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Food and Beverages | Monday, January 31, 2022
Technology can aid in transforming the global food production system, mitigating its influence on climate and the environment, and reducing food waste.
Fremont, CA: Agriculture has allowed for the exponential growth of the human population, and its industrialization over the past two centuries has driven the leap from 1 billion to approximately 7.7 billion people. Consequently, modern agriculture has challenged the limitations of environmental resources. With an estimated 2 billion additional mouths to feed by 2050, agriculture must simultaneously become more productive and sustainable. This demands increased investment and use of productivity-enhancing technologies and the participation of youth and small-scale farmers.
Technological transformation in agriculture
Human inventiveness, scientific achievements, and technological advancements have provided the globe with many tools for transforming the food system and mitigating its impact on the environment and climate.
Real-time weather forecasting assists farmers in precision agriculture with daily decisions regarding when and how much to irrigate, fertilize, and apply pesticides to crops. Agriculture in a controlled setting promises to lessen the impact even further. Some intelligent greenhouses are fully automated, with algorithms ensuring ideal plant development conditions by regulating inputs such as roof ventilation, artificial lighting, and heating.
Drones spray fertilizer, insecticides, and water with pinpoint accuracy, while ultra-high-resolution photography can detect early signs of illness, water stress, and soil degradation. Smart agriculture helps crops to realize their full genetic potential without unnecessary chemical inputs by decreasing the amount of guesswork in farming.
Biotechnology is another subject that is continually making advances. Crops are becoming more resistant to drought, pests, and infestation due to advances in seed technology, raising agricultural productivity and strengthening the resilience of food producers to environmental shocks.
Agriculture needs digital transformation
Agriculture, which employs millions of people directly and indirectly throughout the supply chain, has fallen behind many other industries in terms of digitalization and the application of digital technology. Fortunately, it is not too late to catch up, but the sector requires additional investment, innovative ideas, and involvement.
Agriculture is at yet another crucial juncture due to the necessity of feeding a growing global population. It is in the best interest of people to assist in the transformation of agriculture and the global food production system so that they can sustainably feed the globe.