Modern farming: Cutting-edge tech integrated with plant bioscience

The tech innovations in the AgriTech sector are significantly contributing towards changing the face of conventional Agricultural techniques.

Ashok Pandey
New Update
Modern farming Cutting edge tech integrated with plant bioscience

The tech innovations in the AgriTech sector are significantly contributing towards changing the face of conventional Agricultural techniques. Modern tech is minimizing farm labour and helping in smart farm management.


With a massive increase in the human population and environmental changes, innovations in the AgriTech or AgTech space will be crucial for sustainable growth. The agricultural industry is rapidly adopting technology to address its most pressing challenges.

Modern farms and agricultural operations work far differently than those a few decades ago. Modern farmers are utilising sophisticated technologies which are helping farmers’ work-life harmony and making things faster, smarter, and less wasteful.

The agricultural industry has evolved over several centuries, with new seeds of innovation being sown on a regular basis. Man and machine have joined forces over the years, and this trend is expected to continue as our priorities move and the world's geography changes. Agriculture’s technological innovations satisfy the increased demand for farm automation, digitization, and sustainability.


Emerging agricultural trends point to a shift toward smart farming and more efficient use of time and resources, all the while minimising crop losses. Today cutting-edge technologies integrated with plant bioscience are laying down the foundation of modern farming. These technologies are designed to help farmers enhance crop yield and field and soil health in accessing a better grasp of the capabilities of their land while saving them time and money due to the rising need for food on a global scale.

The Role of Technology

•Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms: Some of the most unique and innovative trends in AgriTech involve using AI and ML algorithms. These technologies are helping to increase productivity, enhance efficiency and improve sustainability in agriculture. They are helping farmers reduce production costs while increasing crop yields to meet the increasing demand in global markets.


•IoT and optimized crop monitoring: IoT provides an alternative to traditional methods. An IoT device contains one or more sensors that collect data, analysis and provide accurate information in real-time. These sensors perform countless activities such as soil temperature and humidity sensing, and plant and livestock tracking.

•AgriTech advancement in robotics: Agricultural robots assist farmers in fruit-picking, harvesting, planting, transplanting, spraying, seeding, and weeding.

•Drones: Drones collect raw data, which translates into useful information for farm monitoring. This data optimizes the application of fertilizers, water, seeds, and pesticides, driving precision agriculture.


•Agricultural Biotechnology: Biotechnology in agriculture improves the quality and production of crops and livestock. Scientific techniques like plant breeding, hybridization, genetic engineering, and tissue culture facilitate the identification of better traits in plants.

•Precision Agriculture: Precession agriculture or farming is the latest technology trend in global agriculture. This technology manages resources like water, fertilizer, pesticide etc. for a specific tract of land, very carefully and precisely by using big data. This technology connects remote sensing systems, drones, robotics and automation and helps farmer to manage their farm resources more efficiently to do a sustainable and profitable agriculture.

AgriTech Trends

  • Integrations of tech and science in Agriculture: While the potential of technology agriculture has been considerably leveraged in the past few years, the industry has also begun to recognize the role of bioscience in increasing the quality and productivity of crops. The data stack collating inputs from—Satellite imagery, IoT and drones, biomarkers and RNA level data. Thus, providing precision advisories to farmers by integrating the intelligence delivered by technology and science.
  • Sustainability: According to research conducted by the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water, less than 4% of Indian farmers have implemented sustainable farming methods and systems. It is necessary to develop appropriate agri-reforms and incentive systems for farmers to adopt sustainable practices, and to educate consumers and farmers on sustainable disposal of agriculture waste and against use of chemical fertilisers. There is a range of biofertilizers, pesticides, and stimulants that are 40% more efficient than its chemical alternatives. These solutions are a viable alternative to progressive farmers and encourage them to practice sustainability.
  • Digitalization of agricultural procurement: Agricultural procurement is being digitalized to keep up with farmers' growing demand for agricultural input items. Global trading platforms provide market linkages to agri stakeholders globally across 16+ countries across Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.  These platforms enable our farmers to export domestic produce at a higher margin.

