All about Agri Tech, a possible solution to the pressing challenges of agriculture

Oluwatoni Olujinmi

Since the beginning of human history, agriculture has been crucial to the survival, development, and prosperity of billions of people around the world. Agri tech is a game-changer in the agriculture sector, with enormous potential to solve problems for farmers and other industry players.

From shifting weather patterns and dwindling supplies to rising populations and worries about enough food for everyone, the agricultural sector has had to adapt to a wide variety of difficulties over the years. 

To maximize output despite these constraints, a new discipline known as Agri tech has arisen. By combining agriculture and technology, we may harness the potential of new ideas to improve upon the effectiveness, sustainability, and financial viability of conventional farming methods.

In this article, we will look into what agri tech is, examine the challenges faced by the agricultural industry, and explore how agri tech can overcome these obstacles.

Definition of agri tech

Agri tech is the use of cutting-edge technologies and data-driven solutions to enhance agricultural operations, boost output, and make better use of available resources

It covers a wide range of techniques, from precision agriculture to improved crop adaptation to more rapid planting and harvesting. To address the issues plaguing the agriculture sector, it also makes use of automation, remote sensing, Artificial Intelligence, data analytics, robots, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The challenges facing the agricultural industry

The agriculture sector is struggling to keep up with the needs of a rapidly expanding global population and an ever more volatile natural environment. Among the most significant challenges are:

Climate change

A major danger to agricultural output is posed by rising temperatures, unpredictable weather patterns, and catastrophic occurrences like droughts and floods. Reducing forest cover and increasing greenhouse gas output, intensive agriculture necessitates the active reclaiming of land from forests. Crop failures and decreased yields are the direct result of climate change’s interference with growing seasons, shifts in pest and disease patterns, and decreases in water availability.

Scarcity of resources

Arable land, energy, and water are all limited resources that agriculture relies largely on. However, urbanization, soil deterioration, and competition from other sectors are reducing the availability of these resources.

A large amount of machinery is used in agriculture, and this machinery has its own resource needs. Metal for the components, petroleum for the power source, and so on. Instead of helping to lessen environmental damage, this only adds to it. For agriculture to be successful in the long run, sustainable techniques and efficient resource management are essential.

Land management

Agriculture that relies heavily on synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides leads to a dramatic decline in soil fertility. As a result, the soil deteriorates and the development rate slows, necessitating the application of additional fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides. Synthetic materials also leach into groundwater and harm it.

Lack of labour

However, as populations age and people move to cities in search of better opportunities, fewer people are available to work in agriculture. Lack of access to trained workers in rural areas reduces agricultural output and profits.

An ever-widening carbon imprint

There is a great deal of trash and by-products created by farming. Take the situation of organic farming, which has a great impact on the ecology and healthier plants but also contributes to climate change and rising temperature issues because it uses so much more area. This means that farms everywhere must either become more efficient or resort to environmentally destructive ways of the past.

Use cases for agri tech

Agri tech offers resourceful use cases to the challenges faced by the agricultural industry. By leveraging data-driven approaches and technology, Agri tech encourages stakeholders and farmers to overcome hurdles and make better productivity. Here are some use cases for agri tech:

Bio-tech

Bio-technology is the mainstay of the agri tech industry. The improvement of crops, the reason why farmers cultivate in the first place, is its primary focus. Farmers are able to produce crops with greater resilience to environmental changes by using agri tech. It’s also useful for increasing soil fertility and cleaning up polluted soil. Additionally, biotechnology boosts crop yields.

Precision agriculture

By utilizing precision agriculture methods, agri tech gives farmers the ability to make decisions based on empirical evidence. Soil moisture, crop health, and nutrient levels can all be monitored in real-time thanks to sensors, drones, and satellite imaging. By optimizing irrigation, fertilizer, and pest control methods, farmers can better manage resources, increase yields, and lessen their negative effects on the environment.

Robotics and automated processes

To combat labor shortages and boost productivity, agri tech incorporates mechanization and robotics. The use of automated machinery and robots has helped farmers reduce their reliance on human labour by automating processes like crop, seeding, and harvest monitoring. Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered robotic devices can efficiently and cheaply identify and remove weeds, diagnose illnesses, and optimize pesticide application.

Analytical data science and artificial intelligence

Agri tech uses artificial intelligence algorithm and big data analytics to gain useful insights and make accurate predictions. Farmers can foresee weather trends, market demands, and disease outbreaks by analyzing historic and real-time data.

Farmers may make better decisions and reduce risk with the help of AI-powered systems that optimize planting dates, anticipate crop yields, and offer individualized agricultural techniques.

IoT based sensors and blockchain in agricultural logistics 

Through facilitating real-time monitoring, tracking, and traceability of agricultural products, agri tech promotes blockchain’s use in agricultural logistics.

Transparency is increased, post-harvest losses are minimized, and food safety is boosted by the use of IoT sensors and blockchain technology. Timely deliveries, less waste, and better prices for farmers are all the results of well-managed supply chains.

Agri tech: the future of farming

Agri tech is the application of technology and innovation in agriculture to improve its efficiency, sustainability, and economic viability. 

However, significant use depends on ensuring farmers, especially those in poor regions, have access to necessary equipment, training, and infrastructure.

Agri tech’s continued importance in creating farming’s future, guaranteeing global food security, and encouraging sustainable agricultural practices will only increase as we negotiate agriculture’s complicated terrain.

Read also: Vertical farming, an innovative method to address food security and sustainability

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