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Agriculture and Emerging Technologies – Made for Each Other

Blog: NASSCOM Official Blog

Agriculture and Emerging Technologies – The Two Diversities

(Social, Mobility, Analytics, AI, Cloud, IoT, Blockchain, Big Data, AR/VR)

Agriculture as a subject and Agriculture Ministry is quite diverse in terms of its coverage & composition. The stakeholders under ‘Agriculture’ are too many and too diverse in nature. Agriculture is a subject, everyone in the Country is directly and/or indirectly connected and relates to. Agriculture & allied sectors (Agriculture) contributing around 15% to GDP, and around 50% population dependent upon Agriculture. The Agriculture contribution to GDP has been going south over years. This is quite a serious concern; however, it calls for disruptive transformation on yesterday basis with most urgency to keep Agriculture relevant.

It is not a matter of choice; it is compelling and a compulsion. I would like to make a bold statement, can we achieve with ‘Agriculture’, what India has done to IT and IT&S!!!

Agriculture has a huge potential to achieve higher yield, if concentrated, holistic, and comprehensive efforts be made with optimal technology interventions. To a large extend in India, it is also a matter of scale; hence, role of technology interventions with consolidated focus can make the BIG difference.

I would like to make another bold statement, ‘Urbanisation of Rural’. It is not about commercial malls, multiplex cinemas, multistory luxury apartments, … It is about take demand side to supply end, create employment opportunities, and enhanced inclusiveness.

ICT (Information Technology, Communication, and Telecom) certainly offers natural benefits of technology adoption like efficiency, optional resource utilisation, propensity to reforms, transparency, … The Emerging Technologies (ET) can provide impetus in disruptive manner and achieve transformational transformation. Some of the ETs have the tremendous power & potential to

  1. Conceive new business and portfolio in terms of products, services, and solutions
  2. Conceive new business model, Go-To-Market, Delivery, Service & Support, …
  3. New dataset and information
  4. Connect the unconnected dots in terms of people, data points, related & unrelated, …
  5. Disruptive transformational thinking and new ways of doing everything is the differentiator of ET

Emerging Technologies-led solutions and propositions are more Value-led, very different outcome and end-results can be achieved. ET-led solutions are created once, and different stakeholders can just keep leveraging over time for different purposes.

It may be interesting to look at some of specific characteristics of ET(s) and contextualize the same in Agriculture perspective.

Emerging Technology
Core Competence
Agriculture Relevance
Social Crowd-sourcing, connect facelessly, connect impersonally, share views & thoughts, discussion forum, … Social collaboration is among the new norms, reach is becoming most global and world is getting smaller.  

Bring stakeholders together for ideation, teams building, collaborations, fund-raising, feedback & evolution mechanism, …

Social provides ‘true inclusion’ opportunity to anyone and everyone into anything & everything, directly and/or thru’ forums, connect thru’ unconnected,

Social is relatively easy to leverage and integrate.

Mobility Anytime Access from Anywhere, Anyhow, …  

Everyone, incl less educated and irrespective of socio-economic factors, is quite Mobile-ready & Mobile-friendly.

Mobility is the answer and proven technology for Nation like India, esp considering its socio-economic-geo-political blended with Education.  

Mobility is in midst of every new conversations, Transformation, Reforms and conceiving new solutions from inclusion, reach the un-reach, interactive & engage-able, … perspective across sectors.

With current user-base, usability, apps, applications, … Mobility is simplest to reach end-beneficiary by any stakeholders in even simplest manner including NO LANGUAGE.

Agriculture and Mobility are like ‘made for each other’ considering requirements & challenges of both.

Predictive Analysis Data is New Oil, Data is New Currency, Data is New Gold. Today’s times are too much of Data, all over. Data is connected, unconnected, related, and unrelated.  

In modern days, the power of data is phenomenal and unprecedented in conceptualizing new business model, new markets, new products & services, …

Data is monetized, certain businesses have come up with the power of data. The type & size of Data determines the power of it.

The predictive analytics tools & technologies power the exploitation of varied data available allover and help organisations do wonders.

