IoT-Based Smart Agriculture in India

AKANKSHA GUPTA1 and UMANG SINGH2

‘Department of Computer Science, Swami Shraddhanand college, University of Delhi, New Delhi, Delhi 110036, India

institute of Technology and Science, Mohan Nagar, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh 201007, India

'Corresponding author. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

ABSTRACT

Proliferation of technologies can strengthen agr iculture field for assessment of agriculture-related information such as water level, productivity of crops, soil quality, and proper fertilizers as per soil type. In fact, fanners can remotely access, receive updates of weather forecasts, and monitor their land through mobiles and computers. Furthermore, there is also a need to enhance skills and knowledge of fanners in harvesting so that excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers should not affect natural ecosystems and quality of food products as well. Thus, proper awareness of important information in agriculture, such as soil forecasting and weather forecasting, is one of few common problems for nationwide Indian fanners. For transformation of traditional agriculture to smart agriculture, the Internet of things (IoT) plays a cmcial role in providing information to fanners about their agriculture fields. Monitoring of environmental factors can be done with the help of IoT-based devices and related environment. This chapter initially critically analyzes, assesses, and addresses the existing problems related to agriculture, and then, integr ation of sensor technology and its integration with the IoT have been studied and reviewed based on real-life existing problems. Furthermore, this attempt presents a solution for sustaining soil quality in varying weather conditions so that issues related to sufficient knowledge about the soil can be optimized.

INTRODUCTION

Agriculture is the back bone of India as it provides employment to over 60% of the population. In addition to this, food products such as pulses, rice, spices, wheat, etc., are also outsourced from India to worldwide. Therefore, agriculture plays a vital role in the economic development of the nation and contributes to making a country from developing to a developed nation. Furthermore, India is well known for its diversity in culture, religions, caste, traditions, and beliefs with a mixed compound of 28 states, nine union territories, geographical location 8° 4' and 37° 6' North and longitudes 68° 7' and 97°25 East within an area of 3,287,263 km2, where approximately 1,210,569,573 people are living. Due to different weather conditions (temperature, humidity, rain, etc.) and soil conditions (moisture, pH level, and nutrition level), Indian fanners are facing many problems, which is a veiy important and serious concern in today’s scenario [1-3].

In the past few decades, numerous technological transformations have been observed in the area of farming, which are based on a technology- driven approach as compared to the old manual techniques. This scenario has led to smart farming—an emerging concept of integr ating technology with agriculture in order to increase output with minimum efforts.

With the help of this new emerging concept, information such as soil, temperature, humidity level, rail fall status, fertilizers, storage capacity of water tanks, etc., can be easily obtained. In addition to this, farmers have control over livestock monitoring and growing crops performance. However, in traditional agriculture, extensive farming, use of indigenous tools, cattle raising, lack hr harvest production, and use of the slash and burn method are important characteristics. Due to the use of the slash and burn method in the traditional approach, the organic matter from soil is reduced very rapidly.

There is a need to motivate small farmers and provide ways to boost crop productivity such as rice. Table 8.1 shows the current rice productivity in various states of India.

Most of the farmers here possess less than 2 hectares of land. Therefore, there is need of employing more technological tools to improve the crop productivity within limited resources, knowledge, and awareness.

LITERATURE SURVEY

For agriculture, soil, light, and water are important sources of productivity of crops. However, soil erosion continues to be a major environmental problem with regard to land use in India. In fact, soil erosion is a big problem in India. Zaimes et al. [13] have discussed about soil conversation issues in India. The authors have focused on soil degradation in Himalaya region, Indo-Gangetic plains, diy and arid regions, and coastal lands in India.

TABLE 8.1 Top 10 Rice-Producing States in India (2016)

Sr. No.

State

Rice Productivity (in million tons)

1.

West Bengal

15.75

2.

Uttar Pradesh

12.5

3.

Punjab

11.82

4.

Tamil Nadu

7.98

5.

Andlira Pradesh

7.49

6.

Bihar

6.5

7.

Chliattisgarh

6.09

8.

Odisha

5.87

9.

Assam

5.14

10.

