In the contemporary environment, farming needs to be both sustainable and profitable. It is no more just a function of soil, seeds, water and human labor. The growing population needs to be fed in such a manner as the fertility of land is kept intact for the next generation. One of the tools and thinking available for this is precision farming. This includes new technologies like GPS, sensors and monitors for irrigation, planting and fertilizing equipment etc. Technology needs to be deployed in increased dosage and in innovative manner since world population is growing, agriculture land is shrinking, natural resources are finite and depleting, and agriculture workforce is diminishing. Technology solution can close these demand supply gaps by substituting one input with another, increasing productivity, and keeping agriculture a worthy and profitable enterprise. And, as we said in beginning all this while not destroying our natural habitat. Internet of Things (IoT) technology is deployed to ensure application of resources to achieve high crop yields on one hand and reduce operational costs on the other. Put together it–precision farming – involves use of software, IT services, wireless connectivity and accompanying enabled specialized agricultural equipment.
The global farming market for precision agriculture was valued at $383 million in 2017. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.7% between 2017-2026 and is likely to reach $13,016 million by 2026. It is a very promising market, what with inevitable huge cost savings and government initiatives to adopt modern agricultural management practices. Advanced analytics, coupled with deployment of IoT, uses numerous tools and methods to understand, analyze and forecast data and outcomes so that sustainable and higher yields can be obtained. Increased growth opportunities in developing and populous nations (such as China and India), smart automation potential and possibilities, spread of Drone technologies, and many other factors offer huge opportunity for IoT based agricultural farming. This is not to deny, however, that yet underdeveloped infrastructure, lack and competence of adopting modern technology, and need for higher initial investment may act as dampeners. In short there is a need for higher initial caution and need for a comprehensive analysis.
Answers to a number of questions must be provided by an analytical study. One, the size of the IoT in agricultural market over 2019-2024, with attendant growth rate. Two, revenue generated from different applications, such as livestock monitoring and management, indoor farming etc. Three, key trends and future opportunities. Four, attractiveness of the market to different stakeholders. Five, future drivers of IoT in agriculture. Six, equally important, headwinds coming in the way of adoption of precision farming. Seven, strategies to overcome the obstructing challenges and expand revenue and market share. Eight, competitive strength of the key players in the global IoT in agriculture. Nine, ‘what if’ scenario planning (i.e. assumptions and limitations of analysis and forecast of the Global IoT in this market). Ten, segment wise analysis of the market (in terms of regions, technology, size of investment needed, etc)… The list of questions given here is not exhaustive; many more need to be answered by a research study.
Broadly the market is analyzed in terms of
Applications: farming crop scouting, milk harvesting, climate control management, aquaculture ….
System: Sensing, communication, cloud computing, data management
Region: North America, Europe, Pacific, South Asia etc.
Company: AKVA, DICKEY JONES…..Trimble Inc.
There is a need to generate raw data from authentic sources in both qualitative and quantitative dimensions, and then analyzing it by collecting, collating and then a statistical scrutiny is to be undertaken. In the final phase interpretation of outcomes is required. This all ofcourse encompasses presentation of facts, figures, and findings in an attractive and easily comprehensible manner.
One needs to have a 360 degree look of the market.
Contributed by: K.K. Srivastava
KKS is an academic, author, writer, researcher, and corporate speaker. He writes regularly on Economics, Management, Technology, and others areas.