Potential for mobile and IoT

In a utopian world, there is no threat of climate change, water is available all the day and there is no shortage in any resources. Agriculture would continue to bloom and there will be food for all. But in reality, agriculture continues to be an unorganized sector where challenges are multi-fold. There are uncertain policies, poor infrastructure, reducing resources and severe challenges of food productivity

According to NSSO,40% of the farmers would quit agriculture if given a choice. This is very evident in INdia, where a farmer would rather have his children become potters or take up off jobs in the city, than enter the insecure and unpredictable world of agriculture. The report further states that at this rate, we may just be able to grow food for a few more decades. At a time when food production has to match demands of 9.6 billion people by 2050, the stats are not encouraging and favourable for anyone.

60% of India’s population is young- in the age group 18-35 years which is highest in the world. These young minds have led the revolution of internet, telecom and industries. But none have given a thought to bring a revolution in agriculture. With a forte in digital and internet, these young minds are a powerhouse to bring IoT to Indian agriculture as well- and soon enough!

IoT has the potential- and has effectively in many cases, to improve operational efficiency of farmers, and improve the yields of farms. In developed economies of USA, IoT is already a $1.3 billion industry, but in developing economies of India, China, Malaysia, the advancements in IoT are sporadic, and even theoretical. From being able to analyze the greenhouse effect and climate change, to bringing more accurate decision making through data analytics and sensor monitoring, IoT has the capability of being ‘disruptive’ in a positive way

For example, if our farmers use a simple 20th century device- cellphone, here is the exponential impact they can achieve. They are able to calculate inputs required on their lands,remove middlemen to directly engage with suppliers and consumers, predict climate change and take informed decisions and keep a tab on accounts etc. Yet, even in 21st century, many farmers don’t have access to internet and/or phones. This is a huge market for penetration that needs to be captured and leveraged.

With sporadic interventions from companies to build this network in rural India, and with Government’s target of Digital India, the future looks promising, but only time and planned interventions can make the actual impact we would like

– Arjun Jagtap, Deputy Manager, Information Technology