It makes sense for agtech to head in the direction of online tech-based platforms. Here’s why.
Mobile phone and Internet technology usage has advanced agricultural structures and has considerably revolutionized agricultural activities to enhance smart agriculture. There is research to show that mobile phones contribute to the growth of small farmers in areas such as India and Pakistan.
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A study in India found that with higher mobile penetration in farming communities and information services, the scope exists for a much greater rural productivity impact in the future.
Another study in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan, found that the higher the usage of mobile phone and Internet technology, the more substantial and positive the impact was on agricultural income.
It’s no wonder that farming practices are taking to online platforms and apps. The Tech Panda asked three agtech experts the reason why farmers and stakeholders are moving towards online tech-based platforms.
Streamlining Business Ops & Creating Better Market Linkages
Amit Sinha, Co-Founder, Unnati, says incorporation of tech has a disruptive influence on the agriculture sector.
The digital platforms also enable farmers to access customized, actionable agricultural information in real time – capable of revolutionizing how these communities secure and improve their livelihood
“Digital solutions are helping farmers and stakeholders in streamlining business ops and creating better market linkages. The digital platforms also enable farmers to access customized, actionable agricultural information in real time – capable of revolutionizing how these communities secure and improve their livelihood.”
For example, Unnati’s business intelligence platform acts as a one stop solution for retailers/small traders to help them in streamlining business processes and provides better payment methods, supply chain management of inputs as per understanding of demand.
Ensuring Sustainability of the Agricultural Ecosystem
Navneet Ravikar, Chairman & Managing Director, Leads Connect Services, believes that answer to this question revolves around these keywords: speed, accuracy, transparency, implementation, traceability and linking.
“Careful observation about the issues which threaten agricultural sustainability will compel us to think about these aspects. Sustainability of agricultural ecosystem is possible when all stakeholders can be facilitated with appropriate interventions,” he says.
Without any exception, it is very important to have a tech-based platform which can take care of the aspects related to speed, accuracy, transparency, implementation, traceability and linking. And exactly for this reason, stakeholders are now rooting for tech-based platforms
“If there is any issue in the ‘farms’ which may affect yield, then farmers should be informed timely and with accuracy. Corresponding measures should be implemented with transparency and smoothly to address the aberration effectively,” he adds.
“In addition, this is necessary to understand that any miss in connecting farmer produce with feasible market may end up in diluting the actual essence of agriculture. Therefore, without any exception, it is very important to have a tech-based platform which can take care of the aspects related to speed, accuracy, transparency, implementation, traceability and linking. And exactly for this reason, stakeholders are now rooting for tech-based platforms,” he replies.
Facilitating a Transparent Farming Model
Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Co-Founder, CEO, Ninjacart, says that there is no dearth of motivation on the part of farmers and stakeholders when it comes to adapt tech.
“Farmers and stakeholders within the agricultural value chain are more and more willing to adapt disruptive technologies for their convenience and value. The emergence of new business models, startups, and entrepreneurs have all played a role in piquing their interests,” he says.
The emergence of new business models, startups, and entrepreneurs have all played a role in piquing their interests
He adds that a tech-enabled approach has expanded the scale, speed, productivity, and transparency of the entire farming model.
“Technology-enabled solutions have changed the way they produce fresh fruits and vegetables. The majority of today’s farmers rely on a combination of factors, including outside sources (such as weather information), third-party apps, and data, to make decisions like how much fertiliser to apply, what crops to grow, and what tools to use. These decisions can then be implemented quickly, and farmers can receive real-time feedback on the impact of their actions,” he adds.
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This integrated system provides new insights that improve decision-making and decision-implementation abilities for stakeholders across the supply chain.