How will farmers produce 70 per cent more food by 2050 to meet the needs of the world’s population?
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There is a plan, and it involves a lot of technology.
Agriculture of the future is leaving behind traditional farming methods and bringing technology into the open fields. It’s where Silicon Valley meets tradition, and companies worldwide are jumping at the chance to make a difference in how food will be produced, stored and distributed in the future.
For instance, Swiss company ecoRobotix is using robotic machinery to disrupt agricultural technology. According to its website, it aims to help farmers reduce the cost of making food, and the use of pesticides, through the creation of automated farming machines.
Using sensors, the machines move from one end of a field to the other, scan for imperfections, water plants where needed, and treat and monitor crops. ecoRobotix’s autonomous weeding robots, for instance, reduce costs by over 40 per cent and use 95 per cent less fertilisers and pesticides.
It’s a process that will also involve farmers, who can cut out time-consuming tasks and shoulder the responsibility of supervising the machinery and crops.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is also being used to gather data around agriculture, so that there is enough information for growth and gains.
In October last year, Google’s parent company Alphabet released prototype machines, which move around fields while gathering information about plants, such as how they grow and respond to the environment they’re in. Moreover, American tech firm International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is supplementing AI with the internet of things and predictive analysis to measure how weather patterns affect crop yields. All this to preserve our natural capital – the soil, air and water that we depend on to survive.
Experts think that within a decade’s time, the farming industry could be transformed. New tech in water, waste, and livestock management, along with food packaging, are already disrupting industries.