Precision Agriculture-Last Resort to Food Security 

“Human beings can be rich and advanced but they  can’t eat concrete, mobiles or softwares.They  need food to survive upon. ”  #SachQuotes

India is land of agrarian society .Majority of its population is engaged in agriculture and allied services for its livelihood.We are facing a problem due to rising number of people and thus shrinking agricultural land . United States in 50s also faced somewhat similar problem . They had large farms but limited people to work on them. The only difference between them and us is we are large work force and limited farm lands:a complete vice versa.What Americans did then, they did what they are best at: Innovate. They invented big farm machines which could do work of hundreds of workers within no time. After these many years we in India are using such machines to optimum level. But same answer to the old age question couldn’t be correct as the question has changed its dimensions.
Despite big measures we are in huge pressure to increase productivity per unit of land. In current times the most accurate solution to this problem is  Precision Agriculture aka Precision Farming. The simplest definition to this term is use of latest technology so as to maximise the precision of modern machines.This in turn means precise use of inputs like fertilizer, water, pesticide to maximise the output. Majority of our farm labour population is shifting to urban areas to find livelihood as the profitability in marginal farming is dwindling day by day. Thus use of machines will not only help to produce precisely but it also addresses the problem of shortage of labour.

Tools used in precision farming:

GPS-Global positioning system is used for large farms say of 1000 acres. One cannot survey each corner to know the health of the crop. For example a particular patch may have more evaporation as compared to other hence it may require more irrigation GPS may help to identify such spots. Also if large farm need to be ploughed and few area among it already sowed then with the an GPS controlled automated tractor may help to plough without interference in already sown area.

Drones-Drones are miniature helicopters which carry anything depending upon its load bearing capacity. In PA drones are used to carry high definition cameras. Sensitive crops like that of flowers require keen monitoring. The cameras used in these drones can transfer real time images which in turn is linked to software which analyses these images. Based on the image processing result the further course can be decided.

agricultural-robots

Robot- Humans desire to enslave science finds resort in Robots. Robots help is sowing and harvesting crops. All they need is fuel, either fossil or electric. They truly address the problem of scant labour.

MPC Microprocessor Controlled drip irrigation – The microprocessor placed somewhere near the plant collects data which is analysed to conclude about the requirements of the plant. Daily requirements of fertiliser and water is fed using the drip irrigation.

Heavy Farm Machinery-The growth of agricultural instruments by the use of technology has been phenomenal in the last  one or two decades. There are machines for ploughing, sowing, irrigating and harvesting. This can be simple one which is like a hand held device or huge one. Use of these machines has not only made the work simpler but also helped in increasing per unit area produce.

Earth  today sustains 7.5 billion human. With this growth rate by 2050 we will have 20 billions bellies to feed. Moreover with the growth of population the agrable  land will shrink to half of what it is today. We have somehow deviced ways to accommodate people but a lot need to be done to arrange for food.

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