Impact Farmer Profitability With Adaptation To Climate Change Through CropIn’s AgTech Platform
Agriculture is the main source of Karnataka’s livelihood. The Department of Agriculture (DoA) mainly provides Agricultural Extension services to farmers to transfer the latest technical knowledge to the farming community. They provide primary seed and soil testing facilities, technical information on crop selection, crop production related know-how, and market information among many others to farmers to improve their skills and knowledge so that it will boost agricultural production and productivity. They also perform other statutory functions like ensuring quality inputs, regulating production, arranging interface with public and private sector technologies, and timely supply of inputs like fertilisers, pesticides and seeds.
Climate Change And Irregular Rainfall
Indian agriculture remains vulnerable to the vagaries of weather. Karnataka has the second largest rainfed agricultural areas in the country, and food production here mainly depends on the southwest monsoon. Only one-fourth of the total sown area (30,900 km²) is subjected to irrigation and the remaining land is dependent on monsoon rains. Additionally, the state’s mean annual rainfall is found to be in decreasing trend along with its sixteen years cyclic periodicity as a result of which these lands are more vulnerable to drought. The major objective missing here was a robust crop planning and proactive advisory strategy where all the farmers could be brought under a digital platform.
Lack of Awareness Among Farmers
Lack of awareness had impacted the farmers in a pronounced way. They were finding it difficult to deal with usage of agrochemicals, water management, soil fertility management, and the declining quality of crop. Due inadequate knowledge transfer, training and demonstration, the farmers were not able to improve on the crop varieties and yield. Apart from these the other issue that usually emerged was managing the post-harvesting period.
Climate change and irregular rainfall
Poor market linkage
Lack of awareness of right PoPs among farmers
Irrigation Infrastructure Utilisation For Maximising Income
With the existing agricultural practices and techniques, it was not possible to maximise the return on the large irrigation infrastructure plan. Absence of crop diversification was also one of the reasons for less income among the farmers.
Poor Market Linkage
For small and marginal farmers, marketing their products is the main problem. There was a big communication gap between the farmers and the market, wherein the market was completely unaware of the whereabouts of farmers and similarly farmers had no idea where they can supply their produce. The farmers were also not linked with cooperatives, which would have otherwise proved to be a better access to the market.
Structuring Access To Credit Through A Digital Platform
Though various banks and other MFIs were interested in lending to farmers, there was an absence of a digital platform that could link them to these farmers. The lending institution did not have any mechanism to assess the risk associated with credit, and real-time data was also not available to help arrive at the right decision.
Manual Work by the Officials
All the data were being recorded manually by government officials and it usually took them weeks and months to monitor, note changes in yield, and input the correct data to document and file it accordingly. This led to data inconsistencies that made verification a plodding job.
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