Opportunities in Indo-US farmtech: Thought for food

In terms of production, India is now a leading contributor to the global food market. It is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of spices and spice products. Also, India’s fruit production has grown faster than its vegetable production, making it the second largest fruit producer in the world.[1] Given the importance of the agriculture sector, the Government of India, in its Budget 2017–18, planned several steps for the sustainable development of agriculture

Currently, Indian agriculture is facing challenges in meeting the growing demands for food and being internationally competitive. In order to overcome these challenges and ensure sustainable growth, technology has to play a vital role in the sector. Modern agricultural tools and technologies offer a great opportunity to tackle the world’s growing food demands. Improved seeds, modern crop protection solutions and mobile technology for farmers on the fields are increasing overall productivity and also making food safer and healthier. Technology also plays a major role in ensuring that the agricultural and food system is more productive, sustainable and efficient. Greater investment in and broader adoption of science and technology can enable the world to meet the growing demand for food.

The average agricultural productivity of major crops in India (rice, wheat, oilseeds, horticulture crops, etc.) is relatively low as compared to that in other developed countries. Also, within the country, there are high regional variations in productivity. There is substantial scope for improving crop productivity and realising the true potential of the Indian agriculture sector, technological progress is required along farm machinery, irrigation, seeds, fertiliser and pesticides and also towards safe adoption of modern technology, including genetically modified (GM) seeds and precision farming.

The agriculture sector in India has witnessed a considerable decline in the use of animal and human power. This is primarily due to the adoption of farm machinery, which has paved the way for an efficient agricultural system. The use of machines in agriculture has resulted in a shift from the traditional agriculture process to a more mechanised process. Though the level of mechanisation in India is lower as compared to that in other developed countries, it is certainly growing.

The constant emphasis of the Government of India on the adoption of technology in agriculture has resulted in an increase in production and productivity. However, there is much scope for improving the current level of productivity in the country. Therefore, Government of India has launched the Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization to increase the reach of technology to rural regions of the country and also create awareness among stakeholders about the benefits of technology through demonstration and capacity-building activities. The vision is to create hubs for hi-tech and high value farm equipment in the country.

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Sanjay Tolia

Sanjay Tolia

Markets Leader, PwC India

Tel: +91 22 6689 1321

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