How the Use of Intelligent Technologies in Farming shapes the Future of the Agriculture Industry
by Shashika Heshan
Agriculture (Farming) is considered as one of the oldest and indispensable industries of humanity, where it initially began in a traditional and conventional way utilizing manual means that farmers used to dig and plant by hand. Now the farming has progressed on to the modernized farms where it uses mechanized, technological and innovative approaches such as tractors, harvesters and digital management procedures, etc. to feed the growing number of world population. However, with the rapidly increasing world population, these technological approaches, alone, will not suffice to produce nutritional food crops with an optimal efficiency to fulfil the incrementing global food demand. In this paper we will further elaborate on intelligent technologies, such as Internet of Things (IOT), precision farming, sensors and mobility, etc., which could be used to gain and reap higher yields with better efficiency.
What is Intelligent Farming?
Intelligent Farming is a concept of utilizing modern technologies in farming, such as IOT, GPS, Drones, Sensors and Analytics, etc., to boost the productivity, quality and quantity of agricultural farming products. At present, a farmer is not just a person who has a strong interest in agriculture, he has to acquire data and knowledge on how the market behaves and price changes, in order to produce and sell out the agricultural products to satisfy the demand while increasing the profits. Hence implementing Intelligent Farming techniques, for an instance, sensors implanted in a field will gather various kinds of data on soil, like temperature, acidity and soil nutrients. With the precise information on the resources in the field, farmers could be well equipped to carry out different strategies to each field to apply fertilizers, irrigation and pesticides to effectively gain better yields with high nutritional value. As the world population continues to grow, intelligent farming becomes prominent as a new tendency that will allow agriculture industry to be more productive and profitable.
Challenges faced by Agricultural Industry:
Nowadays, with the vast changing world, the Agriculture Industry faces a number of challenges; it might be economic based issues and non-economic issues. The agriculture industry can be considered as a resource heavy industry. Most of the agriculture businesses heavily depend on manual work processes, hence they have been found wanting to manage daily operations and produce agricultural products against the increasing number of demands amidst the competitors. Below are some challenges that Agriculture Industry comes across as the world continues to evolve.
➊ Feeding the world population which keeps growing and to satisfy demanding global food supply:
Studies have already found that agriculture has to deliver more agricultural products to compensate the rising number of demands due to the growing global population, which is supposed to rise to over 9.6 billion (Creating a Sustainable Food Future: Interim Findings, 2013) by the year 2050. This presents a huge challenge for the Agriculture Industry, as to provide quality food to satisfy the demanding global food supply. The projections also revealed that it would need around 70% more food production (How to feed the World in 2050, 2009) than today to meet the needs of the world population by 2050. Hence it is imperative to state that the agriculture industry needs to adopt effective smart technological approaches which could intensify and boost the production of agricultural farming products to satisfy the demanding global food supply projected over the next couple of decades.
➋ Reduce the amount of losses and waste while increasing the production of agricultural products:
Studies have shown that nearly around half of the consumer waste (Creating a Sustainable Food Future: Interim Findings, 2013) in developed countries takes the food loss and waste, while in developing countries there is a 2/3 of food loss (Creating a Sustainable Food Future: Interim Findings, 2013) occurring during agriculture processes such as harvesting, handling and lastly due to improper storage of agricultural products (Food). Along the way, implementing steps to minimize the food loss and waste that take place during the farming procedures will unarguably feed more people, therefore the food gap will get lessen. Adhering to proper farm management practices along with intelligent technologies will pave the way to mitigate the issue.
