Technology Plays Crucial Role in Asia’s Developing Agricultural Sector

Thursday, September 8th, 2016 | 573 Views

Drones and accessible mobile broadband are some ways technology can help with agricultural development improvements in the Asia-Pacific region.

This was noted in a strategy guide published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).The report focused on the potential of e-agriculture, a fast-emerging field focused on using information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance agricultural and rural development.

The rapid growth of mobile broadband availability and its increasing affordability could provide rural farmers with associated technologies that benefit their businesses and livelihoods.

An example would be Indian government-launched Farmers’ Portal, which serves as a one-stop shop in India for farmers and provides information on a range of topics including best practices, input suppliers’ networks and agromet advisory. Location-specific information can be accessed by drilling down to the block level. To overcome language and literacy challenges, an SMS portal is used for dissemination of voice-based advisories.

With the recently launched LTE network in India by Telecom Jio making mobile broadband accessible to 90 percent of the population (1.13 billion people), rural farmers in the world’s second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables can see potential e-agricultural benefits.

Technologies such as drone and satellite mapping could also help with quickly mapping areas of agricultural land, giving farmers better ability to monitor harvests.

“The implementation of e-agriculture strategies will help us address challenges to our eco-systems while generating new revenues, improving the lives of people in rural communities and, ultimately, will help us achieve a food-secure world without hunger,” said Kundhavi Kadiresan, the FAO’s regional representative for Asia and the Pacific.