Karnataka

3.95

Soil erosion on hill slopes, shifting cultivation, sheet erosion, ravine lands and floods, shifting sand dimes, wind erosion, and improper land management are major challenges in various agroclimatic areas of India. Tints, there is a requirement for various reclamation programs for efficient learning and training [14] and land use planning to improve productivity in limited lands, hi 2016, India’s total geographical area was 328.73 million hectares (mlia), reporting area was 304.89 mlia, and area used for agriculture purpose was

264.5 mlia. The authors discussed that important combination of factors for soil degradation depends on various factors and equals 147 million hectares of land (94 mlia from water erosion, 16 mlia from acidification, 14 mlia from flooding, 9 mlia from wind erosion, and 6 mlia from salinity). To enhance the production capacity of the ecosystem, there is a need to monitor the domain to restore vibrancy. For this, fanners require thorough information of fanning cycle, market price, and current production level statistics along with available basic knowledge of each crop for in depth understanding. Mohanraj et al. [15] have discussed the benefits of information and communication technology (ICT) in agriculture sector and have presented the path of rural fanners to replace traditional techniques. In this chapter, comparative analysis between the developed system and the existing systems is discussed. Gubbi et al. [16] have focused on various Internet of things (IoT) devices, which will enable fanners to enhance food production by 70% by 2050.

An automated soil erosion monitoring system that works on the principle of measuring the soil erosion on the surface as well as the factors that affect the erosion process has been proposed in [15]. It works by measuring the ground-level changes, rainfall patterns, ah quality, weather temperature, soil temperature, and soil moisture through remote communication (using ultrasound waves) and then analyzes the data for measuring the soil erosion. The authors have presented this automated system in Tliasos Island, Northern Greece, where they have studied the impacted areas for erosion and collected data for environmental quantities to study soil erosion. They have used solar power supply, a special-purpose data logger and a remote communication unit to collect data. Such a system can highly benefit by incorporating the IoT system and practices. IoT devices such as sensors and microcontrollers can sense the surrounding data and communicate it over a network to the cloud. Thereon, the collected data can be analyzed easily for environmental factors and the soil erosion process. The IoT can provide a more robust and automated system to study the erosion factors. Such a system, if used in India, could prove to be an asset in increasing the productivity of agriculture to a large extent.

CURRENT PROBLEMS FACED BY FARMERS

In India, agriculture is the major source of income for about 47% of the population, contributing 16% to the national GDP. The economy of the country is highly dependent on the agricultural yield. In addition, it is also responsible for fiilfrlling the basic needs of food, raw materials, nourishment, and strengthened environment for the people. Even though agriculture is the main source of income for a vast majority of people in our country, there are many problems that are faced by the fanners on a daily basis leading to bad crop and eventually bad turnover for these people. A few of these problems can be observed in Figure 8.1.

A major reason for failure to produce a crop good in quality and quantity is soil erosion. Either the soil selected is not according to the expected output or the good soil gets eroded by climactic conditions such as rain or winds. Bad soil often leads to a low yield. Seeds are also the most essential input for attaining a high yield, but uneven distribution of good seeds in the market and lack of high quality seeds due to their cost often leads to poor input and hence equally poor yield for the fanner. In the cunent conditions, the change in climate over the years has led to an unstable and nonstatic environment for the agricultural field. Extreme heat across the world has led to a large fall

Major agricultural problems in India

FIGURE 8.1 Major agricultural problems in India.

in the yield of the fanners. Erratic rainfall also causes major losses and crop damage. Inigation is another most important aspect of fanning, but despite the fact that India is the second largest irrigated country of the world after China, the irrigation facilities are not up to the mark, and only a small amount of the total cropped area is covered. Due to varied climate conditions and uncertain rainfall, irrigation becomes more important and should be taken care of more prominently if we want to reach high standards of fanning and agriculture in our country. Most of the work in fanning such as irrigation, crop sowing, soil monitoring, weeding, and transportation of crops is still done manually in most parts of India. Carrying out such tasks manually, using tools such as wooden ploughs, leads to a more time-consuming and difficult-to-irnplernent process. There is also the added lack of precision, which leads to low yields for the fanners and wastage of human resources as well. Hence, there is a requirement to automate basic tasks in agriculture for maximizing output and minimizing human efforts. Employing machinery and related tools can highly benefit to help in avoiding wasting of labor force and add convenience and efficiency to fanning methods to facilitate increased production. There is also a lack of storage facilities available to the fanners in India, which often leads to selling of the crops immediately after harvesting and mostly at lower than expected prices. The income of a fanner could be highly increased if adequate storage is made available to them so that there is no rush to sell the crops fearing damage. The Parse Committee estimated the postharvest losses at 9.3% of which nearly 6.6% occurred due to poor storage conditions alone [10]. Transportation of crops is also a major concern due to the lack of good connectivity of cities to the village areas in the country. The existent roads are also not durable enough in changing weather conditions and hence are unusable many times, leading to failure of transporting of the crops on tune without spoilage. In conclusion, we can say that the agricultural sector in our country suffers from a large number of basic problems, which should be rectified and dealt with on an immediate basis. One of the best solutions to counter these problems would be to deploy IoT methods in smart fanning.

 
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