Technology fatigue refers to the condition in which farmers and agricultural stakeholders feel overwhelmed or disenchanted with the adoption and usage of technology in the agricultural sector.
It is a rising concern among farmers who may feel burdened by the rapid rate of technical improvements and encounter difficulties integrating technology into their previous agricultural practices.
Technology fatigue in Indian Agriculture: Reasons
- Compatibility and complexity:
- Integrating current agricultural technologies into conventional farming practices can be difficult, particularly for farmers with low technical competence. It necessitates an awareness of various crops, soils, and local conditions.
- The variety of available technologies, as well as their differing compatibility with certain agricultural situations, might make it difficult for farmers to select and apply appropriate solutions.
- For small-scale farmers in India, agricultural technologies such as machinery, sensors, drones, or precision farming equipment might be prohibitively expensive.
- Farmers may be discouraged from adopting new technologies due to high upfront costs and continuous maintenance fees.
- Precision farming equipment, such as soil sensors or drones, for example, can cost a lot of money depending on the brand, features, and usefulness to comprehend the benefits and application of new technologies.
- Return on investment:
- Farmers may be hesitant to adopt new technologies if the advantages are uncertain or the return on investment is unclear.
- Concerns about new technologies’ profitability and cost-effectiveness might breed scepticism and resistance to change.
Technology fatigue in Indian Agriculture: Steps taken
According to the Swaminathan committee study, one of the major causes of the agrarian crisis is technological fatigue.
The former governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Rangarajan also identified technological fatigue as one of the main problems in agriculture. He further added, “Agricultural productivity is low in India, compared to other countries. The yields of almost all crops have stagnated, and that is clear evidence of “technology fatigue”.
- Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) initiative aims to bridge technology gaps in farming by centralising agricultural technology transfer management. It provides technical guidance, training, and innovative technologies to farmers, promoting a farmer-centered extension system.
- Ministry of Farmers Welfare has begun the execution of the authorised Agricultural Mechanisation Promotion Scheme, with the primary goal of lowering air pollution caused by stubble burning.
- Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) are agricultural science facilities that were formed as innovative institutions to provide vocational training to practising farmers, school dropouts, and field-level extension functionaries.
- Blockchain for Natural Farming:
- A lack of quality output and traceability has impeded India’s food exports while also discouraging growers.
- Blockchain technology has the potential to help bridge this divide.
- With the cooperation of the State Government, a pilot project for data collection has been initiated in Himachal Pradesh.
- Agriculture is identified as a key sector for the development of AI-driven solutions in India’s National AI Strategy. According to the Niti Aayog, AI in agriculture is predicted to increase at a 22.5 per cent CAGR and be worth $2.6 billion by 2025.
The Saagu Baagu pilot was launched in partnership with the Government of Telangana, making it the first Indian state to implement a framework for scaling up emerging technologies in agriculture.
- The government has launched Agricultural Accelerator Fund to promote the agtech ecosystem, intending to potentially spawn new start-ups that would improve digital adoption and the variety of digital solutions available to farmers.
- Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) encourages to invest in technology-driven solutions such as the adoption of modern agricultural practices, farm machinery, and equipment.