Meghalaya, like all the other states in India, is an agrarian state. Eighty-three percent of the population depend on agriculture. If we take a closer look, most of them are small-scale farmers. They face a lot of challenges, but are we doing enough to bring change to their lives?
Do we know our fellow farmers? Do we know about the problems faced by farmers? Is modern technology bringing development in their lives?
We have tried to answer a few questions on the hardships they face and looked at the solutions modern technology can offer farmers.
What Are the Problems Faced by Indian Farmers Due to Climate Change?
Farmers face a lot of challenges due to climate changes – in temperature, non-seasonal rains, monsoon delays, erratic floods or long dry spells.
All these lead to immediate increase in irrigation costs, high incidence of pests and gradual change of ecosystem, which destroy the plants.
Farmers will have to re-adjust the cropping according to effects of climatic change. The crop model, based on his present cropping system, may have to undergo changes, which the farmer may not be able to adopt easily. His practices will have to change frequently, which can be challenging, and there will be higher chances of crop failure.
Can We Assist Farmers Using Modern Technology?
The life of Indian farmers can be improved in many ways by using new and advanced technologies.
Data Analysis – if one can get access to data on local weather conditions, soil conditions and other crop data on growth rate and diseases, it may help the farmers to better manage their crops. A farmer can benefit by being in a better position to choose the type of crop to grow, what to use for the crop and what is needed to increase the output and so on.
Development of new equipment – such as cheap refrigeration facilities, better packaging, and transport with a tracking system.
Other technologies such as accurate weather prediction, on the spot soil analysis, prediction of pests and diseases, by monitoring through UAV (Unmanned aerial vehicle).
Can We Assist Farmers by Setting up Small Industries for Their Produce?
Indeed, we can! Here is how Zizira is helping farmers:
We at Zizira is directed by a sole mantra: “to make a difference to farmers and Northeast India by pioneering new ideas, opening markets and proving the potential of the people and the land of the region.”
Why did we choose Northeast?
- The unique bio-diversity of the Northeast produces exclusive fruits, grains and medicinal herbs that are yet to be projected to the rest of the world.
- The farmers of the region follow traditional farming techniques; thus, our products are clean and free from chemical-based pesticides and toxins.
- Most if not all the farmers fail to realize the potential right under their feet, they need a platform to showcase their produce.
We work closely with farmers, which helps us know where our products are sourced from. We work authentically by demonstrating traits outlining our responsibility to the farmers of the region. We are working towards discovering and exploring viable marketing solutions for the farmers of the region. So that at the end of the day no farmer has to throw away their produce.
Will Digitization Assist Indian Farmers?
Digitization will be of great help to farmers in many ways. One major benefit out of it is that a farmer can access the internet, and know about anything he wants to know. Digital applications can also provide them information on current agricultural situation and prices of their produce. Social media can help farmers connect among themselves. It will give them a platform to learn from each other. By sharing information and success stories of progressive farmers in these platforms many others can learn and follow them towards success. He need not have to wait to get expert advice. At a click of a button, he can ask his advisor to recommend the necessary action steps to be taken to save the crop and yield. This makes decision making easy for farmers.
Furthermore, many digital options are developing to help farmers in reducing their risk and increase their profitability.
The Zizira Aspect
We here at Zizira are doing our best to highlight the challenges faced by Northeast India farmers. We are meeting farmers and helping them understand that there is a market for their produce. We hope to play a small part in improving returns to the farmers of Northeast of India by promoting their produce and unleashing the potential of family farms in Meghalaya.
Do you have any questions you would like to ask us? Do you want to learn more about farmers of Northeast India? Be a part of us, join us.