In this technological era of smart cities and digitalisation of livelihoods, the primitive method of farming is slowly fading away. With the rise of data-centred and smart farming, people nowadays are more inclined towards using scientific and high-tech procedures for intensive farming. In this race of agricultural evolution, developed countries like Israel, Australia, the United States and most European countries are implementing ‘Internet-of-Things (IoT)’ in their agri-practices for better and advanced products. In particular, Israel is leading the smart farming industry ingeniously despite the fact that the geography of the country is not naturally conducive to the agriculture, Tel Aviv is a world leader in agricultural research and development.
The redesigned and technological-based “smart agriculture” is likely to move the industry from statistical to quantitative outlook. These radical changes in the agriculture sector are trembling the existing agricultural processes and generating new possibilities together with a whole new challenge. Smart farming is playing a very crucial role in improving the agricultural harvest with lesser resources and minimal labour efforts. As we are all well aware of the population boom (in the last 50 years), almost doubled with a whopping 7.5 billion people. In conformity with the forecasted figures, in 2050, the population of the Earth is expected to reach 9.8 billion, ballooning approximately 25 percent from the present-day figure. This expansion will ultimately drive to the high demand of food, largely in the developing territories like India and Africa.
With the use of a whole new sensing and IoT technologies in agriculture practices, all possible characteristics of conventional farming methods can be drastically changed. At this present time, the smooth incorporation of wireless sensors can raise the bars of smart agriculture to levels which were previously not imaginable. The developments in smart agriculture could prove to be an elixir for the humanity as IoT can help with improving the solutions of many traditional farming issues, like yield optimization, drought, irrigation, land suitability and pest control. In particular, farmers need to visit the agricultural fields every now and again all through the crop field to have an idea of the harvest conditions. For this, the need for smart agriculture emerges, as 70 percent of cultivating time is spent checking and understanding the yield states instead of doing field observation. Latest sensing and communication innovations give a genuine remote “eye in the field” capacity to the farmers, enabling them to watch the happenings in the field without being in the field.
Thinking about the extent of the farming business, it unimaginably calls for innovative and precise arrangements together with an aim of sustainability and without any environmental impact. Remote sensors are encouraging the accurate observation of crops continuously with greater results and can, above all, recognise the early stage of the unwanted state. This is the main motivation behind the recent agriculture usage of brilliant instruments and kits, from planting to harvesting and in any event, during capacity and transportation also. Prompt detailing and precise monitoring capabilities with several sensors make the whole operation not just smart but also profitable for its cost-effectiveness. Diversified range of autonomous tractors, robotic weeders, harvesters, drones, automatons, and satellites are the main components of smart agriculture. Different types of sensors are used to gather crop information in a very short timeframe, which is then accessible online for additional examinations almost immediately. Sensor innovation offers yield and site-explicit agriculture, as it bolsters error-free data collection of each site.
This is a direct result of the capacities offered by IoT, including the fundamental communication infrastructure (used to associate the tech objects—from vehicles, sensors to user mobile devices—utilizing the web connectivity) and range of assistance can be of local or remote data acquisition, cloud-based shrewd data analysis or dynamic along with client interfacing, and farm activity automation. Such abilities can change the agricultural businesses which presumably is one of the most prominent and much needed in these challenging times.
Lately, the Internet-of-Things (IoT) is starting to affect different spheres of sectors and industries, extending from health, agriculture, manufacturing, communication and other industries, in order to reduce inefficiencies and improve the performance across all markets, we need to unlock the full potential of the IoT — it needs to be inculcated in the lives of people by increasing its reach and availability to the desirable areas. We still have countries which are no lesser vulnerable to lack of education, social awareness and poverty. Most nations in the African continent are struggling to feed their citizens with consistent access to food and dietary quality. However, we can hope that IoT technologies are going to play a crucial role in various applications of the agriculture sector in poorly fed countries.
In order to make agriculture smarter and more efficient to meet future expectations, the governments from different landscapes must work together side by side, sharing technologies for more inclusive growth. The attention must be on smarter, better, and more efficient crop yielding techniques to satisfy the enlarging demand of humongous populations even with the ever-contracting arable land.
The views reflected in the article are the opinions of the author in a personal capacity and do not reflect the views of his employers.