Agriculture and it’s Future
We live in an age where the age-old occupation of agriculture faces turmoil and turbulence in all its sectors and divisions due to the COVID-19 pandemic ramifications. The biggest hit of all will be felt by daily wage earners, who work on the field or behind counters day and night to put together meals for the coming days. Due to the input of the farmers being affected, the entire output received has been disturbed. Crops that are ready for harvest await their fate in the fields, where they are left to rot, hampering the future crops that will take their place, or they are disposed of by the farmers. It calls for losses and extra costs incurred to carry out the disposal process for the crops that are no longer fit for consumption.
Various other factors contribute to the increasing losses faced by the agricultural sector, including the restriction of movement and transportation, which means that even the crops cannot reach their destination. Due to its diversity, the agricultural supply chain consists of so many sectors and verticals that because of the COVID-19 panic entering each industry, the supply chain’s disruption feels enormous. Sectors of the agricultural industries relying on the export of goods for sustenance are also hit tremendously due to movement restrictions. Products that are perishable and do not have a long-drawn shelf life, which have already shipped, await various countries’ ports. Once they surpass their shelf life, they will not be fit for consumption, which causes losses to all parties who have been part of the export process since one entity will not bear all the damages. However, it would be ideal for targeting specific export markets where the analysis can see increasing demand for certain types of produce, e.g., the need for grapes in China is rising.
In times like these, technology has a tremendous role in smoothening out processes and assuring the best deliverance to consumers. AgTech companies are working from home, keeping their clients’ systems up and running 24/7. However, individuals who work in the field, even from the AgTech industry, are trying their best to sustain the hits felt due to not conducting site visits or other daily agronomic operations.
The situation begins to work towards reestablishing day-to-day processes and procedures; there may be a shortage of produce we face. The demand will rise while the supply falls, creating a gap in the cycle. Crops like wheat will survive the summer heat due to it being a summer crop, but fruits and vegetables will most definitely require adequate water to be fit for consumption. The farmers will also require seeds, fertilizers, whose supply has even halted. It will affect the new crops as well as the late harvest. Produce like onions will be available in abundance due to the ample amount of supply foreseen. Counteract this unprecedented drop inactivity; several factors will assist the growth of agriculture post the lockdown. Technology will be a pulling factor in this, as manual labor, which is unavailable, will be substituted by technology. Technology in agriculture will assist individuals in gaining transparent knowledge about the products they will consume. Due to the reservations that consumers have of the produce, they are wasting when everyone focuses majorly on their health, traceability and transparency will be appreciated.
There are different opportunities for companies to supply products through online portals, the fact of individuals not leaving their homes and who require groceries to be delivered directly to their houses will surely increase demands for these businesses in the coming months. Technology can also help enhance transparency in this age where everyone is extremely wary of the goods coming into their homes. Tech software can enable trust-worthy resources, showing consumers the fundamentals of all products they are purchasing to provide them with authentic sources. Alongside AgTech and AgMech companies having various business opportunities emerging for help during these unfortunate times, even post-production companies will have specific opportunities. Companies that harvest, clean, grade, pack, and then proceed to offer goods to consumers can do so in a way that individuals can confidently consume that produce.
To sum up, post this pandemic, the farmers in the country and the agriculture supply chain will need the assistance of technology more than ever, and that is what the AgTech industry is working towards at the moment, results of which will be soon – confirmed by Sahinya Sundaresan, Trivium Media Group, Pune, on behalf of FarmERP, Shivrai Technologies Pune in discussion with Prittle Prattle News through a Press Release.