How is Digital Technology Transforming Agri-food Systems?

Saurabh Singh August 31, 2022
Digital Technology is Transforming Agri-Food Systems

Over the past fifty years, the agricultural sector has undergone a significant shift. Farm machinery has become vast, better, and more productive because of technological advances, enabling the more efficient cultivation of wider areas. 

Furthermore, vastly improved crops, irrigation, and chemicals have helped farmers raise yields. The next wave of digital transformation in agriculture technology is just getting started, with $6.7 billion invested over the past five years alone. Upcoming technologies such as artificial intelligence, informatics, integrated devices, and other innovations may boost returns, improve the efficacy of irrigation and other inputs, and foster resilience and long-term sustainability in both crop development and livestock rearing.

Digital agri-food technology has the possibility of benefiting all parties involved in the value chain of agriculture. The goal now is for all participants, small and large, to turn data into value through digital transformation consulting.  

The Significance of Technology in Agriculture

Significance of Technology in Agriculture

Many people around the world rely on agriculture to provide them with food and income. The industry has witnessed numerous modifications and improvements in various farming techniques and practices during the last few years. Modern agriculture and farming activities operate significantly differently than they did decades ago, mostly because of the impact of technology in agriculture that brought innovations in the form of monitors, machinery, infrastructure, and information systems.

Today, for example, different vehicles and machines are employed, fewer insecticides are utilized, and biofertilizers are being used. Automation, temperature and climate sensors, detectors, satellite imaging, and global positioning systems (GPS) are additional sophisticated capabilities that have resulted in digital transformation in agriculture. 

With the help of cutting-edge tech in agriculture, precise methods of cultivation, and automation devices, organizations may function more economically, efficiently, securely, and sustainably. Because these inputs are readily available, using natural resources and methods to enhance crop productivity and cut expenditures is important. Water, manure, and chemicals no longer need to be applied uniformly across the field by farmers. Rather, they can utilize the least quantity possible, focus on particular areas, or even treat different vegetation. A few advantages are:

  • A higher yield from the crops
  • Reduced negative effects on natural habitats
  • An improvement in worker safety
  • Reductions in the usage of fertilizer, water, and
  • Minimal usage of water, manure, and insecticides keep food prices low.
  • Lower chemical discharge into streams and rivers
  • Automated systems also make it possible to oversee and sustainably manage the quality of the air and water—more efficiently. 
  • Additionally, it provides farmers and other producers more control over the growing, processing, transporting, and preserving of plants and animals, which results in higher productivity and cheaper costs.
  • Safer growth environments and food
  • Reduced influence on the environment and the ecosystem

[Also Read: 14 Ways IoT is Impacting the Food & Agriculture Industry]

7 Ways Digital Technology is Transforming Agri-food Systems

7 Ways Digital Technology is Transforming Agri-food Systems

It is well established that agriculture is undergoing an evolution. Having control over every aspect with the help of technology has benefited the industry in numerous ways. There are different ways in which technology is transforming the agri-food systems. Some of them are listed below:

Smart Irrigation

Smart Irrigation

The regulation of water usage in fields is presently the topic of much discussion. This is because, today globally, 70% of freshwater is used for irrigation. Additionally, some of this water is wasted because of inefficient utilization patterns or agricultural runoff.

An IoT network or system that carefully observes and regulates the consumption of water in fields is a solution provided by smart irrigation facilities. Agriculture technology enables farmers to access a platform that aggregates irrigation data to assist them in making better choices. Producers can perfect their watering demands by taking into account factors like scheduling, reducing waste, and analyzing soil water content. By using computerized tools like smart pumps, smart irrigation minimizes the likelihood of human error. 

Through improved agriculture technology, smart irrigation can lower the wastage of water and enhance the quality of crop yields on the farms.

Farming Applications

The upheaval of tech in agriculture has forced the farming industry to steadily incorporate technology into farming practices because, to say the least, it significantly affects farm productivity and profitability. 

Agricultural-based tasks now need less effort, thanks to agrotechnology or AgriTech/AgTech, as it is more generally known. Smartphones have proven their efficiency and scalability in a variety of industries, even traditional ones like farming. 

