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How IoT and Big Data help farmers analyse and plan activities

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Agritech company FarmERP was incepted as a part of Shivrai Technologies over a decade ago, keeping in mind the struggles of farmers and the pressure on them to grow exceeding produce by the day, on limited areas of land. Initially, as the digital divide was apparent in farming, incorporating IT solutions into farming was an exceedingly difficult idea. However, in 2001, the software platform firm got its break, when it developed its first multilingual multimedia content for farmers in India for Government agencies and grower associations. And there was no turning back thereafter. Today, FarmERP is a part of over 12 industry sub verticals including plantations and farms, contract farming, R&D institutions, Government bodies, export and pack house industry, farmer producer companies and various others.

To know about how the use of technology in daily agronomic activities allows the working patterns of the farmers to become more professional, predictable and profitable and much more we caught up Sanjay Borkar, CEO & Co-founder of FarmERP. Edited excerpts.

How is FarmERP helping the entire farming and supply chain ecosystem? Are there other ends to it?

 FarmERP is a multi-user and multi-location integrated software platform. Currently, it is being used in farms, by farmers for various tasks like procurement, processing, financial data management as well as predictive analysis and supply chain. In terms of helping the farming eco-system, it helps farmers analyse and accordingly plan for their activities, with major insights from IoT and Big Data. It also helps understand intelligent data driven insights which in turn improves the real-time decision-making ability of the users. These insights allow an improvement in the supply chain eco-system.

How is FarmERP helpful in modern day supply chain?

 FarmERP is a digital bridge that assists individual farmers as well as corporate entities streamline their agribusinesses. FarmERP uses tools like machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain, computer learning, etc.,  allow its users to practice sustainable and profitable agricultural operations. The modern-day supply chain is systematically broken as of today owing to the global pandemic of the Covid-19. FarmERP is a platform that works towards the establishment of an online supply chain so as to allow individual farmers as well as farmer producer companies and agribusinesses at the corporate level mitigate their losses faced during the pandemic stint, along with tapping into new online markets for their produce. We are also working on traceability, climate resilience, food safety and sustainability as core values, in line with the sustainable development goals of climate change and zero hunger.

How can agritech help in the present pandemic scenario?

 The agricultural sector is one such industry which cannot simply shut down its operations during this time of turmoil, as it is the most essential business providing sustenance to the masses. In fact, according to Ramesh Chand, member of NITI Ayog- barring all adversity, the agricultural sector is still expecting a growth of 3 per cent. Technology and agritech specifically will have a large role to play amidst this pandemic. Owing to the lockdown, many farmers and individual labourers as well, do not want to risk the safety of their family as well as their own which is why they tend to stray away from ‘on-site work’. Agritech will play a large role to take all the operations to a digital forum, where processes will be made easier and more organised, along with an increased level of efficiency where farmers will be able to focus more on the quality of produce instead of the quantity, and will be able to mitigate various risks they face on a daily basis including climate risks, pests and insects, optimum levels of fertilisers and pesticides which would be best for their produce, micro-finance to run their businesses, and many more.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

The most important aspect that this pandemic has highlighted is that no matter the size of your organisation, or the power you hold, you could be equally susceptible to invisible entities such as the Covid-19. I urge individuals to rethink their consumption patterns and put more of an emphasis on ‘healthy eating’ along with extending support, in whatever capacity they can to the individuals who work extremely hard to keep your essential services in stock and updated regularly. The farmers, labourers, migrant workers, among many others are doing their level best to ensure processes run smoothly during this time of crisis and it is our duty to appreciate their efforts in whichever way possible.

If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at edi[email protected]


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