Ravin Jhunjhunwala, the co-founder ofNutrition Biosystems, mentioned that NASA is calling the black carbon formed by these crop wastes’ burning as lethal enough to harm Himalayan glaciers.

Approximately 58% of Indian citizens are employed in Agriculture, directly or indirectly. Even then, India ranks lowest among the leading 20 economies in the world in terms of agricultural value-added per worker. The agricultural produce across the country varies from state to state and its quality is impacted by factors like imbalanced use of fertilizers, pest infestations, untimely rains, etc. This creates a gap in the demand-supply curve, thereby reducing the contribution of India’s largest employment shareholder towards our agrarian economy.

Interestingly, other industries have been plagued with long-term problems, but still managed to come out on the winning side through timely technological integration. Automating manual processes, reducing labor dependency and increasing control on the production environment has helped them harness the true potential of the industry while realizing better profit margins. The same can be implemented in Indian Agriculture through data analytics.


The primary benefit of analytics is the increased control over monitoring and understanding natural elements such as weather, soil, crops, etc. Through the combination of Big Data, Internet of Things, and Cloud Computing, the farmers can gain valuable insights which can empower sustainable farming in a non- resource intensive manner. For instance, sensors determining soil condition can inform the farmer about the current moisture content. Subsequently, the farmer can get to know the extra investment needed to ensure proper irrigation while sowing water consuming crops like paddy. In simpler words, he is aware of the cost-benefit ratio before plantation.

Ground Reality

While the aforementioned scenario sounds realistic and feasible, the on-ground narrative poses challenges. How can less educated farmers interpret analytics? What about affordability of such advanced equipment for Small Holder Farmers (SHFs), who can barely make ends meet? Government is working towards the latter in a bid to provide financial assistance, affordability, and access through policy decision like FPO purchase grants, Pre-defined drone SOPs, etc. For the former, private organization and government entities need to come together.

Public-Private Efforts

No technology can achieve its true potential without consumer education, awareness, and training. It is the need of the hour to connect agriculture experts sitting in metropolitans with the rural farmers for a direct conversation. Similarly, live demos of new-age technology are required with door-to-door call for participation. Apart from money and awareness, we need to change the mindset of SHFs about their archaic practices and convince them to opt for modern ways for a better tomorrow.

Agri Tech has witnessed an exponential growth in the last decade and analytics is its future. With the dream of doubling farmer income, improving food security and increasing GDP contribution from agriculture, we need to proceed towards technology integration in agriculture in a step-by-step manner. The time is now!

The author is Atresh Semwal, Deputy General Manager – Audit, Sohan Lal Commodity Management Pvt. Ltd.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here