Farming has seen a number of technological transformations in the last decades, becoming more industrialized and technology-driven. Collectively called “smart farming”, the emerging concept refers to managing farms using technologies like cloud, AI, IoT, robotics, drones among others, to increase the quantity and quality of products while optimizing the human labor required by production. By using these and more technologies, with the help of a precise and resource-efficient approach can help deliver a more productive and sustainable form of agricultural production.
In a recent conversation with CXOToday, Sanjay Borkar, CEO & Co Founder, FarmERP, offers a future-ready, agriculture ERP platform for smart farming practices, explains how the use of smart technology in farming help farmers gain better control over the process of growing crops, making it more predictable and efficient, while at the same time increase profits and ensure sustainability.
What are some of the biggest challenges in agricultural practices that technology can solve?
One of the biggest challenges that technology can address when it comes to agricultural practices, is Planning. In order to plan the operations of the field, one must pay attention to administer that proper care is taken of these crops that are in the coming cycle and harvest. One must also consider, calculating the number of required resources and how they will be allocated during the Harvest.
How do you think technologies like AI, IoT and cloud are automating agriculture?
The performance of a crop depends on a number of factors. To find out the relationships between these parameters and the model on which the performance of the crop will depend, the focus must lie on various techniques like, satellite imagery and image baking, that are helping many companies to solve their on-field issues. Pest control, Quality Assessment, and Monitoring the crops, even Climate-Smart Advisory on these online platforms largely require multiple AI and IoT models to function on.
IoT is typically utilized in hard devices like seeds, soil, or farms to capture all the data and transfer it into cloud platforms which are then sent back into the farmer’s database. This helps in providing customized data to all the stakeholders of Agriculture, along with an opportunity to increase profitability, overall production and assist in the growth of sustainable produce. Hence optimum use of water, chemicals, and fertilizers are obtained.
How is FarmERP helping the farming and the agricultural sector in scaling up to remain sustainable?
As a brand, we strongly believes that Farmers at a ground level, need to be educated and aware of how Smart Agriculture and Technology Infused Farming, can help them make agriculture sustainable. A Farmer’s awareness and motivation are vital to foster sustainability in farming. Other than this, the Availability of Farm Technology at a ground level is important to make Sustainability a must. Certain practices like Rainwater Harvesting, Agroforestry, and Crop Rotation were some of the traditional methods to boost Sustainability.
In a cost-sensitive market like India, how can small entities afford your technologies? Besides, are farmers willing to trust FarmERP high-end tech solutions and researchers more than their age-old traditions?
In a developing country like India where more than 80% of the farmers are smallholders, we need customized technology for fields of any size. To make this happen, FarmERP is working with Farmer Organisations, Contract Farming Schemes, Co-operatives, and Farmer Associations, these are directly involved with farmers. Farmers can easily access their smallholder databases through these organizations. FarmERP follows a B2B Model, they make smart technology that is easily accessible and affordable to farmers via these organizations. It is one of the platforms that stakeholders can use, by means of technology although, it also has more to it. Superior Technology can help resolve some specific farming issues. The company uses extensive AI-based models that help smooth out the issues faced in the agricultural processes.These technologies that are developed, are User-Friendly and Easily accessible to smallholder farmers.
What’s your business roadmap and plans for Indian and global markets?
Today FarmERP stands at 6 Lakh Stakeholders and in the next 5 years, FarmERP aims to get 10 million stakeholders of farmland on board. These stakeholders can be anyone from farmers to organizations who are actively a part of FarmERP. Hydro Farm Development is the need of the hour today. A huge investment for the same has been made although there is a lot more to achieve using Control Environment Agriculture using Greenhouses. FarmERP is also on its way to solve the issue of top damage and prevent it from happening by controlling extreme forms of climate.