In a bid to boost agricultural productivity, several countries across the world are implementing Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies and digital solutions for smallholder farmers.
Speaking at the Global Technology Governance Summit organised by the World Economic Forum, Jayesh Ranjan, Telangana principal secretary (Industries and Commerce), said the state was using 4IR technologies to double farmers’ income.
“30% of the state’s annual Budget is spent on agriculture and there are 25 pilot [projects] from intelligent crop sowing to a data marketplace, across the whole value chain,” he said.
“They are providing good outcomes at every part of the value chain, from sowing crops to harvesting. It’s an important national priority to double the farmers’ income,” Jayesh Ranjan said.
The virtual event was moderated by India Today TV’s executive editor Shiv Aroor.
Policy adviser to the Bangladesh government’s flagship digital transformation programme a2i, Anir Chowdhury, said there were now an unprecedented set of actors in agriculture — farmers, researchers and tech startups.
“41% of Bangladesh’s total workforce is in agriculture, but most are independent, they are less educated, and many illiterate, so we need to overcome barriers to introduce 4IR technology,” Anir Chowdhury said.
Susanna Hasenoehrl, Director, Asia, Yara Asia Pte Ltd, said financial incentives might not be enough and farmers should be empowered with knowledge.
“There are farmers without smartphones, yet digitally connected and can become more productive and sustainable,” she said.
Susanna Hasenoehrl further said that Yara had invested in apps for smallholder farmers of the world, including in India, where millions of farmers use apps to farm in a more “sustainable and climate-smart manner”.