(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Adoption of Digital and Innovative Farming Techniques

(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Adoption of Digital and Innovative Farming Techniques


Adoption of Digital and Innovative Farming Techniques


The present decade has been witnessing the emergence of a ‘digital agricultural revolution’ as the latest transformation, poised to address the numerous challenges of agriculture and the food sector caused by a growing population, resulting in increased demand for food and an increasingly limited availability of natural resources such as fertile land and fresh water. To achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal of a ‘world with zero hunger’ by 2030, the existing agrifood system must be transformed into one that is more productive, sustainable, efficient, and resilient. In this setting, digital agriculture has the potential to generate economic benefits by increasing agricultural output, improving cost efficiency, and expanding market prospects. It can also have a positive impact on society and culture by encouraging more communication and inclusion. 

Innovative Farming Practices

1. Precision Agriculture

  • The International Society for Precision Agriculture asserting itself as the sole global scientific society entirely dedicated to Precision Agriculture defines it as a management approach that involves collecting, processing, and analysing temporal, spatial, and individual data. 
  • This data is then integrated with other information to aid management decisions based on estimated variability, aiming to enhance resource utilisation efficiency, productivity, quality, profitability, and sustainability in agricultural production.

2. Smart Farming

  • Smart farming combines Internet of Things (loT) devices with connectivity to form a networked and automated agricultural ecosystem comprised of sensors, actuators, and intelligent equipment that collect and exchange data in real time.
  • It is a new term that refers to managing farms with loT, robotics, drones, and artificial intelligence (Al) to boost the number and quality of products while optimizing the human labour required for production. 
  • A centralised platform allows farmers to remotely monitor and control many parts of their business. 

3. Vertical Farming and Controlled-Environment Agriculture

  • Vertical farming and controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) are becoming increasingly popular as urbanisation increases. These novel methods involve growing crops in stacked layers or under regulated conditions, such as greenhouses or hydroponic systems. 
  • Vertical farming maximises land use efficiency while minimising the environmental impact of traditional farming operations. Farmers may establish ideal circumstances for plant development all year by using artificial lighting, climate control, and fertiliser solutions. This not only increases agricultural yields but also enables crop growth in climatically vulnerable areas.

4. Blockchain Technology in Agriculture

  • Blockchain technology is making its way into agriculture by improving transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain. 
  • Farmers, wholesalers, and consumers can use blockchain to keep a secure and unalterable record of all agricultural product transactions and movements. 
  • This ensures the authenticity of food products, lowers the danger of fraud, and allows consumers to make informed decisions about the origin and quality of their foods.

Digital Farming Techniques

1. Technologies in Precision Agriculture: A key element of precision agriculture is GPS technology. It enables farmers to plan their fields precisely, which makes it easier for machines to navigate and applies resources in the right places.

2. Drones: High-resolution photographs of fields are taken by drones fitted with cameras and sensors crop monitoring). Farmers can spot problem regions, including pest infestations, nutrient shortages, or water stress, with the use of this aerial imagery. Surveying vast areas quickly and effectively is made possible by drones.

3. Automated Technology: Without the need for direct human assistance, automated equipment with GPS and sensor technology can carry out operations including planting, harvesting, and ploughing (autonomous tractors and harvesters). This guarantees accuracy in farming operations while simultaneously lowering labour expenses.

4. Variable Rate Technology (VRT): It enables the application of inputs such as water, herbicides, and fertilisers to a field at different rates. This method makes sure resources are applied exactly where and when they are needed by considering the spatial variability of crop and soil conditions.

5. Smart Irrigation System: Soil moisture sensors are used by smart irrigation systems to calculate the amount and timing of water that crops require. By doing this, excessive irrigation is avoided, protecting water supplies and enhancing crop health. Remote control of automated irrigation systems is possible via web or mobile applications.

6. Data-driven Farm Management: Software programmes and digital platforms assist farmers in managing several facets of their businesses. These technologies frequently combine information from several sources, such as crop health, soil conditions, and weather forecasts. With the use of farm management software, farmers can plan their planting, watering, and harvesting operations with confidence.

7. Robots for Agricultural Operations: The usage of robots for agricultural operations is growing. These autonomous vehicles can go across fields, effectively harvesting crops or spotting and eliminating weeds. Robotics decreases the need for physical labour while increasing efficiency.

8. Machine Learning: To forecast crop yields, disease outbreaks, and market trends, machine learning algorithms examine both historical and current data (crop prediction models). Farmers may now make proactive decisions and modify their plans in response to situations that are predicted through these predictive analytics.

9. Blockchain: Supply chains may be made transparent and safe with the help of blockchain technology. A blockchain can record every step of the agricultural supply chain, from planting to delivery. In addition to ensuring traceability, this promotes consumer confidence in the origin and quality of agricultural products.

10. Digital Twins: Digital twins create virtual replicas of physical farms. This allows farmers to simulate and optimise various scenarios before implementing changes in the real world. Digital twins contribute to efficient planning and resource management.

Way forward

  • India’s National Al Strategy seeks to unlock the economic and societal advantages presented by the technology. Additionally, it acknowledges agriculture as a key sector for the deployment of Al-driven solutions. In the farming world, ‘Agriculture 4.0’ has gained popularity during the last decade. 
  • Agriculture 4.0 is the seamless integration of internal and external networking in farming processes, much like Industry 4.0. This means that all facets of farm operations must have digital information, electronic contact must exist with outside parties like suppliers and consumers, and automated data transfer, processing, and analysis procedures must be the norm. 
  • Using web-based tools can make managing massive amounts of data easier and improve communication between the farm and outside partners. The future of farming, which will be characterised by autonomous decision-making systems and unmanned operations, is laid out in Agriculture 4.0. Agriculture 5.0 is envisioned to centre around robotics and various forms of artificial intelligence.


  • An important turning point in the history of agriculture has been reached with the introduction of cutting-edge digital farming practices. Using a comprehensive strategy that incorporates multiple technologies to improve production, sustainability, and efficiency in agriculture is what digital farming entails. These innovations enable farmers to fulfil the demands of an expanding global population, produce more with fewer resources, and lessen their influence on the environment. Farming appears to have a bright future as long as the agricultural sector adopts these innovations and finds sustainable ways to feed the globe in the years to come.



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Courtesy: Kurukshetra