Agriculture is the most important occupation in India. As a growing market, many investors invested approximately $1.5 billion between 2000 and 2016. This trend is expected to grow in 2018, as many technologies in the farming sector are being introduced.
Technology has always played a key role in different sectors. Due to that, many emerging startups are trying to introduce unique technologies in agricultural field which enhances the productivity with minimum human interference.
Here we look at the top 10 Emerging Technologies in Agriculture which will change the agricultural sector in the coming years.
In today’s world, data is everything. Data can provide a meaningful insight that helps many businesses for their growth. In the case of agriculture, studies have shown that by year 2050 the population will grow to 9.7 billion. This means that we need to find ways to produce the food and distribute it at the double the current rate. This becomes extremely important as about 40% of the earth’s surface is being used for agriculture. One-third of the food produced goes waste during the entire production process as it majorly impacts the global economy. Therefore, data should be used in agriculture industries.
Big Data analytics helps analyze valuable insights from the data gathered from the fields, weather, and climatic conditions. It can help in yield production, as the insights can provide the information like what to plant and where to plant a particular crop for maximum production. Also, the data gathered from humidity, temperature and chemicals can provide useful insights like which fields are prone to contamination and presence of microbes.
Biotechnology is an emerging field in the agriculture sector. It is an area of agricultural science involving the use of various scientific techniques like molecular diagnostics, genetic engineering and tissues culture to modify the living organisms: plants, animals and microorganisms to increase the crop productivity.
Genetic Engineering is the process of transferring a useful characteristic from a gene constituting the particular trait to another organism. This process is used to increase the crop productivity and providing resistance to weeds and bad weather conditions.
Tissue culture is the field of producing a plant that is disease-free. A disease-free plant can thereby generate types which are disease-free.
Sensors can be used in the field of agriculture by collecting the data that can help farmers optimize and monitor their crops.
Various sensors are used in the field of agriculture like location sensors, optical sensors, mechanical sensors and many more.
Sensors placed around the fields enabled with image recognition can help farmers view their crops from anywhere in the world. The sensors deployed on the agricultural field can provide the farmers with up-to-date information, so that the changes can be made accordingly to their crops.
Internet of Things
Internet of Things is the future. Internet of Things is the network of devices; vehicles and home appliances that are connected to each other which help them interact and exchange the data among themselves. In agricultural sector, IoT can be used for farm vehicle monitoring, storage monitoring and livestock monitoring. With the help of Internet of Things farmers can control the activities of the devices due to the connectivity.
Agriculture drones can be used to give the aerial view of the agricultural field to the farmers. They can be useful for crop monitoring and also produce 3D imagery of the crop field which can predict the soil quality. Drones can also be used for spraying the chemicals on the crops thereby avoiding the groundwater penetration.
Machine Learning is growing at a rapid pace and is being implemented in various sectors. Machine learning in agriculture can be used to predict which genes and particular traits would be best for crop production.
Machine learning algorithms can also be used in agricultural manufacturing aspect, where the quantity of the purchased products can show which crops are getting sold the most and which are falling in the market.
Blockchain is the trending word nowadays because of the introduction of bitcoins. In addition to bitcoins, the blockchain is known to have various benefits in various fields including the agriculture.
Nowadays, many farmers use combination of software and apps to keep the track of their data. This requires more effort to gather the right information. Blockchain provides a single source thereby minimizing the efforts to keep the records and maintaining multiple records systems. Blockchain can thereby save energy and time in agriculture chain.
3D printing can be considered as the latest cutting edge technology that can be used to set up urban gardens, make 3D prototypes and crops. The prototypes can also be used for production as new resistant 3D printing materials are being introduced in the market. Moreover, 3D printing has really a great advantage as the farmers can print the tools on demand. A great example is that the farmers in Myanmar are using 3D printing to create tools.
Artificial Intelligence is another emerging field that has a great advantage in agriculture. One good example is that the image of the fruit taken from a camera and fed to the Artificial Intelligence algorithm can predict how long it will take for the fruit to ripe. Also, the farmers can get notifications or alerts about the presence of grasshoppers or other insects in their field with the help of Artificial Intelligence algorithms.
Robots are being introduced in various sectors to minimize the human efforts and increase the accuracy. Robots can be used for crop monitoring and analysis. Also, the spraying robots can be used for micro-spraying thereby reducing the amount of herbicide in the crop production. With the addition of laser and camera integration the robots can be used for identifying and removing weeds without human intervention.
Conclusion – We should consider that future of the agriculture depends upon the digital transformation. The digital evolution can benefit the farmers by providing them with better options. With the increasing population, various measures need to be taken by introducing the technology and helping farmers live a peaceful life.