IoT – A Plausible Solution For Better Agricultural Production?

Aug 18,2019 by Aishwarya Srivastava
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As per Irish trade unionist and politician E. W. Stewart, agriculture was the first occupation of man, as it embraces the whole earth, it is the foundation of all other industries. This is something that we as a species do that outsteps all other beings when it comes to intelligence, which has forgotten over time because we are so busy advancing to new avenues of development and civilization.

Our hustle to excel in different walks of life and rapid industrialization has pushed us to the verge of survival crisis. As pollution levels grow phenomenally, we are a generation that is greeting the possible threats of climate change and as agricultural lands are captured by greedy industrialists in the name of development, we are soon heading towards starvation.

The generations to come will suffer due to our actions because plastic won’t feed hungry stomachs and technology won’t help put food on the table when farming is beginning to be extinct as a profession. However, it is not that people deliberately do not wish to be a farmer by profession, it is the foul play of covetous politicians and industrialists that is pushing farmers in India and many other countries to sell their fertile lands and live in misery.

As per census 2012, farmers make up a staggering 11.2% of suicides committed in India and it’s a shame for the country, where agriculture is a major occupation and resource for economic development. This is data from a study conducted eight years back and the political shenanigans in the country are the reason why the data pertaining to this crisis has been manipulated for years now; in fact, there is no farmer suicide data availability in India since 2016. While countries like Japan are realizing the importance of farming by promoting new strategies like urban agriculture, most other countries stay ignorant of the fact that sustainability is the key to long-term wellbeing.

Who Will Feed The Hungry?

From 1930 to 1960, the agricultural revolution was focused to enhance the production of food grains and other cultivations via technological advancement and mechanization. The goal was to help farmers grow healthy crops and reduce manual labor, thus enhancing productivity but 50 years after the revolution 795 million are starving and sadly 1 in 7 people is undernourished in the world.

The population is exploding and humanity will reach the mark of 9.8 billion by 2050 and to feed such a massive population, the world’s agricultural production needs to be accelerated by 70%. This seems like a farfetched dream when the current situation is out of control; we need to pick up the pace because the clock is ticking and 30 years from now, we won’t even be able to repent for our actions of today.

Technology May Be The Answer

When humanity found answers to its woes in technology, the mission of innovators was to make this world a better place to live. Years down the line, the visions of innovators turned into reality and today, not all but a lot of us live a life our ancestors could only dream of. We have come so far and technology has been at the forefront of development in various domains, but can technology propel the agriculture industry?

While there are numerous machines and equipment to help farmers produce more with less labor and investment, agriculture being a part of the digital realm is something that seems quite incomprehensible. However, experts working with the associated innovations are assertive about the premise that technology can aid in making agricultural activities more productive than ever.

IoT & Agriculture – What’s The Promise?

IoT can be the next big thing in the agriculture and farming industry because unlike a few years back, the availability of the Internet has amplified drastically. More and more number of devices are coming with Wi-Fi capabilities and IoT sensors and the cost of deploying these technologies for varied applications is no more skyrocketing. Technologies like IoT and AI are no more out of reach for people from all walks of life.

In the agriculture industry, IoT application includes activities like farm operations management, vehicular tracking, storage monitoring, and livestock monitoring. The IoT sensors can be installed in the ground, vehicles, and even to monitor the water flow to gather data that can come handy when it comes to assessing and improving operations.

However, the idea behind this is certainly not expecting farmers to operate complicated software on computer systems to gather and analyze the data; it actually is to make the data accessible via easy-to-use mobile applications. IoT application can help farmers take care of their crops from even their homes, monitoring everything conveniently, from water flow to the pest infiltrations that need to be checked and eliminated expeditiously.

Plausible Benefits

When an innovator introduces new technology, his prime motive is to ensure that the target audience is aware of the offered benefits. Though IoT isn’t a new invention in the technology realm but its application in the agricultural activities sure is new. So, it is vital to be aware of the advantages that the Internet of Things can offer to the agriculture industry, a few of which are mentioned below.

  • Farming activities can be simplified with the aid of IoT applications, as the technology aids in gathering and analyzing data to offer valuable insights that can thereafter be deployed to make the required amendments for better production.
  • Water usage optimization is another major advantage of integrating IoT-based irrigation systems in farms. This can be a major benefit for drought-stricken areas and places where water scarcity is common.
  • Weather prediction and monitoring is another advantage of IoT application in the farming industry. The technology can help farmers keep a watch on their crops.
  • The inputs gathered via the IoT sensors can be deployed even for cost-cutting, which sure can be quite beneficial for farmers.

Apart from all this, IoT-based smart farming can also be helpful in terms of environmental issues, which is a matter of concern for the whole of humanity today. The negative impact of urbanization and industrialization on the environment has made sustainable farming practices crucial and recommended. This, of course, makes it absolutely essential to opt for revolutionary technologies like the Internet of Things to bring about changes that can be beneficial for our environment.

The deployment of IoT can also be quite beneficial for agriculture segments like precision farming. This type of farming involves the need for precise data about the crops and the environment. IoT-based farming techniques and technologies can be immensely helpful in managing the massive amount of data to give reliable results.

These are just a few factors behind the invasion of technology in the agriculture industry but they sure are enough to specify how beneficial innovations like IoT can be in this domain. Agriculture is a critical part of our world and it is essential that we put in every possible effort to make it more productive, considering the booming population stats of our planet.

If nations fail to make such technologies readily available for the farmers, then it is likely that the coming generations are doomed to starve to death. Technology can save mankind from such horrors and it is high time that it is used to rescue us from possible calamities of starvation and annihilation.

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lasyasri
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lasyasri

Good information.Thanks for sharing.