The Role of Digital Technologies in the Future of Agriculture
Global agtech adoption can meet rising food demands by optimizing food production and meeting sustainability goals and capital.
FREMONT, CA: In 2050, the UN predicts the world's population will reach 9.8 billion and 11.2 billion by 2100. These circumstances make it imperative to figure out how to meet demands sustainably. Currently, crop calories produced in 2010 do not match those needed by 2050 by more than 50 percent. All stakeholders must work together to reduce this food gap and develop emerging technologies that won't damage soil, water, or biodiversity.
Modern farming and agricultural operations have drastically changed due to recent technological advancements. These sophisticated technologies can increase agriculture's productivity, profitability, safety, and compliance with environmental regulations, from robots, temperature sensors, GPS, and drones to genetic engineering. Technology allows monitoring throughout the farming process, minimizing waste and reducing physical labor.
Listed below are a few key high-impact technological innovations that can help farmers:
Biotechnology: Farmers can use biotechnology to make more cost-effective and better-quality products by manipulating certain crop and livestock production aspects. Using genetic modification safely and ethically can reduce disease and infection risks and create ideal characteristics for plants and animals that can withstand severe weather conditions.
Internet of Things (IoT): Using the IoT, smart farming establishes a connection between all farm devices, sensors, and systems via the internet. Data-driven farming processes allow farmers to react in real time to alerts and changing conditions because they are data-driven and data-enabled.
Drones: Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) can evaluate crops, spray, plant, monitor, spray, and analyze soil. Farmers use drones to simplify their operations. By spraying fertilizers with drones, farmers can do more than 40 times faster than they can manually, with no soil compacting as heavy tractors do.
Artificial intelligence (AI): From sowing seeds to managing pests and irrigation, AI and machine learning technologies are increasingly prevalent in modern farming. Farmers can use AI to monitor livestock health, predict crop yields, and map yields.
Crop sensors: Almost all the technology mentioned above relies on crop sensors. In making adjustments, crop sensors collect large amounts of data. Field sensors provide farmers with information about the harvest and land topography and data on soil acidity and temperature.
A combination of artificial intelligence and various technologies in agriculture is likely to decrease the food gap between today's crop calories and those produced in 2050. In crop planning, monitoring, and protection, data-driven decisions can improve yields and reduce losses. In contrast, robotized machinery can reduce labor requirements and allow people to engage in more value-added activities.