December 02, 2018 07:06 PM

Chandigarh (Face2News)

“The key thing now is to ensure that the user interface of technology is improved. Technology must get in the right skilled hands for it to be effective. So, skilling is also important for the success of the Precision Agriculture,” said Mr Rohtash Mal, Chairman and Managing Director, EM3 Agri-Services Pvt Ltd, at a CII-FACE session on ‘Advanced Technologies in Reshaping Indian Agriculture’. The theme of the event was Global Dialogue on Digital Pathways in Agriculture 2.0.

Technology can help reduce the gap between what the farmers gets and what you and I pay for the food on our table, agree delegates at a Global Dialogue on Digital Pathways in Agriculture 2.0

The session deliberated on the current state of precision agriculture technologies available globally. How farmers are using them to increase production and where the next wave of development should focus on to achieve food security for the country was another discussion point.

Mr Ramesh Ramachandran (Senior Vice President - Strategy & Precision Agriculture Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, said, “The first is that Precision agriculture is a must-have; it is a commercial opportunity; it needs to be an end-to-end solution; it has to focus on benefits for the farmer and finally to actually get it implemented on the ground, benefits and partnerships are the key.”
Ofer Goel, Business Development Manager, Kidum, Tech Transfer of ARP Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, Ministry of Agriculture, Israel, said, “Israel has shortage of water and we get over it through technology. We also have a lot of automation to help us and our producers are shipped to Europe.”

James Miller, Chief Technology Officer, TAFE Ltd, said, “Precision agriculture is doing more for less. There is still a long way to go for this, but we are moving ahead. For instance, India has 20 tractors per thousand hectares. There is a difference between scale in farming in India and in most of the rest of the world. Precision agriculture helps in yield improvement as well.”

Pramod Rajan, Head - R & D, International Tractors Ltd (Sonalika Group) said, “For real ground-level adoption of technology, there needs to be a two-way communication between the business and the end-user. Just showcasing technology is never enough; it needs to be made available at the ground level.”
As the last speaker, Anil Sood, Head, ACM Division, Punjab Remote Sensing Centre, Ludhiana, said, “Technology needs to be translated into a language that farmers can better connect to.”

‘Farming will soon be glorious profession’

To a question on whether Precision Agriculture can actually attract more youth to take up the profession, delegates were unanimous that it can help do that. Ramachandran, of M&M, said, “It is like the profession of a chef. It is now accepted and glorified in India as well. The same will happen with farming as well.”

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