Applications of digital technology in agriculture are altering how land is fertilized and reaped while clutched in your fingers. Furthermore, it has encouraged farmers to participate more actively in the creation and distribution of food at differing stages of agricultural production. The majority of emerging technological innovations in agriculture food technology simply involve using electronics or mobile apps to perform routine tasks and reduce the need for manual effort. 

Users of smart farming technology choose a User Interface that is both customizable and incredibly simple to use, despite the fact that the solutions are now somewhat constrained.

digital transformation consulting

Global Positioning System (GPS)

GPS is popular agriculture technology. In order to track the status of the crop, for instance, modern farming uses GPS tracking. It is simple to assess and record the harvests from a specific farm using GPS and track the yield levels. These innovations are valuable because they empower farmers to make judgment calls on information that has been gathered and logged. 

The yield map, which can be employed to provide an overview of all the operations for a complete year, is the most favored recordkeeping tool. These maps are quite beneficial since they may provide a plethora of details about practically anything, such as the efficiency of the drainage channels in your farm.

Monitoring of Crops and Livestock 

Monitoring of Crops and Livestock 

Farming businesses may monitor their produce and cattle in many different ways by being connected. Incorporating meteorological data into farming operations can increase yields and improve the accuracy with which deficits are predicted and identified. 

For instance, sensors monitoring soil conditions may be able to guide sprinklers and modify watering or fertilizer dosing if they are able to communicate via wireless LANs. Farmers can receive early alerts about potential diseases or pests by using IoT technologies to provide visuals from remote agricultural areas. Monitoring crops for quality traits like fruit hue or size, etc., can help farmers increase crop profitability by optimizing the entire harvesting process.

Similar principles apply to managing animals; avoiding disease outbreaks and identifying early warning signs are essential. Farmers can monitor their livestock’s temperature and heartbeat, among other symptoms, seeing initial signs of infections and minimizing mass contamination, thanks to microchips, wearable devices, and the already well-liked ear-tag device. Farming businesses can monitor their livestock in real-time, thanks to ear tags’ ability to track whereabouts.

Every sector should prioritize commitment to the environment, and integrating sensor devices can automate airflow or thermal adjustments in stables, enhancing the living conditions of cattle.

Although NB-IoT and 5G are serious competitors to fix the challenges, IoT technologies are still being explored since they cannot support frequency and interconnection issues.

Automated Farming

Farming automation, sometimes known as “smart farming,” is a technology that increases farm productivity and streamlines the process of rearing crops or livestock. Robots, automated vehicles, robotic farm machinery, automatic irrigation, and planting devices are just a few of the innovations in automation that are being developed by an increasing number of companies. Despite the fact that these innovations are still relatively new, more conventional farming enterprises are incorporating farm automation into their practices.

Modern agriculture has undergone a dramatic transformation, thanks to new technological developments in fields like automation, robots, and AI and machine learning systems. Agricultural automation technology’s main purpose is to take charge of simple, routine activities. 

Robots, fully autonomous mowers, sowing, and pruning are some of the primary digital technologies in agriculture that are most commonly used by farmers. Major concerns like an expanding world population, a scarcity of agricultural labor, and shifts in consumer demands are addressed through agricultural farming automation technologies. 

By addressing challenges like consumption habits, staff shortages, and the ecological consequences of farming, automated agricultural production operations have enormous advantages.

Drones, UAVs, and Satellite Imaging

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), programmable drones, and satellite imaging let farmers collect pictures, identify the changes in the land and crops, analyze irrigation, and irrigate farms.

Drones have been employed in farming for crop irrigation, but the latest Agri technology models can examine both crops and animals over massive swaths and communicate real-time data to other system components. Drones that have vision-based capability can monitor environmental conditions and alert managers to any required measures, such as watering crops or applying pesticides where they are most required. Additionally, drones can sow the seeds in hard or remote locations, cutting costs on labor and equipment.

Farmers can do crop prediction and optimize their production planning with the help of photographic data. Utilizing integrative maps can substantially reduce labor costs and time spent on certain farming practices while also assisting in problem recognition.

