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AGRICULTURE: Modern Outlook of Agriculture Industry

Trends in the agriculture Sector have been adopted to sustain nutrition demand and relieve the sector’s burden

The agriculture industry is evolving and has birthed modern agriculture in the world. Modern agriculture is a way of integrating ever-changing innovation and technological advancement into traditional practices. The industry as a whole is facing many challenges, therefore innovation is an imperative step to salvage the situations, such as shortage of labor, changing preferences of consumers, and high cost of goods supply. Modern agriculture has transformed farming practices and made it possible for them to increase production efficiency, save natural resources, and suffice the world’s demand for food. We all are well aware, the modernization of agriculture was developed for improving food affordability, boosting the food supply, promoting sustainability, and ensuring the integrity of the food and it has efficiently served this purpose for many years now. However, since the method is based on extensive input and output, modern technologies use hybrid seeds or plants curated for high yielding, and there is a much higher use of water for irrigation and abundant consumption of fertilizers and pesticides. All these factors of modern technology stress the environment. The various impacts that are caused by the use of modern farming are Eutrophication, soil degradation, soil erosion, improved resistance to pests, groundwater contamination, and waterlogging.

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New Technology Introduced In Farming

  • SMART AUTOMATION: It is the result of farm automation, that had made farms smart and more efficient. It has automated the production cycle of livestock or crop. This technology is part of AgTech and key companies are working on various robotic innovations such as drones, automatic watering, autonomous tractors, robotic harvesters, and seeding robots. Despite the fact that these technologies are still in their early years, an increasing number of traditional agriculture organizations and large-scale farmers are implementing farm automation into their operations. In the world, around 5% have already employed automation in agriculture.
  • MODERN GREENHOUSES: Greenhouses have taken a modern turn with the use of technology, such as LED grow light, and automated control systems to regulate the favorable environment for plants. The greenhouse industry is attracting a lot of investment latterly, which is expected to drive a higher infusion of technology in it. Greenhouses were previously used as small facilities for aesthetic and research purposes but now they are much larger facilities and are significantly contributing to global food production. With the continuous development of technology used in greenhouse production, that system is producing an unprecedented amount of yield. Greenhouses have abilities to provide 15 times more yield per acre when compared to field settings. Furthermore, more than 90% of yields of greenhouses are ready for trade, compared to 40-60% in field agriculture.
  • PRECIOSN AGRICULTURE TECHNOLOGY: Over the last several years, the adoption of precision agriculture technology has increased. Precision technology, such as variable-rate technology or guidance systems, is currently used by 15-40% of big farms in the United States. It involves controlling food production through the use of technology to gather and evaluate data to aid decision-making. Precision technology has enabled the enhancement of yields and return on investment. Moreover, it has boosted the natural quality of food and reduced the adverse impact of the environment on agriculture.
  • ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: AI-powered machines are highly been deployed at farms, they help in determining the health of soil and crop, the recommendation for suitable fertilizers, and also analyze the quality of crops. It helps farmers in taking better decisions and efficiently conduct farming.

Methods Trending In The Agriculture Sector

  • REGENERATIVE FARMING- Sustainable agriculture is critical for lowering greenhouse gas emissions while also preserving energy and water. Owing to the popularity of the sustainability theme, regenerative agriculture is rising. It focuses on replenishing the nutrients in the soil through crop rotation, reducing the tilling process, and using agricultural practices that use less water and electricity.
  • VERTICAL FARMING- It is an indoor form of farming that is done in a limited land area and minimized the pressure on the environment and renewable energy resources. Moreover, the cost of the supply chain is also cut down as there is no need for distance traveling. In vertical farming, the indoor environment, such as air, humidity, temperature, and light is highly monitored to optimize the production of some popular vegetables, such as lettuce and tomatoes. Currently, the United States has a higher number of vertical farms. Moreover, its popularity is growing in different regions of Asia, including China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and Taiwan
  • REWILDING-It is the practice to restore the original condition of agricultural lands, it including restoring the old species in the area. It is somewhat related to regenerative agriculture. Rewilding also removes carbon from the atmosphere by healing places such as peat bogs, grasslands, and woodland areas. The Global Rewilding Alliance in collaboration with OpenForests have launched a global map of the area to be included in rewilding projects.

Global Outlook On Agriculture

The entire world is pushing agriculture production by practicing new methods and adopting advanced technologies. According to predictions of the Food and Agriculture Organization, for supporting a world with a population of 9.1 billion in 2050, there will be a rise of 70% in overall food production between 2005/07 and 2050. Here are a few ways different regions are proactively working in the agriculture sector.

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NORTH AMERICA

US Department of Agriculture is taking initiatives to boost innovation in the agriculture sector to help American Agriculture to achieve the goal of boosting production by 40% while curbing the carbon footprint in half by the end of 2050

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ASIA PACIFIC

The National e-Governance Plan in Agriculture (NeGP-A) is a planning scheme in which incentives are provided to the States and Union Territories for projects involving the use of digital farming and current technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Robotics, Drones, Data Analytics, Block Chain, and so on. In India, the total investment in agrifood tech firms reached around USD 5 billion in 2022, nearly 119% higher than in FY 2021. Moreover, the deal volume of agritech jumped to 234 in 2022, up from 189 in 2021.

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EUROPE

On December 2021, European Commission launched Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 2023-27, it came into force on 1 January 2023. The policy is the modernized version of existing policy, its primary reform areas are higher incentives for environmentally friendly farming, increasing land for biodiversity, and rural agriculture development. Within the European Union, the agriculture and food sector is expected to create 44 million new jobs, out of which 20 million will be in the agriculture sector itself, thus indicating the sector’s expansion.


In Conclusion

The necessity to secure global food security has risen to the top of the world's priority list. Agriculture is under pressure to produce more food due to a growing population and changing dietary choices. Furthermore, there is an increasing emphasis on ethical and regenerative farming practices. To solve food security issues, strategies such as diversified farming systems, genetic advancements of seeds, and investment in agricultural infrastructure are being implemented. Consumers are increasingly seeking nutrition that is both sustainable and produced locally. Organic products, fair trade practices, and transparency in the agricultural supply chain are gaining popularity. Farms and agribusinesses are responding to these requirements by adopting environmentally friendly practices, implementing ethical sourcing, and engaging in direct-to-consumer marketing. These trends are influencing agriculture's future, with an emphasis on balancing economic viability, environmental care, and social responsibility. Acknowledging these developments is critical for developing a flexible and environmentally friendly agriculture industry capable of tackling forthcoming obstacles.

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Swara Keni

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