INDIA is an agrarian economy, a country where more than seventy percent of the citizens are dependent on agriculture. But still adequate service is not meted out to the farmers by the government. We have televisions such as LED TV’s, 3D TV’s where images pop out of our screen, technology is abundantly spent on entertainment purposes, but the same is not in the case of agriculture. Technology has served a lot of areas such as health care, entertainment, security, domestic needs, etc.; it has grown in leaps and bounds but the same is not in the case of agriculture. Technology is now meant for optimization in these areas but agriculture still needs a footprint of technology in it. So here we need to discuss how technology can be used to improve agriculture.
Initially we need to analyze the requirement and the scope of technology in agriculture. There are irrigation facilities, pumps, motors, fencing, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.; Then we may think what more is needed here, but still information is required. Agriculture is dependent on climate and other factors. It requires an all-round monitoring. In that case we need to develop a system that can monitor, regulate and control crop growth in agriculture. We cannot develop automated robots but we do it in a cost effective way. If we inform prior to situations and different crisis which are arising, it also contributes to efficient crop growth.
How we Do It?
Technology’s ‘need’ has been analyzed, now we need to materialize it. We have already defined our objective which is to provide information on all issues that are related to productivity of agriculture. We hence need to maintain a database which stores all information regarding the crop chosen for cultivation, on-field men involved, weather conditions and water bodies nearby.
So we need to communicate it to the farmers using a hand-held device such as a mobile phone on the receiver side. But as we know, farming is adopted in large parts of INDIA. Hence immense amount of information needs to be stored; hence we can adopt Cloud Computing where cloud storage of information can be implemented. A separate cloud server for each state can be maintained.
Hence we need to completely understand how it functions, let’s take a state such as Tamil Nadu. A cloud server for Tamil Nadu will be maintained. It houses information, geographically of different farmers and their corresponding crops. Also other details such as ground water table level, amount of fertilizers and pesticides used, crop selling price last harvest, etc.; cloud computing is used because it accounts for easier data storage and retrieval. Then accordingly alerts are sent to the farmer through SMS which reaches their phone for performing a certain operation.
Monitor, Regulate and Control
Monitor, regulate and control are the essential functions performed by the cloud storage system. We need to understand their role and implementation in the system. We have discussed in outline how this technology works. But still we need to know its real time operation. For that we need to understand the functions of Monitor, Regulate and control.
Monitor– we need to monitor the essential factors that govern the crop growth in a field. Those are already discussed such as crop implemented water table level, etc.; these are continually monitored by the cloud server, in case a factor goes beyond the stipulated limit, alert is sent to the farmer. In real time, say the farmer is at his home and the moisture content in the soil goes beyond the stipulated level, then the cloud server senses this and issues an alert to the farmer about the situation so that he can take adequate measures, also the whole process can be automated if the cloud server acquires permission to irrigate the field and hence automatically run the motor and pump the water to the field.
Regulate– we have a system put in place that can monitor, but we need this to be versatile as we know in different times, different crops are grown in different geographical locations. Hence if we sense large scale implementation, we need the server to differentiate between various crops and locations. For this proper ‘regulation’ of prompt service is required. For this we can carry out a hierarchical approach.
That is we can use a dedicated server for each state that is 28 servers for 28 states. The need of regulating information flow is that right information reaches the right person. If we automate it for only monitoring, same activity will be carried out irrespective of factors such as crop grown and location. Regulating this cloud technology makes it provide self-intelligent, adaptable and a prompt service.
Control- next we have made it versatile, we need it to be adaptable. That is we need it to be adapt to crops grown and climatic conditions. A farmer may grow a certain crop for a certain period and then may switch the crop; in that case the cloud server won’t be accountable. This is a case , another is we may go through a patch where water scarcity may happen, now the cloud server if automated needs to control the inflow of water to use it judiciously. Hence we need to draft an ‘Adaptability’ solution. For that we maintain two cloud server, one is the crop server and other is the Phase server. The crop server, stores the types of crops that are suitable to be grown in a certain soil, so that even when the farmer switches the crop, the cloud adapts accordingly so that it synchronizes with the particular crops growth period, water, fertilizer and pesticides requirement and monitors accordingly. A crop growth needs to proceed through a lot of phases such as tilling, weeding, irrigation, maintenance and cost initialization. The resource requirement will be varying for different phases. That is, in the tilling phase, seasoning of the soil for making it fertile will be done, hence here water requirement will be less, this water can be directed to a nearby field in irrigation phase, and hence efficient utilization of resource is carried out. Controlling hence means making a system adaptable so that it never is static but changes according to the need and requirement and prompt information is always provided.
Figure shows a control system for auto-irrigation and auto maintaining trenches
This technology may require a lot of capital; it can be neutralized only if en masse participation happens. That is all farmers need to be a part of this technology for agriculture, for that awareness needs to be brought. Farmers need to be made aware of the importance of technology for agriculture and on how to use it. This can be started from a smaller service area such as one or two villages and then can be expanded.
Manpower for Implementation
This technology discussed till here is a design of it, it requires implementation in real time. For that technical professionals need to be brought in to build its architecture. The government which may maintain this server can outsource from leading IT companies in INDIA. It may lead to an efficient and reliable system which is put in place.
Concluding, we can say that this technology may be tough to have a good reach but government and citizens need to take responsibility to make it a feasible one. Agriculture needs a facelift in terms of support services provided for it, this may be make inroads for prosperity of farmers. This technology surely will account for productivity of the farm and prove to be a technology that may be a state-of-the-art one in the field of agriculture in the very near future.