Since the advent of mobile marketing and the widespread use of the smartphones and similar technological devices to disseminate information to the target market and then gathering valuable feedback and interacting with potential customers in real-time has revolutionized the way data is collected, monitored and evaluated. Mobile apps are leveraged over mainstream and traditional approaches to gathering important data crucial for the development of business.
Farmers are not only connected with each other but can also fetch a good market and price for their produce and feed the ever growing human population; the stats of which states that there are 7 billion people on this planet which are expected to rise to 8 billion in 2024 and 10 billion by 2056 . If population explosion continues to go in this trend, there would be a demand surplus and a supply shortage and food production would have to be doubled to feed all the hungry mouths on this planet. This calls for heavy farm and agricultural machinery driven by sophisticated technology and tracked regularly to achieve practical targets.
The old way of doing things
The traditional approach to keeping an eye on your records include the typical pen and paper, clipboards, log histories or at the most jotting it down using a smart device but it eventually requires human labor and intellect to do so. However, we all know that this methodology is not very cost effective and may affect levels of productivity due to human error. Agricultural development projects have now taken a drastic shift to experience positive changes through communication and information technologies. Business processes now demand a more lucrative platform that allows an exchange of information in real-time to field workers.
The concept of Ag Big Data
The seamless integration of technology in recent times with business processes across industries is the new buzz and the entire business model working behind ‘Big Data’. Basically, it is all about processing and analyzing the most relevant information from the exodus of data present at our disposal and interpreting it in a way that it can actually be put to use to dexterously and competently come up with viable solutions at par.
Farmers and agricultural professionals are constantly on the quest for getting their hands on valuable data making agri-business a potential target for big data. Crucial farming decisions pertaining to climatic/soil conditions etc. are needed to be made which can only be made on the basis of facts and figures.
Access to big analytics has set exemplary performance standards and has shown the scope of promising rewards, in the long run, the result of which is the rise of Ag big data technologies with a range of service providers consisting of both hardware and software solutions to agricultural constraints.
It is due to the unprecedented growth and breakthrough in Big data that is the main driving force behind the advancements in precision agriculture. This term encompasses all the techniques and tactics leveraged by professionals in the agribusiness industry to make the best of the resources available. Precision agriculture (PA) is one of the most established and surefire ways of approaching agricultural management in a way that uses IT to gauge soil and crop quality to yield maximum yields and efficiency. It is made sure that the ways opted for are environmentally friendly and sustainable. The whole amalgamation of software, services, and personalized equipment helps get insight into real-time data about crop condition and the most opt conditions for growth along with resource availability , climatic conditions and labor costs.
Sensors, satellites, and robotic drones are some of the equipment that is used along with predictive analytics to thoroughly process the data. Irrigation, planting and harvesting decisions are all aligned when the basics are taken care of. Fertilizer applications also take into account soil density helping save unnecessary costs from being incurred. Also, Big Data can be used to detect the beforehand risk of pest infestation without manually surveying pieces of land and minimizes effort and time wastage.
The World Bank and e-Agriculture experts from several different fields gathered for a global discussion in 2012 to present valuable information about the way ICT- that is software, mobile applications, tablets and smartphones have facilitated information sharing and real-time data collection on the field assisting them in monitoring and evaluation (M&E).