AgriTech innovations are crucial for agricultural growth as the global population increases and the demand for food rises. Historically, India has emerged as a leader in agricultural innovation, spearheading its Green Revolution to positively impact crop yields and build resilience dramatically.

Sushan Rungta CTO

Sushan Rungta CTO

Sushan Rungta – CTO, Absolute

The innovations in AgriTech are helping to make agriculture more efficient, sustainable, and responsive to the changing needs of consumers. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way we grow and consume food and will likely play a significant role in feeding the growing global population in the coming years.

The government of India launched the AGNi initiative to harbour innovations in AgriTech. Through it, they plan to rectify gaps in the ecosystem and bolster various aspects such as connecting farmers, traders, input dealers, logistics providers, academia, institutional purchasers, POs, government departments and consumers. They have created a platform where exchanging information, aid, and advice can occur within the farmers' community and other parties involved.


Continued innovations are being driven to bring predictability to agriculture by leveraging ML and AI and delivering insights about weather, pests, disease, market, risk, yield etc.,

Dr. Sairam Reddy Palicherla

Dr. Sairam Reddy Palicherla

Dr. Sairam Palicherla, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, Urbankisaan

Indoor vertical farming is the latest innovation in agriculture technologies globally. This technology ensures food production under any harsh climatic conditions. Although a lot more refinement is to be brought in this technology to make it energy efficient and farmer-friendly, this is the only ray of hope for future food security.

Biosolutions, cattle feed alternatives that help reduce methane emissions, innovations in food safety and food traceability, supply chain transparency, and genetic engineering developments are being implemented and explored at scale.

Devendra Gupta Co Founder CEO Ecozen edited

Devendra Gupta Co Founder CEO Ecozen edited

Devendra Gupta, Co-Founder & CEO, Ecozen Solutions

AI will play a significant role going forward, however, we can see this in India and Africa as well, the power transition to renewables in agriculture is also gaining momentum. We see tremendous potential in this transition from grids to decentralised mini-grids. This would effectively balance agriculture's push for increased productivity and its impact on climate change.

In addition to the innovations listed above, IoT interventions, remote sensing equipment, and ANIDERS (Animal Intrusion Detection and Repellent Systems) powered by infrared sensors to monitor cattle and prevent intrusion of animals in the farm are being developed and piloted.

The greatest threat to agriculture

While Indian agriculture has performed reasonably well over the last two decades, in terms of record production the sector is beset with difficulties, primarily those pertaining to sustainability, nutrition, and the adoption of new agricultural technologies. Some of the major threats faced by Indian agriculture are:

  • Unseasonal rainfall, floods and droughts: Extreme weather events such as floods and droughts, coupled with unseasonal rainfall, pose a serious threat to agricultural productivity in India. In addition to impeding plant biological growth, climate change also causes crop damage through increasing insect and disease attacks. Small and marginal farmers have been found to be more vulnerable to the effects of climate change thereby resulting in a surging demand for crop insurance.
  • Fragmented landholdings: The number of farm holdings in India has increased over time, while the area under cultivation has decreased. As a result, the average size of holdings has shrunk significantly. Today, marginal and small holdings account for 86% of all ownership in India. Farmers are nearly unable to invest in tube wells, drip irrigation, storage, or bulk inputs due to the fragmented land occupancy structure making the production costs higher than their returns.
  • Lack of awareness in farmers: Lack of awareness in Indian farmers is prohibiting promising technologies from reaching to their fields. Farmers needs to be educated about the usage of high nutritive seeds, implementing advanced technological interventions along with helping them demand the right worth for their produce, thus protecting them against fraudsters.
  • Use of chemical fertilizers: Excessive and disproportionate use of chemicals influence the life of beneficial soil microorganisms responsible for maintaining soil fertility, quality of water table thereby resulting in the contamination of agricultural land. While we cannot entirely prevent the harmful consequences of chemical fertilisers at an instant in time, we can certainly reduce the impact by limiting their usage and promoting the use of biofertilizers.

