Smart Agriculture: Agriculture with a New Perspective
Smart agriculture is experiencing rapid transformation with reference to products and services. The adaptation of new business models, technological disruptions, and organizational changes are projected to bring massive growth in the agricultural sector but result in some challenges too. The advancement in hardware and software technology is resulting in new and different ways of agriculture. The introduction of robotic automation, smart sensors, modern biologics, and increasing use of digital data, is driving the global smart agriculture market to a great extent in terms of sales.
The biggest challenge for all humanity in the coming decades will be food. The growing population and the drastically changing climatic conditions will be the emerging challenges for the agriculture industry. It will be quite difficult to bring more land under cultivation because most of the lands will be used for industrial purposes to cope-up with the emerging economies. This is why many countries are looking forward to adopting smart agricultural techniques to feed the new teeming billions.
What is Smart Agriculture?
Smart agriculture is an advanced procedure of conducting agricultural activities using technologies such as internet of things (IoT), sensors, artificial intelligence, and robots to increase farm productivity. It is an innovative way to reduce human effort and make the best use of available resources. The high-tech machineries and equipment used in smart agriculture have an extensive range of applications such as crop recognition, irrigation management, climate monitoring, veggies and milk collection, field mapping, yield monitoring and many more. Furthermore, the implementation of advanced technologies has uplifted organic farming, which specifically includes greenhouse and vertical farming for large-scale production.
Benefits of Smart Farming using IoT
Following are some potential tasks that are performed by IoT and advanced technologies to bring various transformations in agricultural sectors:
- Smart Agriculture Sensors: These sensors are used to collect tons of data to maintain the good quality and productivity of crops. For instance, these sensors are used to gather information about weather conditions, soil quality, crop growth, cattle’s health, and these data are used to track the growth of the business, staff performance, and equipment efficacy, and several other factors.
- Low Production Risks: The advanced technologies provide better control over various internal processes like the production of crops. Consequently, it becomes easy to foresee the output of the production and the product distribution. This methodology gives the idea of how much to harvest and lessens up the risk of products get unsold.
- Cost management and Waste Reduction: In smart agriculture, increase use of monitoring devices help to find out the anomalies in the growth of crops and simultaneously reduces the risk of losing the yields.
- Enhanced Business Efficiency with Automation: The use of smart and automatic devices enhances the maintenance, production, and distribution of crops in a faster way. With the help of automated machinery, tasks like irrigation, collection, pest control can be performed smoothly. All these collectively result in significant growth of the business.
- Higher Product Quality and Volume: Increase use of automation helps in maintaining higher standards of crop quality and modulating greater growth capacity.
Applications of IoT in Smart Agriculture
There are several applications running in smart agriculture to monitor, regulate, map, and produce a good quality of crops. Following are some wide applications in smart farming:
- Monitoring Climatic Conditions: IoT devices like allMETEO, Pycno are used to collect data from the environment and send it to the weather stations. The collected data is further used to map the climatic conditions and accordingly appropriate crops are harvested and grown.
- Precision Farming: By using IoT sensors, farmers can gather a vast array of data to raise their crops under exact and better conditions. As the word precision suggests, farming is all about collecting every possible data to grow healthy crops. These data include temperature, lighting, CO2 levels, soil condition, humidity, etc.
- Agricultural Drones: In smart farming, apart from surveillance drones are used for planting crops, fighting pests and infections, crop monitoring, spraying fertilizers, etc.
- Cattle Management: SCR by Allflex and Cowlar are some smart agriculture sensors that are specifically used to measure temperature, health condition, nutrition insights on each cow, and collect information about their herd too. These sensors are used to identify sick animals so that contamination can be avoided. The use of sensors also reduces staff expenses.
- Greenhouse Automation: There are certain sensors that enable farmers to get accurate real-time information on greenhouse conditions. GreenIQ is an interesting smart sprinkler controller which can be used to manage irrigation and lighting remotely.
Emerging Global Smart Agriculture Market
The revolution of new technologies is a key factor that is projected to accelerate the growth of the global smart agriculture market. As per the regional analysis, the Asia-Pacific smart agriculture market share is envisioned to grow with a CAGR of 10.10% during the forecast period (2021-2028) and the market in the region is also expected to generate a revenue of $14,396.90 million.
Impact of Covid-19 on Smart Agriculture Market
Though the novel coronavirus pandemic had devastated several other industries, the smart agriculture market experienced favorable growth during this period. Mostly, in many countries, agriculture is completely dependent upon migrant laborers. Due to strict lockdowns and social distancing regulations, laborers were sent back to their natives. Therefore, the demand for smart farming has increased. Smart agriculture techniques like precision farming, livestock monitoring, greenhouses, etc. help farmers to grow healthy crops even in the period of pandemics.
The Bottom Line
In the coming decades of digitalization and automation, smart agriculture techniques will be a significant option to develop healthy crops on a large scale. Smart farming applications consume less energy and are cost-effective too. However, there will be some arising challenges as most of the farmers are based in rural industries and don’t have access to advanced technology. The agriculture industry will need lots of professionals to make a change in the functionality of smart agriculture widely.
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