➌ Conserve natural environmental resources whilst gaining higher yields with better efficiency:
Researches have been carried out and found that, as of now, yielding of agricultural products account for emission of 13% of world’s greenhouse gases and about 6.5 gig tons of CO2e (Carbon dioxide equivalent) per year (Creating a Sustainable Food Future: Interim Findings, 2013). Further OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) states that agriculture consumes 70% of world’s fresh water (Water and Agriculture, OECD) and that being said water is an inevitable resource that relates to agriculture. However, with the need to meet the demanding global food supply, agriculture industry needs to take remedial actions to mitigate and reduce use of excessive amount of fertilizers and pesticides, which hampers the preservation of environmental resources. With Intelligent Farming, it could broadly lessen the unnecessary use of materials in fields with the help of proper and accurate analytics.
➍ Increase of demand for higher nutritional value food:
At present, gradually people are shifting to healthy and active lifestyles. They are already adopting a change in their eating habits by shifting from processed food to healthy organic eating habits. The growth of demands for natural organic food with high nutrition value over processed and chemical laced food has increased dramatically over the years. Hence the agriculture industry should be capable of efficiently producing agricultural products with higher nutritional value to meet the rapidly increasing demand from the global population.
The Agri One by Pristine Solutions is a comprehensive, integrated business solution designed specifically for agriculture-industrial organizations to support the full life cycle of agriculture operations with highly scalable, tightly integrated solution that empowers both farm and buyer managers to make timely, intelligent business decisions based on accurate, up-to-the-minute data.
How does Agri One proactively engage to avert the challenges as a pragmatic solution of intelligent farming?
In order to overcome the challenges that the future of agriculture industry encounters mainly owing to growing world population and rising demand for global food supply, agricultural industries should look for adopting smart farming approaches to effectively uplift the production while preserving valued and limited natural resources. The Agri One, encompassing advanced intelligent technologies such as Internet of Things (IOT), Drones, Machine Learning (ML), Analytics, Cloud Computing and more, has already come up with an unique solution that could allow users to adhere Intelligent Farming in agriculture operations to yield a larger production as well as better profits.
Precision Agriculture assists in carefully identifying and analyzing soil spatial and temporal variability in each field of the farm. Hence it would lessen the amount of fertilizer loading on each field while optimizing the production of each field.
IOT based Sensors in Agriculture
Using sensors to accumulate data and continuously measure soil parameters, water holding capability, irrigation, and weather conditions will ensure that each field of the farm is well maintained with right amount of water, nutrients and crop protection.
Aerial imagery using Drones
The Agri One uses unmanned automated drones to take the images of the fields to create and initiate precision maps for oversee the crop health and status of the fields. Further it participates in clearly identifying and highlighting the boundaries of plots.
Farm Management System
The Agri One comes with a Farm Management Module, which assists Users to track farm operations and farmers efficiency, create crop plans, keep records of each and every activity occurring in farm, reports generation and more. Hence it will aid in establishing proper management procedures inside the farm that will directly affect growth of productivity and profits.
Cloud Platform and Analytics
With the large number of intensive data gathered on farm through Precision Farming, IOT and Sensors, these real time data should be managed properly in order to provide farmers with the optimized data driven operational decisions. The Agri One using the cloud platform and analytics deliver processed real time meaningful data, allowing farmers to take better decisions upon analyzed data.
The Agri One provides weather predictions according to the location using their weather API. Hence it will make sure to properly organize the farm operations looking at the weather information to produce a higher yield.
Mobility & Connectivity
The Agri One extends the services not only through web portal, but also through mobile application which allows farmers to access the Agri One from wherever they are.
Did you know?
Further studies have shown that by year 2050, the data driven intelligent technological approaches in agriculture will enhance global crop yields by 67% (International Food Policy Research Institute, 2014). These technological approaches will lead to higher and quality production of agricultural products while preserving natural environmental resources in the long term run of feeding the growing world population.
Adhering to Intelligent Technologies in farming will certainly make it easier to manage full cycle of farming operations at farms to smoothly streamline their production procedures. As farming practices tend to change, with the accurate information gain through adopting the intelligent technologies, farmers will find it easier to get the job done with minimal effort and heightened accuracy. Here we will look at the major business benefits that the Agriculture Industry enjoys in implementing Agri One.