Climate and Weather Monitoring 

Climate and Weather Monitoring 

The level of proficiency in automated weather prediction is developing today. Farmers are faced with more unpredictability because of global warming and extreme weather conditions. In order to supervise their crops and farms more securely, farmers can use technology to help with weather forecasts.

For instance, if farmers are informed of an impending storm, they may opt to harvest a crop a day before to minimize the losses. The capacity to manage supplies helps farmers have more control over their yields. In addition, they can alter their irrigation canals to utilize less water to combat damp conditions if rainfall increases.

Farmers can receive these services via mobile applications as well as specialized portable farm technologies through digital weather systems that are solely focused on agribusiness. With the help of agricultural food technology, farmers may be capable of preparing for storms, snow, and other natural events and make preparations to preserve their harvests or, at the very least, greatly reduce damages.

Digital transformation in agriculture

Partner with Appinventiv to Digitize your Agri-food Business

Businesses are being forced to become more adaptable, smart, and digital as a result of faster technological advancements and evolving customer expectations. Business practices and operations are being altered by digitalization to become more customer-centric. One such crucial industry in the world that needs the assistance of such digital transformation is agriculture.

By providing tailored Agri technology solutions based on an assessment of your present capabilities, Appinventiv can assist your agri-food firm in establishing an adaptive approach and achieving measurable results. Applications, other technologies, and operational systems all need to alter as a result of digital transformation. Our app development services are geared toward supporting your company during the entire application development process

We assist you in many ways, including helping you implement end-to-end digital transformation rapidly and easily, minimizing costs and risks through wise decision-making, and integrating and managing the newest and most cutting-edge agriculture technologies.

During our clients’ journeys toward digital transformation, our industry-specific approach and innovative techniques have assisted them in achieving exponential commercial results. Leverage our digital transformation consulting services to digitize your agricultural project. Get in touch!

Bottom Line

Continuous advancements in digital technologies and data, as well as interactions between farmers and scientists in the public and private sectors, are really what is propelling agriculture technology. Performance is the prime concern of almost everyone working on the development of modern agribusiness. This transition to modern agriculture in the field will be made possible only by a wide range of technologies.

While some technologies, including automated vehicles, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine vision, have already been implemented for use in fields, others will need to be adopted exclusively by players in this industry.

In the near future, millions of farmers will be able to gain from the acquisition of real-time agricultural information if modern agriculture technology is broadly implemented. Thus, when a crisis happens, farmers will have access to disaster warnings and weather forecasts without spending a lot of time gathering agricultural data. Although the future of technology in agriculture is extremely difficult to predict, these encouraging technology trends in agriculture and pilot projects, if used, will make farming easier and affordable too.

FAQs

Q. What is digitization in agriculture?

A. The process of integrating cutting-edge digital technologies  like AI Technology, big data, automation, autonomous aviation systems, sensors, and network infrastructure into the farm production system is referred to as the “digitization of agriculture.”

Q. How did technology help in the innovation of agriculture?

A. Drones, climate and temperature sensors, satellite images, and global positioning systems ( GPS ) are all frequently used in modern farming. This cutting-edge technology, autonomous systems, and improved agricultural techniques have helped businesses become more productive, profitable, safe, and eco-friendly 

Q. What are the benefits of digital agriculture?

A. Improvements in management and decision-making processes are among the key advantages of digitization in agriculture. Other benefits include:

  • a growth in income and productivity.
  • Real-time information
  • developments in records management.
  • Uncertainty and risk management 

These benefits have made it possible to operate and oversee farms successfully.

Q. How is digital innovation transforming agriculture?

A. Large and medium-sized businesses can now access and analyze huge amounts of Agri data thanks to the digital transformation in agriculture, which has also made it possible for various parties to add more value to the operations they monitor. It enables farmers to transform unfiltered agricultural data into useful insights that boost the yield and quality of their crops. 

Other digital technologies in agriculture, including artificial intelligence (AI), are enabling farmers to select the best crops and agronomic practices for their area and employ farming automation to maximize resource productivity. Additionally,  producers are now able to gather crucial farm information round the clock because of technology like smartphone-based farming apps, sensor systems, drones, farm equipment and machinery, robotic devices, and other IoT gadgets.

THE AUTHOR
Saurabh Singh
CEO & Director
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