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Editorial Notes

[Editorial Notes] Applying modern tech to agriculture

Technology has played a big role in developing the agricultural industry. Today it is possible to grow crops in a desert by use of agricultural biotechnology. Through genetic engineering scientists have managed to introduce traits into existing genes with a goal of making crops resistant to droughts and pests.
By IASToppers
August 12, 2019


  • Introduction
  • Use of modern technologies in Indian agriculture
  • How modern technology can be used to improve agriculture?
  • Conclusion
  • Way ahead

[Editorial Notes] Applying modern tech to agriculture

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  • Continuous improvements in digital tools and data as well as collaborations among farmers and researchers across the public and private sectors drive agriculture towards modern agriculture.


Use of modern technologies in Indian agriculture

  • During the Green Revolution in the 1960s, by using modern methods of agriculture like better quality of seeds, proper irrigation, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, India could achieve self-sufficiency in food grain production.


  • As more technological advances appeared in agriculture like introduction of tractor, followed by new tillage and harvesting equipment, irrigation and air seeding technology etc. leading to higher yields.

How modern technology can be used to improve agriculture?

Monitoring and controlling crop irrigation systems via smartphone


  • By the use of moisture sensors in the ground, farmers are able to communicate information about the level of moisture present at certain depths in the soil.
  • Thus, farmers can control their irrigation systems from a phone or computer instead of driving to each field.

Crop Sensors

  • Optical sensors are able to see how much fertilizer a plant may need, based on the amount of light reflected back to the sensor.
  • They sense how crop is feeling and reduce the potential leaching and runoff into ground water.

Ultrasounds for livestock

  • Ultrasound can be used to discover what quality of meat might be found in an animal before it goes to the market.
  • DNA testing helps producers to identify animals with good pedigrees and other desirable qualities. This information can also be used to help the farmer to improve the quality of their herds.

Usage of mobile technology and cameras


  •  Livestock can be monitored with cameras. The cameras send images back to the central location like an office or home computer. They can keep a closer eye on the animals when they are away or home for the night.



  • A wide range of technologies will enable the transition of modern agriculture in the field.
  • Some technologies will need to be developed specifically for agriculture, while other technologies already developed for other areas such as autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence etc. could be adapted to the modern agricultural domain.
  • Through technology, farmers will have access to disaster warnings and weather information in the situation of disaster event.
  • Moreover, modern technologies can keep farmers up-to-date with cutting edge methods of farming.

Way Ahead

  • If modern agriculture is applied widely in the near future, millions of farmers will be able to benefit from the acquisition of real-time farm information.
  • It is difficult to predict the future of technology in agriculture, however, there are many promising trends and pilot projects.


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