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Drones, agriculture and the road that lies ahead

You have seen cars go autonomous. You have also seen delivery fleets get automated with the help of drones.

Now you will see how the agricultural-sector is getting autonomous. Don’t worry, this technology won’t put any farmers out of their livelihoods, in fact, this will enhance everything from the food coming on your plate to the efficiency with which it is being cultivated.

What I am talking about is the integration of modern information and communication technologies with agriculture.

There is also a general term for it which is thrown around a lot, and you may have heard it too.

It’s called the Internet of Things, or the IoT. It is just a fancy term which refers to the hardware which can be controlled using a smartphone, in many cases remotely from any location on the planet, through the Internet.

Now let me throw light on this from an Indian farmer’s point of view. Their woes are plentiful and pretty valid at the same time. What’s simply beautiful is that each of these problems are dealt with ingeniously using modern day tech. Once you take a look at these gizmos, it’s almost scary to notice that every stage has a tailor-made automated solution for assistance.

So, if you tend to tinker around with your Raspberry pies and Arduinos for days, chances are you can invent something which may eventually be used in the frontlines.

So, let’s get going.

Starting-off with irrigation, a Gurgaon based start-up Energy Bots Pvt Ltd has launched a GSM based three-phase IoT device, which gives farmers the ability to control watering-times remotely, just by giving a missed-call or sending a message to the device.

As claimed by their product specialist Parth Bhatt, Energy Bots have developed this GSM operated microcontroller which uses various sensors to evaluate certain parameters like humidity level, moisture content, temperature and soil type. This data is then relayed to the central console which controls the pump mechanics by either switching them on or off and checks the water level in tanks simultaneously.

This takes off a huge burden of keeping track of time along with managing other aspects of farming and almost completely eliminates the distances to be walked by the farmer to manually operate pumps, thereby saving tons of time and energy which could be put to more fruitful uses.

Before going ahead, let’s take a look at what Precision Farming stands for.

Precision farming, quite literally translates as a mathematical solution to optimize the inputs at hand to maximize the output, which in this case is crop yield while also maintaining the overall quality.

So, it’s pretty apparent that automated and technologically equipped devices are way better than us at being precise.