Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sci-Tech farming

Being the highest agriculture dependent country, Indian agriculture needs to adopt automation, science and technologies for better yields, those would be hand tools, farm equipment, heavy earth equipment or modern scientific technologies which need to help the farming process more efficiently. In olden days, the generic farm equipments are including Diesel engine, electric motors, Power sprayers and tractors apart from traditional equipments. The agriculture has been transforming with modern science technologies from past two decades which are helping to increase the farm productivity and reducing the human drudgery, but still lot of technologies are in research and development stage, if those are available in the market then the agriculture practices will be flexible and robust. Now the modern trend in agriculture is Information technology Satellite technology, Nano technology and Robotics.

I have some imaginative technology concepts in agriculture those might be in research or in experiments stage. Our farm equipment companies and researchers have developed a lot of small and heavy farm equipment for traditional farming needs but some kind of robotic and pneumatic mechanism are required in precision farming. If the robots are being used for weed control, that will help to reduce the herbicides usage and the produces will turn into an organic, the same way robots can be used for transplanting the seedlings to avoid intensive labor. Pneumatic technology is useful for sowing the seeds that can plant the seeds very precisely in a calculated depth according to crop variant and the pneumatic technology should be a major technology in farm equipment as hydraulics, so it requires lot of research and development.

We used to read in newspapers on few impressive innovative technologies by rural inventors i.e. electric motors can be operated remotely by cell phones, it’s very helpful to farmers in summer time since the power supply is irregular. If we think advanced intelligent machines in farming, Sensors or readers and hand held PDAs are going to be great helpful in computation and accuracy in farming. The sensors or readers can be used for measuring the fertility in the soil, so that the fertilizer input can be regulated according to the level of need, same way the potency of the pesticides on the crop. Consequently these technologies will help farmer to minimize the chemical application which leads to help in environment and economic perspectives.

An Ariel remote sensing technology also plays a major role to identify the soil properties, I wish the farmers could have the GPS kind of hand held device which is connected to satellite and render the information on soil texture, soil moisture, water resources and so on. Nano technology contribution will be more in future agriculture and food production, the Nano sensors in the field are enable the application of pesticides, intake of nutrients and water by identifying the crop pathogens and soil ingredients. Nano technology application are being used in food storage and packaging to avoid spoilage and future food products will be enhanced with color, flavor and nutrients. In developed countries, many kinds of software packages are available to track the crop harvest, fertilizers usage, planting, tillage, Inventory, expenses and so on, I wish… One day our Indian farmers may have that software and manage their farms.

I hope all these technologies will promote sustainable agriculture, food security, health and safe environment, the government must encourage private partnership to identify the new technologies in agriculture and training should be provided to the farmers.we must have an open discussion that is informed by a clear understanding of how these products are being developed and how it will be healthy and safety to the people. However, we should appreciate all the efforts of agricultural scientists and researchers for sustainability of agriculture, food security and will see how they can, should, and will do for long-term solutions.

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