Since its inception, the agricultural industry has been pivotal in shaping the course of civilization. Its consumer base constitutes of the entire planet’s 7.6 billion population and provides livelihood to around 40% of them – making it the single largest employer in the world. Today, critical issues like population growth, climate change, and an increase in consumer demand have resulted in food-scarcity across several developing and under-developed countries. This has driven the agricultural industry to embrace technological advancements in order to boost crop production. Along with the implementation of advanced automated methods of farming and irrigation, farmers around the world have also started to adopt various mobile applications to optimize their crop management.
Mobile applications have, indeed, become an inherent aspect of our lives – being the sole platform through which we perform our daily activities. In the agricultural sector, the advent of such apps has shown great benefits – from better land management decisions to quality produce. Farmers are using such apps not only to monitor the health of their crops during crop-cycle but also relying on their information to make decisions regarding application of fertilizer and pesticides. The days of a farmer to make intuition based judgment has been replaced by advanced systems that analyze data to make sound predictions.
Weather is an important aspect that drives the production of the crop during its growth cycle. In the past, aberrant weather conditions have destroyed much produce over time. With the help of weather prediction apps, farmers now have the upper hand to take a calculated decision about plantation and harvest times. Near-accurate rain predictions for a week helps farmer plan out their irrigation cycles as well.
In addition to ensuring larger and better yield, agricultural based mobile applications have also turned farmers into small-scale entrepreneurs. By using apps that help them make an informed decision about land management, farmers have increased their roles beyond crop production. Apps that convey real-time pricing information to the farmers assist them in selling their produce at the appropriate market price based on supply and demand.
The adoption of these mobile applications shows variations in different nations. As developed countries use more mechanized tools and lower labor force, these applications have found their market high up the value chain. In developing countries, where a greater percentage of the workforce is employed by the agricultural industry, these mobile applications have a more grassroots level usage in producers and traders. In countries such as India, smartphone usage is not prevalent in rural areas due to lack of internet connectivity. Studies predict that by 2020, thrice the number of rural people will be connected to the internet – increasing the smartphone usage. With such usage, such applications will assist them in boosting crop production and the economy.
According to the United Nations (UN), around 815 million suffer from food-scarcity around the world. Global Warming has already caused an adverse effect on crop cycles due to shorter winters and longer summers. Under such conditions, it’s imperative that farmers don’t rely on past information but adapts to the ever-changing environment. The advent of mobile apps can assist them by providing critical information about such changes. As the world’s population is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, agricultural produce should be elevated by 70% for sustenance. In addition to implementing advanced agricultural tools, mobile apps hold the key to ensure a larger yield for the world.