➊ Firm control over the internal farming operations and aversion of Risks:
With the introduction of farm management system, the entire agricultural processes are completely tracked and performed according to a plan which can be different from one plot to other, and each activity is being recorded with actual information. Hence, this allows user to have firm control on the farming operations. Moreover, with the various kinds of data gathered through sensors and all, farmers are fed with up to date information. Resultantly, farmers are able to predict and foresee issues that may arise and they will be able to plan and make better decisions to avoid and mitigate risks.
➋ Large and Intensive data accumulation:
Agriculture involves a vast number of farming practices, so that the real time data capturing is done by using sensors implanted at the fields. As mentioned in the earlier section these sensors capture soil texture, weather condition, health condition of crops, and more. These carefully stored data aids farmers to make better decisions on the business with analyzing the data and to track the general status of staff’s efficiency and performance.
➌ Better product quality and higher yields:
Implementation of Intelligent Farming will allow agriculture industry to streamline and enhance nutritional value and quality whilst acquiring high efficiency in production. The Agri One keeps a close look on the soil nutrients, temperature, crop health, irrigation and more. Hence with captured data analysis, farmers will be able to apply fertilizers according to the status of each field and each plant. Furthermore, with constant care on crop health, crop diseases will be found even before the symptoms begin to reveal on the crops. Moreover, with proper technological approaches in storage and farming procedures, the loss of agricultural products will be minimized. These measures will surely aid in boosting the quality and quantity of the agricultural products.
➍ Agricultural business operations get automated:
Adopting Intelligent Farming in Agriculture Industry will automate most of the farming operations whilst improving the efficiency of each operations. With the of use high-tech equipment such as wireless sensors installed at fields, farmers will be constantly provided with useful information and stats related to farm and automatic report generation. Thus, farmers do not need to spend more time doing the nitty-gritty activities as in traditional farming, instead they can focus their time on business operations with the help of these autonomous connected devices.
➎ Less debt with better quality of life:
Farming is a time consuming and exhausting occupation, that being said the farmers’ suicide rates around globally is pretty much higher. Farmers are constantly burdened with debts as they could not gain much revenue out of the products to pay the debts. Moving on to Intelligent Technologies will allow farmers to rapidly streamline their production with minimum cost and using only adequate amount of resources. As studies have shown, farmers are often stressed out and suffer from depression that mainly lead to suicides. Thus, adopting intelligent farming will surely able to make life of the farmers’ and laborers’ work easier and will free up considerable time so that they will be able to spend more time leisurely. As the time goes by, we will see the fall of suicidal rate with intelligent farming pervading as a key a factor in the future of the agriculture.
Apart from the foregoing benefits, governing bodies of the countries, where the agricultural industry plays an intrinsic crucial part in their economy, will enjoy the transformation of quantity of the production processes and higher revenue. Hence these fruitful gains inclusive of healthy environmental outcomes, set a sound agricultural benchmark for other corporate entities.
Agricultural industry, both locally and globally, is undergoing a plethora of advancements and modifications, in consonance with related environmental, climatic and socio-political implications. The spotlight on smarter and more efficient crop growing and farm management methodologies are necessary to feed the growing world population whilst utilizing limited acres of arable land and natural resources. In this backdrop, intelligent farming has come to the fore as a confident response to growing demands of the field of agriculture. Agri One, based on the foregoing premise, proposes a comprehensive enterprise solution to effectively encounter the challenging impacts, heightening advantages. Based on all these factors presented on this white paper, it can be concluded as to cope up with the demanding global food supply, it is essential and necessary to adopt sustainable IOT based sensors and Intelligent Technologies in Agriculture Industry as the time goes by. Pristine Solution encompassing The Agri One that has flexible and open approach will transform your Agri Business to gear up with Intelligent Farming to face the challenges that invariably lie ahead.