Digital Farming- The Path Less Taken? (SeedWorks International)
Updated: Oct 15, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health crisis; lack of sound measures may further lead to the
global food security crisis and form a vicious cycle. Therefore, it is imperative to minimize the
adverse effect and disruption of livelihood of the poor and marginalized citizens. Agriculture has
taken the centre stage and technology is seen to be the next growth driver of the same. Capital
Investments and focus has risen around the AgTech Industry from both the Private and Government
Research & development in seed business plays a critical role in ensuring the product pipeline for
business sustainability. Conventional breeding is augmented with molecular breeding to accelerate
line and hybrid development. It has been offering significant genetics gains to USAgriseeds® highly
adaptable products across wide geographies in India & abroad. SeedWorks continues to experiment
the use of Artificial Intelligence in precision phenotyping to deliver best seed solutions. One of the
examples is use of AI for physical purity assessment of paddy grains, segmenting them into true
hybrid seeds, other differentiated varieties, and impurities.
The seed production is digitally enabled to capture vast amount of agronomy with environmental
data. SeedWorks is continuously working on utilizing the data with the power of data science to
increase efficacy of the process, forecasting of the seed supply and incremental monetary gains to
the thousands of farmers involved. Over the years, seed producing farmers has seen significant
improvement in their farm incomes and enhanced livelihoods.
The vast knowledge gathered in two decades of association with Indian farming community has
positioned USAgriseeds® as a strong brand in the minds of millions of farmers. The technology driven
assessment of consumer needs, segmentation the markets and product positioning are the key to
success of the fast growing USAgriseeds® brand.
The frontline staff is well equipped with the appropriate tools to conduct product promotional
activities along with physical presence to deliver superlative customer experience. The utilization of
digital applications for data capturing, visualization, and reporting in the multi-location product trails
for the product advancement assessments. Digital Marketing has become an integral part and is
being used via social networking platforms like Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, and other advertising
enablers like Zapr and InMobi.
Rural changes such as increased mobile/internet penetration, cheaper data & storage and increased
technology awareness are leading to mainstream VC/PE funds expressing interest in Agri sector and
high-quality tech-entrepreneurs starting up, therefore making AgTech attractive. SeedWorks is also
tirelessly working with several AgTech start-ups, Government bodies, FPOs and Academia to develop
a digital ecosystem to take the Indian Farmer to the next level. The pursuit of doubling farmers’
income has been the top agenda of the organization and it believes that technology will bring the
next Green Revolution in India.
In this journey, SeedWorks strongly believes to strengthen these AgTech start-ups by providing a pilot ground to test their solutions and a launch pad to take the best solutions to millions of its loyal farmers. To enable the same, SeedWorks organized a day-long Think-a-Thon in joint efforts with FICCI, which saw participation from 11 start-ups and many opportunities to collaborate were identified. SeedWorks dreams to bring scale to AgTech solutions, primarily leveraging Artificial Intelligence-enabled Internet of Things across the value chain. Surely, all these efforts will make goal of doubling the farm income by 2022 a reality. The evolved Agri ecosystem will propel India towards its goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025.
- Contributed by Pulkit Mittal, AVP, Digital Transformation, SeedWorks International Pvt Ltd