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Digitization of Agriculture

Digitization of Agriculture

Why in news?

Digitization of agriculture holds significant potential to solve many underlying problems of agriculture.


The G20 Delhi declaration has committed to promoting responsible, sustainable, and inclusive use of digital technology by farmers and an ecosystem of Agri-Tech start ups and MSMEs.

About Digitization of Agriculture:

It is the integration of cutting-edge digital technologies into the farm production system, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, unmanned aviation systems, sensors, and communication networks is referred to as Digitization of Agriculture.

Significance of Digitization of Agriculture:

  • It helps to optimize the input resources like fertilizers, pesticides, water, etc. at the right time. Ex: Use of AI with agricultural data.
  • It increases operational efficiency and decreases the production cost of farming due to reduced manpower requirements and labour hours. Ex: Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM).
  • Eliminating middlemen increases profitability and helps find the right price for the produce. Ex: e-NAM.
  • It aids scientific decision making in farming activities, which will reduce burdens of crop loss or failure, low yield, pest attack, etc.
  • It provides better agriculture governance, by using agriculture data gathered across the country for the welfare of farmers and citizens. Ex: National eGovernance Plan in Agriculture (NeGP-A).
  • It bridges the gender gap, through the promotion of women-centric innovations enabling them to be involved in agricultural activities at par with males. Ex: PMKISAN Mobile App.

Issues/Challenges in the Digitization of Agriculture in India:

  • Digital illiteracy makes the farmers shy away from trying new-generation technologies in agriculture. The recent increase in digital fraud cases using mobile devices has affected the trust in digital mode.
  • Lack of awareness about the schemes and subsidies provided by the government to make use of digital technologies.
  • Capital requirement is high at the initial stages which makes it difficult for a small and marginal farmer to acquire them.
  • Fragmented landholdings are a major concern for digitization as it makes the scalability of technology difficult. As per the latest Agriculture Census, the average size of operational holdings has decreased from 2.28 hectares in 1970-71 to 1.08 hectares in 2015-16.
  • Fear of unemployment as the automation would reduce the number of manpower required for the process.
  • Lack of infrastructure in rural areas like access to electricity, internet, service centers for machinery, etc.
  • Limitations of available products like lack of content in regional languages, userfriendly interface, inadequate farm and farmer-level datasets, etc.

Read Also: Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)

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