India has made significant improvements in food security post-independence. The country is currently the 2nd largest producer of agriculture in the world, contributing to about 18% of its GDP. In addition to cultivation, farming practices have evolved to include marketing, processing, logistics etc; which are in some cases conducted by farmers themselves.
Yet only about 10 - 23% of the price the end-consumer pays for the harvest actually goes to the farmers who toiled to bring it to them. This is often due to farming losses, inconsistent produce from inefficiencies and middlemen.
Technology integrations could help bridge this gap. In this article, we discuss one such technology stack, Amazon Web Services(AWS), and see how it eases agriculture in India.
AWS is a secure online cloud computing platform by Amazon that offers nearly 100 cloud services in web frameworks, computing power, database storage, mobile applications, networking tools, management and analytic tools, search engines, content delivery and media distribution, etc. Not only does it combine all the latest cloud services - Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS) and Software as a service (SaaS), it is also leverages Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence tools and services. This computing platform is observed to be flexible, effective and easy to use.
The digital revolution in India aims to connect all parts of the country, be it urban or rural. Its strategy aims to challenge and modify traditional agricultural practices in India through innovative ways of farming, producing and harvesting the agricultural lands, thereby fetching better output for the farmers. With the help of AWS cloud services and precision farming, more than 450 agri-techs in India are helping farmers to make agriculture a sustainable and profit yielding enterprise.
With the help of AWS, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) has improved its IT operations by 80%, thereby, reducing their costs by 50%. IFFCO has around 35,000 member cooperatives reaching over 50 million Indian farmers.
This organisation works with farmers, educating them and building awareness of this technology and its various applications. AWS is helping in assimilating real-time solutions to crop yield and management, soil analysis and organic seeds benefits. They’re also utilizing the balancing scale to ensure crop protection against weeds and other external influences.
Farmers are now using this technology to determine various steps of employing fertilizers, pesticides management, water, irrigation facilities, etc; to harvest and produce more crops. Using IoT devices and sensors, farmlands can be monitored closely and anomalies can be tracked in less turnaround time, thereby saving time in cultivating produce that could otherwise be lost.
With the help of IoT devices and AWS technologies in farming, a perfect farming ecosystem can be envisioned. The data from such initiatives could also prove useful in solving similar issues faced by other regions. Such information could prove itself valuable for other farmers and agricultural scientists who can tabulate the data to find deeper insights and best practices in farming.