Digitization of Package of Practices for Sustainable Agriculture


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The the mid-20th century Green Revolution introduced what we now know as “Package of Practices”, to enhance agricultural productivity by replacing traditional ways of farming with scientific technologies. These practices incorporate a highly analytical approach to the cultivation of diverse crop varieties and includes all aspects of farming activities, starting from seed selection and land preparation all the way till harvest. These package of practices or PoP are remarkably specific to each crop, so much so one variety’s PoP cannot be applied to a different variety of the same crop, or even the same variety cultivated under different geographic and environmental conditions.

Research institutes and agricultural universities are the primary bodies that develop these practices, with the objective to make farming more efficient and sustainable in the long run. The adequate awareness, education and the thoroughgoing implementation of POP further ensures a bountiful harvest for agribusiness and other farmers. To this effect, modern agri-technology plays a critical role to ascertain that the package of practices recommended by crop experts is being adopted and adhered to by farmers during the period of crop cultivation. This is achieved by digitalising farming and enabling an organised system to monitor farm practices and create a reliable record of all activities that occur on the field.

Challenging Conventional Practices With The Touch Of Technology

CropIn’s SmartFarm® is an innovative digital platform that fuses traditional agriculture with modern technologies to bring about a revolution in the way crops have been sown, cultivated and harvested for centuries. The award-winning SaaS solution has enabled numerous agribusiness and agri-based organisations to revitalize their farm operations in a manner that results in increased efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

Among numerous features that makes SmartFarm® stand out as a go-to solution for hasslefree farm management is its capability to standardise, implement and monitor recommended package of practices for over 388 crops and 9400 crop varieties. Using SmartFarm®, field managers can configure the activity plan for the farms, including detailed PoP for each variety of crop, specific to its growth stage. Field extension officers can then use the mobile application to make certain that these practices are being adopted by farmers at specified time periods, and are being followed exactly as recommended. By doing so, agribusinesses can achieve optimum yields with adequate amount of resources — no more, no less. Some of the farm practices SmartFarm® allows to manage are:

  • Pre-sowing activities such as seed treatment, seed cutting, and transplanting
  • Sowing
  • Application of fertilisers
  • Crop protection activities
  • Measuring MRLs and PHI
  • QA

While SmartFarm® enables organisations to effectively monitor the implementation of PoP at plot and farmer levels, some of the other intertwined benefits of using SmartFarm® for PoP management include:

Ensuring Compliance To Quality Certifications And Export Regulations

Certification Services such as GlobalG.A.P. stipulate a set of farming standards based on the requirements and safety of end consumers. SmartFarm® enables agri-based entities to include these standards in a customised Farm-Level Survey Form, where each activity per the requirement is recorded upon completion. Organisations can thus regulate and track critical parameters that impact quality, such as the amount of quality of seed used, pesticide residue, alerts raised and resolved if any during cultivation, and crop quality. This Form can then be extracted as a report and submitted for quality certification purposes. The same can also be achieved through customised reports, where key information can be extracted from events and activities recorded in the application previously. SmartWare® is CropIn’s packhouse solution that extends SmartFarm’s offerings to facilitate end-to-end traceability of produce beyond the point of harvest too.

The digitisation of all farm activities brings about transparency in the field and traceability of all farming activities, which gives the organisation an upper hand when seeking approval for export to other markets.

Empowering Consumers With End-to-End Traceability

Apart from enabling organisations to efficiently meet quality certifications standards and regulations for international trade, CropIn’s platform also permits organisations to provide consumers with a digital log of farm activities, including the package of practices for the crop, and the post-harvest processes until distribution to retailers. This empowers consumers to take a peek into the production of fresh produce, particularly fruits and vegetables, and trace its movement along the supply chain. This unique aspect of CropIn’s platform assures consumers of the food’s safety and hygiene, and the transparency allows them to deepen their trust with the brand.

Also explore – How does traceability influence food safety, supply-chain transparency and brand image?

Enhancing Engagement With Farmers To Promote Sustainable And Climate-Smart Agriculture

Large agribusinesses that employ numerous farmers, or contract growers for shorter periods of time, SmartFarm® is an ideal solution to ensure quality standards for every crop that is being cultivated. Field officers can periodically interact with farmers to educate and support them in adopting farming practices that make sustainable and prudent use of available resources, in addition to making agriculture climate-smart. By providing the right guidance to farmers on which agri-inputs to use, when and how much, organisations are able to reduce needless application of agrochemicals, cut down on avoidable costs considerably, and control the quality of production right from the start of cultivation. This can also prevent some contract farmers from resorting to conventional, indiscriminate practices they are much accustomed to.

Monitoring The Effectiveness of Farm Practices To Improve Productivity

CropIn’s centralised cloud platform enables organisations to maintain a diary of farm activities and their impact with respect to yield quality and quantity. Using this record of information, the management team and agronomists can examine if the adopted PoP have yielded the best results as compared to the practices that were being followed earlier. The R&D and management teams can also validate if the practices currently in place have produced a yield as expected, or if an activity or choice of input needs to be modified for better results. This way, organisations can make necessary improvements to agriculture for increased productivity, and standardise farming practices universally.

If your agribusiness is exploring ways to make agriculture productive, we might have just the right solution. Talk to our expert today!

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Shyam Shankar

About the Author

Shyam Shankar is a director of products at Cropin, the Agritech pioneer who has built the world's first purpose-built industry cloud for Agriculture - Cropin Cloud. He has 14+ years of experience in product conceptualization and E2E product development for businesses and consumers. He has vast experience in SDLC, User Research, UI/UX, Growth and Monetization in the enterprise product as well as for startups. He has hired and managed larger teams in Product, Growth & New Initiatives and reported to Co-Founders & Executive Leadership. At Cropin, Shyam leads product management for the digitization and intelligence products. He focuses on new innovations on existing functionalities and streamlining them. He is also focussed on building the next generation of agri-intelligence solutions tailored for different customer segments.