By Bhanudas S. | 13 July 2020
One of the biggest challenges for digital farming today is to maintain the best practices, provide good quality farm produce, manage retail operations and retain the confidence of customers, while effectively employing stringent measures to reduce costs.
However, a majority of governing bodies have implemented strict quality standards for agri-products, especially the ones that are most commonly exported to different countries. For instance, recently, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has added 135 testing laboratories to ensure optimal quality of agriproducts and thereby, bolstered the nation’s export efforts.
FarmERP’s farm management system provides your business with quality checks at critical points of the supply chain to ensure that your agriproducts are of the best quality. Also, leveraging an integrated point-of-sales (POS) provides increased visibility into the customer-specific retail transactions, thereby optimising your inventory and providing great service every time.
The challenges associated with maintaining the optimal quality of farm produce today, are extremely complex and daunting. The failure to safeguard your crops from extraneous elements, contaminants, and toxic chemicals can deteriorate the quality of produce and lead to increased human health risks. However, timely and regular on-field quality check measures ensure that farm produce retains its nutritional value and is protected from potential health hazards.
Getting GAP-certified and maintaining appropriate hygiene can make sure that your farm produce will meet quality and safety standards at the time of harvest. The effective utilization of the modern tools and technologies to perform quality checks can help in achieving an acceptable percentage of TSS as well as to keep a check on residue limits, thereby ensuring good quality farm produce.
Once the harvests are ready, the next hurdle for agribusinesses is to determine if the fresh produce contains all the desirable characteristics in order to measure quality and predict the shelf life of the end products. Unfavourable weather conditions, improper transportation facilities, crop diseases, pest infestations, etc can have a huge impact on the quality of the harvests. Hence, it is necessary to check if all the predetermined quality requirements are met before the harvests are sent to the procuring companies in order to prevent recalls and heavy losses, especially in agricultural export business operations.
Utilizing state-of-the-art tools & technologies and providing third-party login to efficient laboratories for post-harvest quality checks are crucial in ensuring that harvests undergo suitable treatments to prevent substantial quantitative & qualitative losses. Similarly, using powerful cameras to scan the harvest samples can easily determine the shape and colour, and thus, provide an unmatched objective assessment of farm produce to ensure that only the best quality batches are sent to the packhouses.
Factors such as poor temperature control and improper handling of produce in the post production cycle can incur rapid quality deterioration and lead to irreversible qualitative losses. Also, the cleaning, sorting and grading processes before sending the produce into storage rooms have to be performed very carefully as even tiniest dirt particles can introduce pests into the storage facility.
A final inspection before packaging and shipping the goods to retailers or distributors makes sure that all quality standards are met, thereby eliminating the possibilities of delays in shipments or recalls. Continuous monitoring and timely analysis of temperature, humidity & air velocity through an efficient farm management system can ensure adequate storage conditions and can assist in improving the product’s quality. Thus, appropriate quality checks prior to the packaging of products can minimize physiological deterioration and reduce pathogenic decay incidences, thereby increasing the shelf-life of products.
Quality checks at critical points across the agricultural supply chain, although necessary, result in additions to the overall time and costs. Also, this method only helps in detecting faults and fails to take corrective actions without creating interruptions in farming activities. Online quality control, on the other hand, significantly makes various farming operations vis-a-vis quality check and quality assessment more robust by taking the necessary corrective actions during the process.
Online quality checks make sure that farmers are freed from the worries of accurately maintaining several quality parameters and that they focus only on farming activities. Online quality control focuses on incorporating the optimum-quality raw materials and the best farming activities. Factors such as water-levels, residue levels, etc can be monitored and controlled in real-time through FarmERP’s agriculture management platform. This, thereby, ensures that the yields obtained are of the highest quality.
Inventory miscounts & data entry errors can be a real headache for agribusinesses. Effective management of inventory and sales returns can help in reducing risks and improving your cash flows. This can be achieved with an integrated POS system that unleashes a host of benefits for agribusinesses which include improved inventory tracking, automated agricultural stores, and a streamlined sales process.
FarmERP’s POS module can effectively automate inventory tracking and improve customer wait times. Apart from inventory optimisation, POS integration also allows for better customer management by helping you track individual customers’ sales and get key insights about the customers’ loyalty. Thus, FarmERP’s built-in POS system with scanning & signature capture capabilities is the best platform to take your retail operations to the next level.
Quality control is one of the key aspects of agribusinesses today. Technological innovations such as FarmERP’s farm management system, are effectively optimising the quality control measures and streamlining the operations of agribusinesses. Autonomous AI inspections are streamlining the export quality check processes and helping agribusinesses in reducing costs and overall time. Also, the use of technology is enhancing the quality of assessments and eliminating the possibilities of recalls. Thus, technological advancements are set to push the future of farming to the next level as smart farming is becoming the new normal for agribusinesses.