Key Mega Trends defining the Future of Farm Mechanization
Mumbai, November 25, 2021:The pandemic triggered increased adoption of mechanisation dueto labour migration, resulting in good growth in farm machinery sales in FY 20-21.Identified as a key tool to increase agri production globally, several studies suggest a direct correlation between farm mechanization and increased yield. This leads to several economic and social benefits for farmers. Farm machinery industry in India has largely been focused on low technology implements mainly manufactured by unorganised workshops in rural areas. Hence it needs to grow rapidly like the tractor industry. Indian and global brands are furthering efforts in this space.
This will drive manufacturing employment, technology development, improve farm incomes and create export opportunities for India.Technology changes include fuel injection systems, modified air management systems and exhaust after treatment systems. These would ensure that farm mechanisation continues to be sustainable in the future. Dealer networks and employees are gearing up to be future ready to be able to adapt to the requirements that these new technologies will bring in.
Hemant Sikka- President, Farm Equipment Sector, Mahindra Ltd. & President of Tractor and Mechanization Association (TMA) says,“Farmers need focus on agronomy advisory services, access to advanced farm equipment on rent and new-age precision farming solutions to bring down costs, improve productivity and income.”
DIGITAL ACCELERATION IN RURAL INDIA
Sophisticated communication technologies and networks provide monitoring and precise control on equipment today. Cutting-edge connectivity technologies are transforming agriculture.Companies like Mahindra have developed technology solutions aimed at empowering owners, fleet operators, drivers, dealers and service teams to access information about tractors on a real-time basis. Farmers have the ability to remotely collect and manage information from their field equipment by using telematics technologies connected to their smart phones. The acceleration of digital adoption in rural Indiacan be attributed to affordable smart phones, cheaper data plans and the government’s thrust on Digital India.
- Information gathering is increasingly happening online for huge amounts of date collection.
- Besides typing-in search words, rural users also navigate the web using voice search on their mobile phones
- Clear preference for visual content (videos and images) over text.
- Emergence of social media influencers for local sources of knowledge and advice.
- Easily downloadable app-based advisory servicesin local languages.
The 3 Vs – Voice, Video & Vernacularalong with the increased digital thrust will reduce information irregularities among farmers.
The pandemic triggered increased adoption of mechanisation due to labour migration, resulting in good growth in farm machinery sales in FY 20-21. Farm machinery industry in India has largely been focused on low technology implements mainly manufactured by unorganised workshops in rural areas. Hence it needs to grow rapidly like the tractor industry. Indian and global brands are furthering efforts in this space. This will drive manufacturing employment, technology development, improve farm incomes and create export opportunities for India.
RISE OF PRECISION FARMING
The future of precision technologies in India is being built on two components. One, automation of farm activities with smart machines. Second, remote sensing of detailed farm parameters that enable these machines to act with precision to create desired outcomes.This can be achieved through hyperspectral imagery analytics which will help interpret imagery, to give farmers information about their land and crops. Field video cameras, sensors and drones are used to collect crop information in real time. Power of imagery analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning will help generate commercial benefits for the small farmer, opening up many possibilities for farming in the future. Hence, precision farming is expected to grow at a faster pace.
TRACTOR & FARM MACHINERY ON PAY FOR USE
We need to provide technology driven services for small farmers. These must be progressive, affordable and accessible for increased productivity and profitability. New delivery models like pay per use farm equipment model will help farmers improve income per acre. There also needs to be a good blend of physical and digitally enabled services across the complete crop cycle to help farmers adopt better more effective farming techniques, powered by newer technologies like AI, IoT and digital solutions. Farmers need focus on agronomy advisory services, access to advanced farm equipment on rent and new-age precision farming solutions to bring down costs, improve productivity and income.
ECOSYSTEM OF START-UPS
The future of farming lies in ecosystems which creates value for all the stakeholders. Excellent collaboration opportunities exist in the agri ecosystem where there is so much of heterogeneity and complexity along the farm value chain. Product centric firms are continuously striving to utilize platform-centric models to compete in the digital age. Platforms facilitate interaction between producers and other businesses along value chains and value networks besides boosting performance of the farm as a unit. Layering up the platform with intelligent algorithms including AI/ML will better facilitate producer activities, digitization of payments, monitoring of inventory etc.