Ravindra K Agrawal, MD, Kisankraft, dwells on the changes brought about by technological advances.
We asked Ravindra to tell us how technological advances have impacted the Indian farmer’s way of life, here’s what he had to say:
Technology is enabling a shift from input-intensive to knowledge-intensive agriculture. All operations of agriculture are impacted by technology to help achieve yields, quality, scale and precision that would be impossible otherwise.
Technology has impacted farmers, beginning with basic hand tools, to the latest intelligent machinery. It has reduced drudgery, aided uniform and controlled operations, increased productivity by better soil preparation, sowing, pesticides and fertilization application, irrigation, harvesting, and post-harvesting operations. Instead of simple scythes, now combines are used to efficiently harvest field crops. Technology has also improved livestockbased agriculture. Large scale milking of cows or raising of crores of chicken is possible due to technology.
Next big impact is by development of new seed varieties and hybrids. New seeds increased yields, income and alleviated starvation. Seeds with beneficial traits, disease and drought tolerance have resulted in better yields.
Targeted fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and weedicides have changed the way farmers cultivate. They help farmers grow crops and get consistent yields by fighting devastating diseases and insects. Irrigation technologies and weather predictions further aide a farmer address vagary of nature. Finally, technology drives harvesting and post-harvesting processing to bring the best quality produce to the market.