The new challenge before agriculture is how to provide sufficient food to the constantly increasing population of the world despite the limited land available for farming. To tackle this challenge, there is no way out other than making the maximum use of technology in agriculture. Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the state-of-the-art technologies used for this. Using smart technology in agriculture may bring about major changes at various levels. In a discussion with Rural Voice, Dr. Dharmesh Verma, former Global Head of RNZ International and Machine Learning (ML) expert, shared information about the use of IoT, its advantages, and smart agriculture. You may watch the show by clicking on the video link given above.
Dr. Verma says that IoT technology-based smart farming reduces the problems of producers and farmers. In IoT-based smart agriculture, farmers may easily get information about light, temperature, soil moisture, crop health, etc. with the help of sensors. He says that farmers can make a significant increase in their income by using IoT in farming.
If accurate information becomes available in time, farmers can manage things very easily and reap a better harvest, says Dr. Verma. If the weather is changing while the crop is standing in the field, getting information about it in time helps the farmers take appropriate steps to respond to the changing weather. If there are fears of crops getting damaged due to weather, the loss may be averted by taking steps in time.
If the plants are about to dry up due to lack of water, farmers may go for timely irrigation if they get to know about it beforehand. Sensors are installed in the field for this purpose. Dr. Verma says the sensors gather data regarding soil moisture, soil temperature, leaf moisture, etc. These data are so voluminous that they are stored in a cloud. The data is then analyzed with the help of algorithms and this leads to information about the actual situation. The information is shared with the farmers through information technology (IT). Farmers come to know about the time of irrigation, the right quantity of fertilizers to be used, etc based on this information.
Aditya Bhalla, a young farmer from Greater Noida, uses IoT in his hydroponic farming. He says when he started hydroponic farming in 2018, his first aim was to raise the yield of the crop sown. He used IoT for this purpose. He says, “IoT fetches us data that helps a lot in crop management.” He adds, “It helps the most in saving water. We are saving about 40 percent of water for irrigation.” He says that IoT helps a lot in crop management right from the sowing to the reaping of the harvest. It can also help a large group of farmers simultaneously.
Necessary information may be gathered by using the various IoT technologies. You may get information on a host of issues — which crop to sow, at what time, in what quantity, which fertilizer to use, which insecticide to use for which disease and when, and so on. Irrigation systems are being automated with the help of sensors. Farmers may keep an eye on their fields from anywhere. Going by the data available, they may also choose between manual irrigation and automated options. Besides, IoT is used to classify fruits and vegetables as per the international quality parameters based on computer vision and AI. Thus, IoT may play a great role in the agriculture sector.