Ludhiana, October 15, 2019: In an inspiring interview with the Colorado State University Professor and Founding President of International Society of Precision Agriculture, Dr Raj Khosla, there were revelations that the youth in the United States and Canada are returning to agriculture.
“Once having left farming for its drudgery and not so great returns, the youth are getting attracted back to farming, what with precision technologies promising to create the next biggest revolution in agriculture”, declared Professor Khosla. He echoed similar trends in the Indian context too, given accessibility to the product. Citing example of a Karnataka based chilli farmer with about 2 acres of land holding who jumped at the idea of sensor based technology to monitor his small farm, Khosla says there are many such farmers who are ready to form groups and pay for these advanced technologies as long as their physical burden and mental stress is relieved. “Instead of having to constantly monitor fields for various purposes, these technologies allow them space and time to pursue leisure activities”, stressed Khosla. He said the future belongs to precision agriculture and now is the right time for graduating students to think of it as a profession whether as technology manufactures, service providers, scientists, engineers, bankers or land tillers.
Professor James Lowenberg- DeBoer, President, International Society of Agricultural Engineers, said the real impetus in precision farming would come through research in collaboration with small manufacturers, start ups, entrepreneurs willing to take small amount of risk. It is later that the bigger companies would jump in. Additionally it is important to keep telling policy makers to take policy decisions that deter farmers from getting locked into old technologies. Today farmers have the requisite information, there is credit for finance and purchase, although prices are a concern; yet conducive policy decisions that are locally viable, can help farmers adopt precision agriculture.