IoT and AgTech
How IoT applies to Agriculture? What are the benefits of using IoT in agriculture?
We heard from Milo Wener, our class 4 speaker, about IoT application for solar Battery power Systems for the 500m people
Living off the grid in Africa. Similarly, new technology applications in agriculture are becoming much more needed, much more so if we look at the deep need to produce more food to feed the growing world population. “By 2050, the global population is expected to increase to around 9.8 billion people. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) predicts that the agriculture industry will need to produce 70% more food while only expanding their land usage by 5%” .
In AgTech (Technology applied to Agriculture), current applications involve thousands of sensors use to “improve water sustainability, imaging, production and ease of farming. Some examples are air and ground sensors, remote and infrared sensors, multispectral imagery and image recognition technologies. These applications of modern technology allow for easily accessible information on damage and better statistics on yield. In addition, integration with satellite imagery has enabled unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to provide autonomous operations and precision data gathering.”
Deploying these IoT devices and technology will greatly improve our ability to provide faster and sustainable food production for an ever-growing population.
So, what is really driving IoT application in farming is called precision agriculture. It “enables farmers to harness the Internet of Things (IoT) and deploy wireless sensors and weather stations to gather real-time data. This lets them respond to variable soil, moisture, and weather conditions across different plots of land. The benefits of precision farming include higher crop yields, reducing the risk of crop failure, minimizing operating costs, and selling crops for the highest price possible.” .
On the other hand, IoT technology will also enable greater transparency for consumer to track the food they are buying and consuming:  “With the IoT tagging each shipment and monitoring production, the data will be there to track an item from the farm to one’s plate/mouth. This technology could allow you to scan your food and see its path from a farm thousands of miles away or hundreds of miles away to its final sale in your hometown or city. There could be increased precision on product lists that could aid in reducing worries about allergens, personal preferences and requirements. In addition, it could provide general consumer satisfaction because consumers will know where their food originated. ”
According to the US department of Agriculture, “60% dealers in Agriculture offer some kind of variable-rate-technology services.
However, less than 20 percent of acreage is managed using these technologies due to the high cost. Ideally, as the benefits of precision agriculture become more well-known, the use of the technology will become more widespread, and the costs will decrease.”