IIT Kharagpur launches Online Course on Application of Digital Technologies in Agriculture
IIT Kharagpur has announced the launch of an online course called “Application of Digital Technologies in Agriculture” to train researchers to use smart technologies in India’s agricultural practices. The course aims to train learners on the use of modern technologies such as artificial intelligence, drones, machine vision techniques, computer aided design, and sensors in agriculture.
The online course has been sponsored by NAHEP-CAAST, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi. The short-term course will be conducted by the Department of Agricultural and Food Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
“It is crucial to empower the human resources with digital technologies in the field of agricultural science and technology, particularly in less-explored domains. The penetration of such knowledge will drive further R&D and create a culture to understand and expedite the adoption of advanced technologies in agricultural practices,” said Professor Rajendra Machavaram, joint Principal Investigator of NAHEP-CAAST-IIT Kharagpur.
The NAHEP centre, according to IIT Kharagpur, is integrated by three interdisciplinary research divisions such as Agribots, Agri-Drones and Agri-AGV’s based on four portfolios namely:
- Climate-based Digital Knowledge Support Centre,
- Seed/Seedling Processing and Nursery Automation Centre,
- Smart Portable Machinery Centre,
- Food Processing Automation Centre. It envisages the enhancement of quality and relevance of agricultural higher education to the agricultural university students.
The current course will pilot with the postgraduate and doctoral students, faculty members, and scientists from the Vasantarao Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth, Maharashtra, said a statement from IIT Kharagpur.
ICAR-NRRI developed Mobile app “riceXpert”
The ICAR-NRRI ‘ricexpert’ App provides information to farmers in real time on insect pests, nutrients, weeds, nematodes and disease-related problems, rice varieties for different ecologies, farm implements for different field and post harvest operations. It is a web-based application systems which facilitates flow of information from the farmer to the farm scientist and get their instant solution. Farmers can use this App as a diagnostic tool in their rice fields and make customize queries for quick solution of their problems by sending text, photo and recorded voice and solution received through SMS.
The App is developed for Android platform and can be downloaded from Google Play Store or from www.nrri.in or from www.crri.nic.in web portal. This APP is very useful tool for the researchers, students and village level workers working on rice crop.
At present, around 5000 users have downloaded the app and being used by them. Around 145 queries from the users have been received from the users and being addressed by panel of experts of NRRI and the solution are being sent to them through SMS.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Digital Agriculture Industry 2020-2021
Post COVID-19, the global digital agriculture market size is estimated to grow from USD 5.6 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 6.2 billion by 2021, recording a CAGR of 9.9%.
The increasing demand for agricultural food products, shift in consumer preferences to higher standards of food safety and quality, and unavailability of laborers during COVID-19 are some of the driving factors for the market. However, the immediate standardization process and technological awareness among farmers are some of the restraints in the market.Some of the major players in the global digital agriculture market are DTN (US), Farmers Edge (Canada), Taranis (Israel), Eurofins (Luxembourg), and AgriWebb (Australia).
The field mapping segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR between 2020 and 2021.
Field mapping accounted for the fastest-growing smart management system market in 2021, by value, in the digital agriculture market, as it is the most preferred and adopted way of digital agriculture nowadays. It allows the farmers and growers to monitor the whole farm area through satellite imaging and regulate the processes accordingly. The COVID-19 situation is expected to increase the adoption of the field mapping system, because it allows the farmers to regulate the farm processes remotely without taking unnecessary field trips. The current guidelines of social distancing and prohibition for not getting out from home demand the adoption of such systems, which can help farmers to undertake agricultural activities smoothly.
Asia-Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing in the digital agriculture market during the forecast period.
The market for digital agriculture, by region, has been segmented into Asia Pacific, Europe, the US, and RoW. The Asia Pacific region segment is to be the fastest-growing market through 2021, by value, in the digital agriculture market. Asia Pacific accounts for the most populated countries such as China and India with increasing demand for agricultural products. These countries are also the most two of the most affected countries during COVID-19. The government policies supporting the digitization of farm processes and the need for efficient usage of natural resources, along with decreasing availability of migrant laborers, are expected to increase the adoption of digital agriculture techniques.
This report covers the COVID-19 impact on the digital agriculture market based on customer analysis, growth opportunities, short- and mid-term strategies, smart farming system type, end use application, and geography. A detailed analysis of key industry players has been done to provide insights into their business, COVID-19 impact and services, and key strategies associated with the digital agriculture market.