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AgriTech

The Future of Farming

Agriculture, this term is not new to mankind. The growth of agriculture across time has contributed to the advancement of civilizations. Before the widespread adoption of agriculture, humans spent most of their time obtaining food through wild animal hunting and plant harvesting. Around 11,000 years ago, people started to learn how to grow grains and root crops, and gradually they adapted to a life based on agriculture. Agriculture allowed formerly nomadic people to remain near their land, allowing the creation of permanent communities. Trading brought these widespread communities together. In some regions, new civilizations were so prosperous that cities and societies flourished. For thousands of years, agricultural development was incredibly slow. Native Americans employed indigenous fire practices to regulate the development of grapefruit plants as they figured out that these plants expanded rapidly following a fire. From simple, hand-held instruments to the complex, contemporary gear we use today, farming practices have undergone a significant evolution. Modernized, frequently autonomous, technology is now being adopted by farmers to help them reach their full potential in the agricultural industry.

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Global agricultural operations are under increasing strain to feed an expanding world population. The population of the globe was less than 2.8 billion in 1950, five years after the United Nations was established. In 1987, it hit 5 billion, and in 1999, it grew to about 6 billion. The world's population was around 7 billion in 2011 and it is projected to rise by 2 billion during the next 30 years to nearly 9.7 billion in 2050, with a potential peak of approximately 11 billion people around the year 2100. This implies that compared to current production, farmers around the world will need to cultivate almost 75% more food. Additionally, they must adhere to stringent sustainability requirements and boost crop output while conserving soil and water due to a depleting natural resource base. The agricultural sector is utilizing contemporary technologies to produce desired results while improving operational efficiency. This has led to the emergence of the field of AgriTech. The phrase "agritech" or "agricultural technology" refers to the application of technological advancements in agriculture to boost productivity, efficiency, and profitability. This includes crop engineering to adapt to different environments, effective harvesting, and quicker planting—all enabled by technology. The adoption of technology such as big data, artificial intelligence, or other methods may also be necessary to address the problems that the agricultural sector is currently facing.

The rise in technology is the need of the hour as the agriculture sector faces numerous difficulties, most of which have a large impact on the planet's future. These consist of -


Preservation of Soil

In agriculture, synthetic fertilizers, weeds, and parasites significantly reduce soil fertility. In order to remedy the soil's poor quality and sluggish plant growth, which are both caused by this, more fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides are needed. The nearby water supplies are also contaminated by the usage of synthetics.

Exhaustion of Resources

Many items of machinery used in agriculture need additional resources to build and operate, such as steel for the components and hydrocarbon for the propellant. Instead of assisting in reducing environmental harm, this ultimately adds up to be a bigger cause of it.

Shifting Environment

As a result of the rapid restoration of terrain from forest areas required for intensive agriculture, the amount of forest cover is reduced as greenhouse gas output rises, producing climate change and an increase in temperature. The strong demand and reaping of crops and plants are also impacted by the change in climate, temperature, and overall environment.

Growing Carbon Footprints

Agricultural trash and by-products are abundant. Consider organic farming, which is supposed to benefit the ecology and produce healthier plants. However, because it requires more area than conventional farming practices, it contributes to the phenomenon of rising temperatures and climate change. As a result, farmers across the globe are obliged to either become more efficient or stick to old-fashioned farming practices that are ultimately bad for the environment.


How Can Agritech be Applied to Address These Issues?

What Specific Applications of Agritech Are There?

There are various agritech use cases, many of which entail applying technologies and applications to address problems in agriculture. Several significant agritech use cases consist of:

1. Sustainable & Intelligent Farming

Sustainable and intelligent farming is a farming technique that is based on prior analysis and research to increase the productivity and efficiency of farms and fields. Here are several techniques for creating a smart farm ecosystem –

  • Irrigation automation mechanism
  • Using weather predictions to schedule crop planting and harvesting as efficiently as possible
  • Vertical agriculture
  • Precise cultivation
  • Hydroponic farming
2. Scanning and surveillance using drones and satellites

In order to evaluate, monitor, and develop topographical maps, drones and satellites assist in scanning the fields and crops. In addition, drones can be used for a variety of other things, including, fighting crop diseases, measuring nutritional deficiencies, planting seeds, and monitoring of pollination. Farmers can easily and swiftly cover enormous areas of land thanks to the use of drones and satellites.

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3. IoT-based Devices

Utilizing cutting-edge Internet of things technology, agritech can be used to monitor and deliver precise data on the weather, soil quality, and current state. By giving farmers timely analytics on their crops and fields, IoT technologies can optimize farming without depleting resources such as time, money, and energy. The data can be used to improve farming, but it can also be used to form other judgments, such as how to store and convey the produce.

4. Blockchain and Big Data in Agricultural Logistics

Agriculture logistics can be hit or miss. Most of the time, consumers are unable to determine the source of the fruits and vegetables they purchase. Agritech businesses and entrepreneurs work to develop the use of big data and blockchain in the farming sector to address this issue. Blockchain is transforming this industry by enabling direct communication between farmers and consumers.

    By utilizing blockchain:
  • Customers may easily trace the product’s origins in terms of time, place, and methods.
  • Additionally, it facilitates the opening of borders, lessens reliance on fiat money, and eliminates the need for middlemen.
  • Costs of the commodities decrease as a result of fewer steps being taken to reach consumers.
5. Biotech

Agritech is mostly focused on biotech globally. The primary objective is to improve crops, which are the foundation of farming. Agritech has the potential to develop crops that are more adapted to the present climate than conventional ones, encouraging plant growth, cleaning up the soil, increasing soil fertility, and raising agricultural output. Biotech supports the growth of crops as well as the creation of artificial fertilizers, insecticides, and other farm-related products.

6. Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture

Agriculture Robotics and autonomous equipment aid in raising agricultural production efficiency. This is due to their ability to -

  • Find and clearly identify the produce
  • Choose the ripe ones correctly and harvest them.
  • Use Water optimally
7. Innovation in Manufacturing and Transportation

Food can now be grown closer to urban areas thanks to agritech, which is advancing techniques like vertical farming and hydroponics. As a result, it takes far less time and money to deliver food from fields to customers. Fresher, tastier, and healthier food is also made available because of it. Additionally, agritech businesses also assist in the creation of apps and websites that are tailored to the agricultural industry, removing the need for middlemen and allowing farmers and suppliers to communicate directly or over the phone. This encourages simpler consumer-farmer engagement and dialogue.


Future of Agritech

Agritech is an industry that is expanding quickly and doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon. The production of food will continue to be a problem as the world's population rises. To address these issues, governments, financial institutions, and cutting-edge agricultural technologies will need to collaborate. By the end of 2035, it is anticipated that the Agritech market will have significantly increased its market share.

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The market is expanding across all geographical areas as the adoption of smart agricultural solutions eliminates the need for the consistent application of water, fertilizer, and pesticides throughout large fields. Instead, farmers will use the most advanced tools to manage and produce as much as possible with the least amount of resources. Furthermore, it is anticipated that the future of agritech and farming would be boosted by emerging technological advancements to support farming in mountainous and arid regions and far-flung areas.

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swara-keni
Swara Keni

Head- Global Business Development

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