World population is growing at a fast pace and thee are fears that if adequate measure are not taken, this may lead to food shortage. Agriculture plays a very important role in providing food and curbing the growing food security crisis.
While conventional form of farming is still mainstream in developing economies like Nigeria a more technology driven approach is employed in other nations who are sensitive to the consequences of the impending crisis. The adoption of Internet of Things (IoT), precision agriculture, inexpensive sensors among other technologies holds a potential to transform agriculture and help in feeding the world’s growing population.
Here are five technologies as explained by FG Insight which are already shaping the future of agriculture:
If precision technology has been at the forefront of farming innovation in recent years, monitoring crops from the sky will be next. Although drones have been talked about in agriculture for several years, they are now beginning to cross the line between aspirational and viable business tool, promising increased yields through crop health imaging at relatively low cost.
The rapid development of precision farming techniques, soil monitoring and wearables for cows, for things such as heat detection means the use of sensors in agriculture is not new.
However, there is no doubt they will become ever-more sophisticated in years to come, as developers find new ways to exploit the technology. One of the latest developments to attract media attention is BeansIoT, a 45mm bean-shaped sensor which can be placed into grain silos to report on temperature and humidity.
Many believe robots will be commonplace on farms in coming years. As well as automated machines to carry out large-scale field work, small robots could perform tasks such as weeding and crop picking, providing solutions to a number of issues including crop protection on organic farms and labour shortages, for instance.
New molecular biology techniques have made it possible for scientists to introduce or edit genes in plant breeding in such a way they are indistinguishable from natural breeding processes, leading to calls they would not be labeled as genetically modified. This could pave the way for much greater public acceptance and lead to a sharp rise in disease-resistant varieties, requiring far fewer inputs.
As precision farming techniques continue to develop, you can expect to see more interfacing between technologies, enabling automated machines to carry out field work using data collected from linked sources, such as real-time soil sensors, GPS mapping, images from drones and even climate sensors.