Driving Change: Key Agricultural Innovations That Will Shape India’s Agriculture Sector in 2024.

Agriculture has often been seen as integral to India’s efforts to become a fully industrialized and developed nation. It ultimately accounts for about 18 percent of the country’s GDP and provides livelihood to more than 55 percent of the country’s population, according to available data. The country is at the top of the world in terms of production volumes of many agricultural products, from milk to cereals, fruits and vegetables. With exports to exceed US$ 40.9 billion in 2023 and the total agricultural market estimated at US$ 350-500 billion, India’s agricultural sector is poised to become the food basket of the world. However, this requires investment in innovation and technology to improve capacity and productivity to meet future goals.

As the year 2024 begins to dawn, industry players have high expectations for the adoption of agricultural innovations due to important budgetary considerations. A promising year awaits players in the agricultural sector in terms of agricultural innovations. From artificial intelligence (AI) to machine learning, robotics and automation, there is a long list of technologies expected to shape India’s agriculture sector in 2024 and beyond.

Breakthroughs to watch out for

One of the most alarming technologies that will drive agriculture in 2024 is automation. Drone Kisan, one of the fast-rising unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) used in the agricultural sector, is gaining ground in India. Kissan drones will become essential plant protection tools used to spray plant protection products on plants to protect plants from insects, pests and diseases and ensure productivity. Similarly, the Government of India has identified Kisan drones as an important part of the country’s Agriculture 4.0 vision. Most of them have a payload of 15 liters and a flight time of 30 minutes; enough to spray some parts of the farm, help with pollination and also control. Fortunately, there are a number of government programs that support the proliferation of drones on the nation’s farms.

The Government of India provides various support and interventions through several programs including Kisan Drone Yatra and Kisan Drone Yojana. On the other hand, small groups of women owners are offered drones, which they can sell to local farmers at a subsidized price. On the other hand, the government provides subsidies to smallholders covering 75 percent of the cost of each drone, making such technologies accessible to small and marginal farmers. In 2024, the transition to precision farming will also accelerate. This means increasing remote sensing, global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS) and data collection to support site-specific crop management. If there is internal variability in the field, it is also easy to detect and correct. Precision farming also allows farmers to change the amount of seed sown and the amount of fertilizer, for example, per square meter.

Aerial photography, biotechnology, the Internet of Things (IoT) approach, and RFID technology are other technological tools that are becoming increasingly common in the Indian agriculture sector. Although these methods may seem out of reach for poor local farmers, schemes such as cross-subsidies can be envisaged to be promoted. In addition, extension services for agricultural innovation training must be strengthened so that farmers are also taught to use new technologies.

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