Can farmers see the future? Can they earn double what they earn usually? Can they increase profits using artificial intelligence? Thinking impossible! There is one problem with the farm bills, that nobody talks about. And that is, that these 3 bills focus on marketing. They ignore inputs, production, and quality of production. But there are some AgriTech start-ups looking at farmer issues and trying to find genuine solutions to these problems.
India is the world’s second-largest food-producing nation. Even then, 7 out of 10 farmers want to give up farming. There is some problem right? Due to the protests, our focus has shifted to farmer problems. But let’s take one step forward and focus on those who have some solutions. I know not many people read this article because talking about solutions is never trending online. But still, I want to give it a try. Who knows, someone in your friend list can benefit from this.
And the Indian farmer is poor because he cannot see the future. What if he gets the power to see the future? A lot of things in agriculture depend on unpredictable nature. how much will it rain? What if there is a pest attack? What if we eliminate guesswork and bring in artificial intelligence? And what if this can help improve and raise profits?
Fasal uses data to reduce water wastage and improve profits. You have a solar-powered device that looks like this. One end goes into the soil and collects soil health data. The other end collects specific weather-related information and uses a simple app to transfer this information to the farmer.
What do farmers get?
Weather predictions for 14 days! The app uses data to predict pest attacks in the upcoming days. How to stay safe from such an attack? What precautions to take? The farmer can now take all these decisions ahead of time. Taking action after the attack costs Rs. 4,000 for example. But it costs much less say Rs. 400 to take action before the attack. By learning the moisture content of the soil, the farmer can make watering decisions accordingly. Farmers from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh used Fasal to earn money. To date, these instruments have saved 3 billion liters of water.
According to the Punjab state government, the report says groundwater will dry by 2039. The farmer has to go as deep as 200 feet to get water for crops. Once it runs out of groundwater, an agriculturally rich state like Punjab will have to depend only on monsoons and river water. To save agriculture, we need to start saving water that is misused. If farmers moves from smart technology to smart agriculture, then farmers won’t be poor.
The Indian farmer is poor because people take advantage of him/her. When we interacted with the farmers and we understood their problems and issues. And we learned some interesting facts. Farmer is duped while buying inputs in the market and they are duped when they sell their produce. Agents sell them to ash in the guise of fertilizers and enrich themselves at the expense of the farmers when the harvest is sub-standard, the farmer is forced to sell it at low rates in the market. This is a vicious cycle.
DeHaat works to remove farmers from this vicious cycle. It is a technology-based marketplace. DeHaat helps farmers from seed to market. It gives farmers inputs, seeds, and fertilizers at correct prices and buys their output at a competitive rate. There are more than 350 centers in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Odisha where people treat farmers as friends, not fools. They guide them and improve their income. The biggest part of DeHaat’s business model is trust. They go to villages and convert villagers to micro-entrepreneurs. These micro-entrepreneurs work at DeHaat centers. The centers function in a 6 km radius. They supply inputs to the farmers and buy output from them. The output is sold without middlemen to institutional buyers.
The farmers who had trouble having a meal twice a day can send their daughters to private schools! When farmers spend less on inputs and earn more on outputs, the farmer won’t stay poor. The Indian farmer is poor because he/she is technologically backward. Agriculture contributes 15 percent to India’s GDP. Sounds impressive, right? But 50 percent of India’s population depends on agriculture. This means 50 percent of the population is contributing 15 percent to the GDP. The problem is not that the farmer does not work hard.
The problem is in spite of working hard, farmers, cannot get the right results. Not getting exposed to technology also has a role in this technology which is out of reach for a small farmer. 86 percent of Indian farmers are small and marginal farmers. The farmers have land less than 2 hectares. Purchasing an Rs. 5 lakh tractor is a huge investment for them. If you don’t buy a car but still want to use it. You can hire cabs through Ola or Uber today. Similarly, if a farmer cannot afford a tractor, the farmer can now hire the tractor on demand. Samadhan fulfills this need
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