Everything you need to know about agriculture as a service (FaaS)

Through the use of FaaS, farmers can communicate with the market through a wide range of business models, including farm-to-warehouse, farm-to-factory, and farm-to-fork.

There is no doubt that agriculture in India is considered the backbone of the economy. In terms of GDP, agriculture contributes around 18.8% to the country’s economy. Due to the economic crisis, agriculture as a service (FaaS) model is becoming increasingly popular among rural Indians. Farming-as-a-Service (FaaS) is software for starting, managing, and monitoring cloud computing resources. It can be used to manage virtual machines, containers, storage, and networking.

How it works? FaaS is built for the cloud. It is a virtual server, fully managed by a cloud provider. Farming as a service is a food delivery platform where producer and consumer are linked. It offers a wide range of possibilities for sustainable agriculture in urban areas, such as vertical farming and hydroponics. Farmers can receive daily tasks as commands, monitor their crops remotely via an app, and also take care of their crops with specialist advice on the platform.

To address mutual benefits in the market, FaaS start-ups connect farmers with equipment owners. Through the use of FaaS, farmers can communicate with the market through a wide range of business models, including farm-to-warehouse, farm-to-factory, and farm-to-fork. The fact that tech giants like IBM are investing heavily in this technology demonstrates its potential.

What solutions does Farming-as-a-service offer?

  1. Farm Management Solutions:

Farmers can use farm management solutions to share information, analyze their data, and make precision farming decisions. It facilitates the exchange of information between farmers and market players, including government, companies, banking institutions and advisory organizations sharing information. These solutions can include features such as crop planning, weather forecasting, irrigation scheduling, and pest control.

In most cases, these functions occur in three steps-

  • Data collection consists of measuring seeds, fertilizers, soil quality and weather conditions using high-tech equipment (drones, satellites)

  • Assimilated data can be used to train various stakeholders

  • Creation of mobile alerts and dashboards for data processing and information dissemination

  1. Manufacturing assistance:

To ensure high levels of food production, it is important to be able to access the necessary resources on the farm. Many organizations provide these resources and can help with tasks such as crop selection, market development and maintaining organic standards. In addition to increasing accessibility and affordability, this involves renting equipment, hiring workers and providing utilities. The question is, how?

The organization provides equipment rental services with or without expert operators, as well as skilled and unskilled workers on demand, as well as utilities that are supplied off-grid with electricity and water. In agricultural services, organizations can provide either aggregation or delivery, depending on the service delivery model. For example, a company may provide agricultural services directly to farmers at their doorstep. In addition to offering pay-as-you-go basis and rental options, they may also offer EMI options depending on the repayment capacity of the farmer. As a result, farmers can increase their yields by improving their labor and skills.

  1. Access to markets:

In the past, farmers had limited access to markets. They sold their products either to local traders or to export companies. Today, thanks to new technologies, they can market their products worldwide through digital platforms and sell them directly to consumers.

They offer two modes of sale:

  • Input-farmer: A website or application that allows farmers to buy seeds, fertilizers and pesticides online at the right time.

  • Farmers can sell directly to consumers using virtual platforms such as mobile apps or online stores, eliminating unnecessary intermediaries.

Recently, several startups have sprung up on the serverless platform, which has proven to be very successful. To ensure scalability, FaaS startups must have upstream and downstream business models. Extending shelf life, providing fresher produce, reducing spoilage, and minimizing logistics costs are all critical to ensuring their scalability.

In the future, with the advent of software as a service, sustainable food production may see a revolution. We can create solutions to global food shortage problems using software. Farmers must be empowered to do this. There is an opportunity to leverage the FaaS model by providing businesses with the ability to serve as a platform where farm-level data and analytics can create business value.

About Keneth T. Graves

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