Blog / Aug 5, 2016

Technology and the Shift in Agricultural Norms

Technology is not just for the tech nerds anymore, from drone farming to employing robots – the agricultural industry is shifting its conventional management norms.

The Need for Speed

The story of agriculture and technology began when humans started farming 12,000 years ago.Technology can play a vital role today when we need to produce 70% more food by 2050.

 An Aerial Point of View

New technologies are emerging which use drones equipped with software that could take hi-res pictures of fields in order to analyze crop health and create accurate prescriptions for farming decisions. Researches are being carried out to use drones to seed a billion trees each year. It seems that the future of planting a field will undergo a major change, and perhaps help us meet the ever growing demand for food.

Developing countries alone have shown the kcal intake per person , per day to have risen almost 1 and a half times the original from 1960 till 2008- World Hunger Organization Report 2015

A Robotic Alternative

Then there are provisions of agricultural robots which would engage in all kinds of agricultural activities such as driving tractors, picking fruits or controlling disease. Many projects are using 3D cameras to identify when the harvest is ready – which is another step towards automated harvesting.

With the age of robots almost upon us, the agricultural industry is embracing the future.
With the age of robots almost upon us, the agricultural industry is embracing the future.

The industry is puffing up with cutting edge software, hardware and online advisory services for arable farms and other agribusiness companies. Farmers can use a smartphone powered by yield management systems that allows them to monitor and make insight-driven decisions. These are related to fertilizers, water, crop yields, growing conditions and weather patterns.

Thus, they could become more efficient and less wasteful.

Smart Water Management

Did you know that agriculture accounts for nearly 70% of all fresh water use around the world? Unfortunately, around 60% of this is wasted. Smart systems can now easily mitigate the issue by warning farmers of equipment failure and leaks by allowing them to remotely control water pumps using smartphones.

Inefficient watering can use more than 7% of an individuals water consumption.
Inefficient watering can use more than 7% of an individuals water consumption.

Connecting Farmers

The majority of farms around the world are not as connected as we would like them to be. To connect a medium-sized smallholding requires a major investment. Farmers who lack such capital lose out on the benefits of such connections.

Africa is resolving this problem by a locally invented tech system that communicates key agricultural information to farmers:

  • local weather forecast
  • tips and hints for food production
  • an online marketplace.

The best feature of this system is its provision of commodity market prices for different crops, aiding farmers to make smarter selling decisions. This element alone has boosted famers’ profits by 12% in just two years.

Going Beyond What’s Normal

Technology is not just about improving what we already do. In many cases, it actually empowers us to do what we couldn’t do before.

This is certainly what we see in industry-disrupting innovations like ProducePay. It offers various cash flow solutions allowing fresh produce farmers (growers) to be paid the day after they ship instead of 30-45 days later. The result? Farmers increase yield, profits and make awesome trading relationships.

agritech

Here’s a hurrah to the emerging technologies that are Shifting Agriculture Management Norms.

Get in touch with Virtual Force and let us know how we can help you!