Above mentioned threats have left no other option than next-generation reforms such as the adoption of environmentally sustainable and climate-resistant new farm technology, the development of a market for land consolidation, and improvements in post-harvest practices.

Fast growing urbanization is leading to the shortage in farmland and farm workers. Without addressing these major challenges, it is impossible to do a sustainable farming and securing a clean and safe food will never be a reality.

Future farming technologies are addressing these challenges:

•Indoor Vertical Farming: Indoor vertical farming can increase crop yields, overcome limited land area, and even reduce farming’s impact on the environment by cutting down the distance travelled in the supply chain.

By using either hydroponics or aeroponics, it is one of the smart farming technologies introduced in the recent days. Indoor vertical farming uses the vertical space and enhances the productivity by many folds per unit area while precisely controlling critical farming variables such as light, temperature, water and carbon dioxide.

Dr Mahesh Bhatt teamlease

Dr Mahesh Bhatt teamlease

Mahesh Bhatt, Chief Business Officer of Teamlease Services Ltd.

Digitalization holds considerable potential to transform the food, agriculture, and fisheries systems in the coming years. Mobile devices, data analytics, high-quality satellite imagery, precision equipment, and artificial intelligence could contribute greatly to increasing productivity, sustainability, and resilience across the sector. Digital technologies could also enable more comprehensive monitoring of illegal fisheries, helping to manage stocks more sustainably. They can also help target and improve agriculture and environmental policies by linking support to verifiable outcomes and facilitating cross-border trade.

•Smart Greenhouses: The greenhouse industry has been transforming from small-scale facilities used primarily for research and aesthetic purposes (i.e., botanic gardens) to significantly more large-scale facilities that compete directly with land-based conventional food production. Smart greenhouses are revolutionizing the agricultural industry by creating a self-sustaining microclimate perfect for crop production.

•Blockchain: Blockchain's capability of tracking ownership records and tamper-resistance can be used to solve urgent issues such as food fraud, safety recalls, supply chain inefficiency and food traceability in the current food system.

•Smart remote sensing: Remote sensing utilizes sensors like weather stations placed on farms to gather data, which is then transmitted to analytical tools for analysis.

•Computer imaging: This can be used for quality control, disease detection, irrigation monitoring, and sorting and grading the produce after harvest.

•Farm Automation: An increasing number of companies are working on robotics innovation to develop drones, autonomous tractors, robotic harvesters, automatic watering, and seeding robots. Semi-automatic robots with arms can detect weeds and spray pesticides on the affected plants, preventing extensive damage as well as reducing overall pesticide costs.

Improvements in agriculture have taken place since independence, resulting in a substantial increase in food-grain availability per capita. However, several challenges must be addressed, such as infrastructure, production quality, and improving conditions to reduce post-harvest food loss.

The government needs to step in and catalyse growth for the sector by increasing spending, improving priority sector lending, and offering incentives and tax exemptions to investors investing in agriculture as an industry. The government schemes like Kisan Credit Cards or Fasal Bima programs need to improve penetration to deliver access to credit and capital to the farmers.

Pankaj Dwivedi

Pankaj Dwivedi

Pankaj Dwivedi, Head of Business Development & Partnerships,

We need to open up the ag ecosystem by enabling more public-private partnerships, private-research institute partnerships, collaborating to solve data challenges, and partnering with government bodies to build knowledge repositories that act as a single source of truth. Public-Private partnerships could help spur the development of the food processing industry, improving access to technology and fast-track growth.

The government needs to focus on climate-smart farming practices and adoption by incentivizing farmers, building sustainability frameworks and carbon emission guidelines, and developing an FPO ecosystem that delivers the benefits of economies of scale for the smallholders.

Standardising pricing, improving the adoption of MSPs, cutting out intermediaries and building a robust Mandi network will make agriculture sustainable and profitable for farmers.

Collectively, we must work together to educate, train, and scale our efforts to bring about a long-lasting agricultural transformation.