Adoption of precision farming technologies will create 2.1 million jobs in India’s agricultural sector.
With the Indian government focusing on new technologies in order to increase agricultural production and farmers’ income, the adoption of these new technologies will have a positive impact on the agriculture sector in India as a whole.
At a seminar conducted by Broadband India Forum (BIF), a think tank for Digital Transformation, it was revealed that with the adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based applications over 2.1 million jobs – with an annual value of USD $ 4.75 billion – will be created in the agriculture sector.
A BIF study shows that the number of jobs in the Indian agricultural sector has been declining in the past few years. The percentage of employment in Indian agriculture sector has consistently reduced from 52% in 2010 to 42% in 2018 and IoT based applications have a potential in reversing this trend.
Technologies like agricultural drones, satellite mapping, electronic marketplaces, livestock traceability, climate sensing stations, and product traceability will create jobs like those of drone operators, warehouse managers and data analysts in the next 8 to 10 years.
These applications will help create smart farms and will make agricultural output a lot more predictable, which in turn will help improve the incomes and lives of farmers, the study added.
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Recently, the Indian government signed an agreement with IBM India to study the use of AI and other new technology solutions for Kharif crop in three states.
With the usage of machine learning tools, data driven implementation can refine traditional farming processes like live-tracing of weather and environmental changes, monitoring crop-health, water content and also ramp up agricultural output with advanced farming practices.
Apart from this, the Indian government is also working on launching a mobile application with which farmers can rent farm equipment. Having the opportunity to work with modern equipment, farmers can increase efficiency and productivity, thus increase their income.
Several private agricultural companies have already started offering AI services in the country. CropIn, eKutir, NaPanta, Dehart and many more are developing and providing technology for crop monitoring, field mapping, fertilising, seeding and directly connecting with consumers.
Speaking to a business daily, Indian agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the government is committed to enabling the use of new-generation technologies such as AI and advanced weather data for better insights to make faster and more informed agricultural decisions.
New jobs in Indian agriculture
According to the study by Broadband India Forum the majority of new jobs in agriculture will be found livestock traceability (891,030 jobs), followed by agricultural drones (522,640 jobs), climate sensing (316,430 job), satellite mapping (255,343 jobs), e-markets (122,530 jobs) and product traceability (13,403 jobs).