Agriculture is an essential part of the world economy. At the same time, the world population is growing, and the demand for food and other industry products is growing. Large industrial farms have many resources, but at the same time, small farms also put a lot of effort into meeting the population’s demand. Family farmers also join agricultural cooperatives to get support, and better access to information, technology, and resources. In addition, working together allows for improved access to markets and essential commodities.
Cooperatives also provide support for farmers by introducing agrotech. It helps to increase field productivity and farm sustainability. The use of precision technologies by farmers in cooperatives also enables growers to save time and money, making enhanced data-based decisions. For example, technologies help to reduce the consumption of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers through applications based on plant needs. Agrotechnologies can also provide reliable crop monitoring and timely detection of problems.
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The Role of Agricultural Cooperatives in Driving Social Impact
Agricultural cooperatives are organized so that small producers can take and strengthen their position in the market for selling goods and receiving necessary services. Benefits and profits are shared among farmers who are members of the cooperative. Agricultural cooperatives differ from other types of businesses in many characteristics. The owners of the cooperative are the member farmers, who also elect the board of directors. The farmers control the board which is responsible for approving the annual budget, setting operating policies, and governing.
The distribution of economic benefits among farmers occurs based on the use of a cooperative. For example, it can work on the principle that the greater the volume of production, the greater the benefit. Benefits are provided to members as users, not as investors. In addition, farmers are co-owners and can take part in operating costs and emergencies.
The most crucial difference between agricultural cooperatives and other organizations is the principles that include autonomous operation from the government, voluntary membership, self-help, and self-ownership.
EOSDA Crop Monitoring and Agricultural Cooperatives
EOS Data Analytics, a provider of satellite analytics for agriculture and many other industries, has developed the EOSDA Crop Monitoring digital platform for the farming sector’s needs. The tool helps growers to make informed decisions based on data.
The platform can also help agro-cooperatives improve the profitability and productivity of enterprises. EOSDA Crop Monitoring enables farmers to obtain data on fields’ health and needs and allocate resources based on this information, which helps to save a lot. Furthermore, it enables early pests and disease detection which is crucial to prevent damage.
Thanks to this tool, members of cooperatives get access to weather analytics, convenient team management features, calculation of vegetation indices values, and other valuable features of precision farming. It helps farmers to collect and share valuable information between the members.
Smart Irrigation and Drones
Smart irrigation helps optimize water supply by implementing smart sprinklers and technologies. The sensors also collect information about nutrient content and soil moisture levels. Such systems independently regulate the fields’ irrigation schedule, which helps reduce resource consumption. This improvement in farm management allows for greater resilience.
The use of drones also helps to increase yields and reduce operating costs. With their help, you can monitor crops and solve the problem of collecting and distributing data between cooperative members. Remote monitoring of crops helps to detect developmental obstacles promptly. This, in turn, enables taking adequate measures and reducing crop losses.
Another critical function of drones can be the spraying of herbicides and fertilizers and the application of seeds. Drones also help support precision farming by controlling soil moisture and erosion.
Implications for co-ops
Stakeholders should consider several aspects. For example, as for membership and ownership cooperatives should take a more individual approach instead of trying to make one offer for the entire cooperative, suitable for everyone. It is because the interests and needs of farmers may differ. Cooperatives will also need new financial risk management tools. In addition, advanced analytics are required to meet all grower needs.
Cooperatives can also help farmers prepare for regulatory changes. For this, it is necessary to have the appropriate knowledge of the global regulatory landscape to explain how this will affect farmers. Cooperatives can also make efforts to take part in regulatory agenda shaping.