Agriculture needs comprehensive and disruptive transformational transformation for more than one reasons, and these reforms are extremely overdue for revival from three perspectives (a) maximise the yield through optimal exploitation of resources like soil, water, markets, agriculture equipment & machinery, … (b) people to focus on Rural & Agriculture by creating compelling environment for people to stay in rural with growth potential and (c) innovation and research & development. All these three can be best achieved by collation, comprehension, interpretation, and application of data for NextGen Agriculture in NextGen India.  

Industry tools & technology, right resources, SME (Subject Matter Experts), and modern day’s innovators can create data-led new conversations & perspectives for a new Agriculture World.

Policy makers, funding organisations, decision-makers, Academia, SME, Beneficiary, Industry, and other stakeholders needs to come a common platform comprehensively.

AI/ ML1 Connecting the unconnected data & information, Chatbot, Natural Language Processing (NLP), power of thinking out of box through data, ability to continually self-learn, … AI/ ML is all about Data and Agriculture has massive data, possibly grossly unexplored.  

AI can be applied in various areas wrt. Soil health & productivity, Rain system, Irrigation & Water management, pesticide management, fertilizer, what combination of products to grow, how to maximise yield, Safety & Security of sectors like Fisheries, de-risk strategies to cope with natural disasters, … are potential areas of focus.

Drone-based artificial rain, multi-purpose autonomous tractors, Agricultural Robots, … are among the potential multi-purpose solutions.

Machine-Learning algorithms has the capability to continually self-learn from new data, pattern, behavior, trends, … they are exposed to and make predictions.

AI/ML are among the best and most desired ETs to achieve innovative, disruptive, yet real desired results. Many times, the outcome of AI/ML may provide a new & altogether different dimension & direction to think & act.

Cloud Entire ICT Infrastructure, Platform, Productivity tools, and even Applications are/can be available on Cloud, and be utilized on monthly consumption basis. No need to make upfront investments, No Capex. So diverse data, so much of data, so much of data processing, so much of number crunching & data usage, so many stakeholders with multiple roleplays, and …  

Functional-Technical-Non_Functional requirements across ICT (Information Technology, Communication, Telecom) stack require evolving diverse architecture. Integration and Interoperability among the key ones.

Research and Innovation data requirements are really massive.

Cloud do offer various SLA-based services and solutions per user’s requirements.

In today’s World, Cloud is the answer for any & every requirements of ICT; esp when sector and requirements are so diverse and wide-spread.

IoT (Internet of Things), Bigdata Censor Data IoT is primarily about Censors and Blockchain is 5 V(s): Variety, Velocity, Volume, Veracity, driving Value.  

AI can be applied in various areas wrt. Soil health & productivity, Rain system, Irrigation & Water management, pesticide management, fertilizer, what combination of products to grow, how to maximise yield, Safety & Security of sectors like Fisheries, de-risk strategies to cope with natural disasters, … are potential areas of focus.

Blockchain Decentralized technology, enhanced security, Immutability, distributed ledger, … Agriculture data is expected to be widely spread among connected & unconnected users. Agriculture data, sensitive in nature as many crucial & sensitive research, innovation, and business use case would need to access & contribute.  

Centralised database concept is just not possible for may reasons. Decentralised data with selectively available for sharing would need data to be non-temper(able), i.e. high level of security and traceability.

Some of the very characteristics of Blockchain are natural requirements of Agriculture.


AR/ VR/ MR2 AR is Digital Live World. VR takes user into real-world simulation and imagined environments. MR is ideal combo of real-world and digital objects interact. Agriculture and AR/VR/MR looks best fit use cases, as if made for each other.

1 AI/ML: Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning

2 AR/VR/ MR: Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality/ Mixed Reality


The critical and going forward requirements of Agriculture would be blend of ICT BAU (Business As Usual) and Emerging Technologies, fully complement and supplement each other. It appears, as if designed for one another.

Devpal Singh, Sr. Vice President – Smart City & ICT Services

The post Agriculture and Emerging Technologies – Made for Each Other appeared first on NASSCOM Community |The Official Community of Indian IT Industry.

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