Agriculture Computers help in agriculture? It can’t sow seeds or harvest crops or irrigate fields. But it can definitely help the farmers and the agricultural scientist in various stages of farming. And why haven’t we used computers in agriculture till date? Just one reason, farmers are not comfortable with computers. And since there’s no market for such a technology, the industry never bothered to consider that field for making any software.
Countries like USA and Australia use software in their day to day farming activity. It helps them choose the right crop for their field, track the growth and accounting after harvesting. Clearly such technology is useless for Indian agriculture scenario because most farmers in India cannot effectively use it and only a few would be willing to invest in such a tool. So can computer technology really help Indian or other countries agriculture? And my answer is a big yes.
It has a bigger role to play in Indian agriculture than in any other countries. Indian agriculture systems have a symbiosis between farmers and agriculture scientists. Scientists need input from farmers about their experience, to come up with new strategies for farmers. If we can somehow avail all the necessary data to scientist, they can for sure come up with better strategies. And if we can aid in their strategy planning by providing tools to do that, scientists will be able to compare different strategies.
Having leveraged the scientists to come up various farming strategies, the next obvious step is to enforce these strategies through farmers by letting them choose the one which suits their land the best. Imagine software, which can predict the soil fertility of a land after harvesting a particular crop, provided we have the soil fertility information of the land and the crop to be harvested now. Well if you can predict the fertility of the soil after a particular crop harvest, it lets you decide what’s the other crops can be cultivated later and helps decide the best crop rotation policy.
This would guarantee the highest yield all the time. We are not in an ideal world where everyone is a computer wizard. In such a non-ideal world, what good would it bring if given to farmers? How many farmers are out there who can efficiently use such a tool? How to make software that is so easy to use even for farmers? On the other hand, if we give this tool to scientist or government officials, they can help farmers choose the best crop for their lands.