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Business News/ Industry / Agriculture/  Here's how innovative practices are helping farmers battle water scarcity
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Here's how innovative practices are helping farmers battle water scarcity

While precision agriculture leverages advanced methods like drones, sensors and satellites to optimise farming practices, the challenge of water scarcity and limited arable land in farming is being addressed through vertical farming.

As the agriculture sector grapples with a stiff challenge, entities working in the sector are constantly working to beef up their R&D processes (Bloomberg)Premium
As the agriculture sector grapples with a stiff challenge, entities working in the sector are constantly working to beef up their R&D processes (Bloomberg)

Innovation is the buzzword across sectors and keeping up with the times, the agriculture sector is also looking at ingenious ways to boost productivity and usher in sustainable practices as climate concerns threaten to upend the ecosystem.

As the agriculture sector grapples with a stiff challenge, entities working in the sector are constantly working to beef up their R&D processes to help the sector acclimatise to the rapidly changing environment.

Taking a holistic approach, Crystal Crop Protection Limited, a leading agrochemical company, is developing products to help the agriculture ecosystem tide over this challenging phase. Leveraging cutting-edge genetics to enhance crop yields through high-yielding seeds of high nutritive value and a wide range of crop protection chemicals, the entity has been working at the grassroots level with an aim to uplift the main stakeholder — the farmer. 

“As an organisation, we take a ‘Farmers First’ approach. Our endeavour has always been to ensure that Indian farmers are not hamstrung by lack of resources. As such, our R&D efforts are overseen by a team of over 40 scientists specialising in diverse aspects of agriscience and we strive to develop solutions that are not only effective in delivering high-yielding products but also affordable to smallholder farmers, ultimately enhancing their income and improving farming practices," said Sunil Kurchania, Senior VP-R&D, Crystal Crop Protection Limited.

While precision agriculture leverages advanced methods like drones, sensors and satellites to optimise farming practices, the challenge of water scarcity and limited arable land in farming is being addressed through vertical farming. It is an innovative R&D strategy that is constantly growing in prominence. It utilises vertical space in controlled environments, enabling crops to be grown in stacked layers, thus optimising land use and significantly reducing water consumption. This allows for year-round cultivation regardless of weather conditions and is especially beneficial in urban areas.

Furthermore, R&D is looking beyond tradition chemical pest control methods with regards to the detrimental effects these methods have on the environment. R&D efforts are now being focused on Biological pest control methods that utilise natural enemies of pests, such as predators, pathogens and parasites. This process requires extensive study on the pest life cycle and involves mass culture of its natural enemies.

They are then periodically released into sites where the target pests are abundant.

The end goal of the global agriculture sector is to ensure high productivity and sustainability across a diverse range of geographical locations without compromising on the health of the ecosystem. With that as a target, R&D is working to create inbuilt resistance in plants against pests so that the use of chemicals can be minimised and make crops tolerant to weedicides in order to make minimally invasive and regenerative agriculture possible.

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Published: 25 Nov 2023, 10:24 PM IST
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