks to provide affordable solutions to technical and mechanized farming. It makes the fixed costs variable for farmers, thus making it more affordable for a majority of small farmers. Its services are available on a subscription or pay-per-use basis in three broad categories.
1. Information sharing through SMS, phone calls (interactive voice response systems), e-mail or mobile apps. The services include alerts on weather, input and output market prices, real-time crop monitoring.
2. Production assistance solutions i.e. aiding farming activity with technological resources and expertise on site. For example, the ability to rent heavy farm machinery with expert operators at the farmers’ doorstep.
3. Access to market solutions through virtual/online platforms to connect backward and forward supply chains with farmers. These connections help procure quality farm inputs and also cut out several intermediary layers by providing direct platforms between farmers and retailers/ consumers.
Other FaaS solutions are globally adopted technology-driven inventions tweaked for Indian farmers given their smaller land holdings and incomes.
Recent examples in news: Two India-based agri-technology start-ups have raised millions in funding from private equity firms - AgroStar, which provides agricultural inputs directly to farmers, raised $10 million, and RML AgTech, which offers smart farming solutions, raised $4 million
Agri-startups can transform the farm sector by making it more efficient, productive and market-driven. Both central and state governments have initiated a string of measures, such as Custom Hiring Centres, that could boost FaaS.
Big data and upcoming startups can help in bringing next green revolution along with other components like micro irrigation coverage, precision farming and crop pattern diversification.