How does e-Technology help farmers in production and marketing of agricultural produce? Explain it.(10M, 150W)

The question  How does e-Technology help farmers in production and marketing of agricultural produce? Explain it." was asked in the Mains 2023 GS Paper 3. Let us look at the model answer to this question.

Answer: Electronic technology , by harnessing real-time data, online market platforms, and precision farming methods,has enabled farmers to make well-informed choices, enhance productivity, and expand their reach into wider markets.

Role of E-tech in agriculture

  • Production:
    • Efficient utilisation of water: Farmers can use soil moisture sensors to automatically turn irrigation systems on and off when needed. This can help counter the declining groundwater level.
    • Monitoring of crops: Farmers can deploy drones for continuous and real time monitoring of all types of pest attacks, hailstorms.
    • Precision agriculture: According to a report by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), precision agriculture can help farmers to increase their yields by up to 20% and reduce their input costs by up to 10%. Eg- using GPS-guided tractors to apply inputs more precisely.
    • Agricultural extension services: Providing access to agricultural crop information, new seed varieties etc.
    • Environmental Monitoring: Can help reduce pesticide use and minimise soil erosion via real time monitoring.
  • Marketing:
    • E-commerce and better price discovery: can provide farmers with direct access to consumers and eliminate middlemen, hence fetching higher price. Eg- e-NAM
    • Supply chain management: This can help to reduce food waste and improve food safety. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, food waste can be reduced by up to 50% by using e-technology to improve supply chain management. Eg- by tracking the movement of produce from the farm to the consumer.
    • Marketing and Promotion: Through digital platforms and social media, farmers can promote their products directly to consumers, restaurants, and retailers.
    • Global market access: getting to know the trends of international prices, international market regulations and certifications.

Hence, E tech can not only help double the farm incomes but also turn the farmers into Agripreneurs. They empower farmers with data-driven insights, automation, and sustainability tools, ultimately leading to increased productivity, reduced environmental impact, and improved food security.