Technology is changing our lives and the lives of people around us. We see it everywhere – whether we want a nearby taxi or eat some cool food from a new place – technology has made it possible for you to get all that at your doorsteps with just a click.
But have you ever wondered what technology is doing to the lives of people who are responsible for the food we eat? More than 50% of India’s workforce is in agriculture and these are the people who bear the harsh sun and rains and produce the best quality produce to fulfil our appetite. They work with multiple hardships be it climatic changes, market inflations, pricing fluctuations, imports, unseasonal rainfall etc, yet continue to feed the nation. What does future hold for them? How is technology impacting their lives?
Now technology is revolutionising their lives by making it possible for them to connect with successful peers and be part of farmer-to-farmer interactions along with getting access to best seed and best crop solutions. Farmers trust experience and expertise just like their urban counterparts for doing business innovations. Today’s farmer wants to be sure how anything that they invest their time and resources in, will bring value for him. Technology is making it possible for farmers to connect to an agronomist (sitting 1000s of miles away) and enable them to take wise decisions.
Ramesh Bhai Patel a farmer, to understand this better. He lives on the outskirts of Baroda city in Gujarat and has 12 bhiga (16 acres) land on which he plans out for the upcoming sowing season. He is conscious about his produce and is always looking for ways to improve his yield. Plus he is also eager to learn what technology can do for him. However, he often comes across basic challenges like lack of knowledge on how to solve crop symptoms or buy the best agri-products of his trusted brands which he needs for his farms considering the closest market is many many miles away. AgroStar’s android application which he can access on his smartphone is attempting to solve these problems piece by piece.
“Having access to expert advice & loads of best brands of agri-products, and knowing how to solve problems in my crops will help me produce better yields, so I can increase my savings.”
– RAMESH BHAI PATEL
AgroStar’s mobile app is a platform designed to help farmers like Ramesh Bhai who want to get the right solutions and make informed decisions for their farms and in turn make their lives trouble-free. Farmers can browse through a wide variety of agri-input’s like seeds, crop protection, and crop nutrition products along with hardware told like spray pumps, on the palm of their hands. They can get access to information like what’s the right quality of seeds for their farm? What’s the right dosage of a particular crop nutrition product to be applied? etc.
Farmers get to browse a wide assortment of products and brands and get to see their MRP and AgroStar pricing. If they have additional questions they simply need to click on the “Need Expert Help” for a consultant from AgroStar to call them back.
While studying the behaviours in Gujarat, we realise that today’s farmers are willing to invest in new technologies and new agricultural approaches. AgroStar aims to make it obtainable for them; provide access to best practices for farmers, a better social network, inspirations, positive stories, and additional support to practice new techniques on their own without being intimidated by technology. Technology that is people-centred, simple, need driven and reliable. The ultimate goal is to drive innovation and improvements to farmer’s lives.
In near future, we are looking for re-interpretation of the farming practices through the use of data-centric technologies. And this re-interpretation is placed right within a new vision of rural India. Quite deservedly, the future must belong to them!
Author: Muzayun Mukhtar, Head – User Experience at AgroStar