Agriculture is the sector which continues to sit on the driver’s seat and will remain so forever as long as we don’t get rid of stomachs; So it becomes fairly important for any reform or revolution to address this sector and in this race information technology has been the front runner.
Information technology has led from the front in the information sharing process among the Agro scientists, Engineers, Farmers and Students. Because of the core dependency of information technology on Internet might have restricted the reach of the information but situation will not remain so for long.
Now scientists from all over the world collaborate over the internet, for sharing the information about the research on land fertility, seed hybridization, reducing the man efforts and making the farming environment less challenging and cost effective.
In an edition of “The economist”, I encountered something which could trigger anxiety in anyone when it states “1974 Henry Kissinger, then America’s secretary of state, told the first world food conference in Rome that no child would go to bed hungry within ten years. Just over 35 years later, in the week of another United Nations food summit in Rome, 1 billion people will go to bed hungry. This failure, already dreadful, may soon get worse. None of the underlying agricultural problems which produced a spike in food prices in 2007-08 and increased the number of hungry people has gone away. Between now and 2050 the world’s population will rise by a third, but demand for agricultural goods will rise by 70%.” Usual business is not going to better the estimates, as the panacea lies in the maximum involvement of information technology in agricultural research and knowledge transfer.
Agriculture sector has stood against the time and achieved green, white, yellow, blue and cyber revolutions over the time.
Availability of information and effectively using this information is crucial for successful economic development. Information about expert suggestions, material inputs, financial support, technological innovations and changing market conditions have huge impact on agriculture equally as the case with any other sector.
How well the Agriculture involves information technology in itself, will play a major role in determining the future well being of those who have direct dependency on agriculture for livelihood, especially in developing countries like India.
In this context, it is most prudent to extend the benefits of IT to agriculture and not to underestimate the tremendous growth potential to be unleashed in this sector.
Sovereigns of all the countries must take moves in order to mobilize farmers, scientists, institutions and organizations for promoting involvement of Information Technology in Agriculture.