IoT Powered Smart Farming: The Future of Agriculture
Let’s face it; we are presently facing an unprecedented food security challenge. As per recent studies, this situation is going to get even worse, with some estimates pointing out that we have to increase our farm output by a staggering 60% in the next ten years and almost double it by 2050 to keep up with demand while using fewer resources.
But how can we manage to do that? The old way of applying water, fertilizers, and pesticides uniformly across the entire field can only take us so far. What this situation demands is a more scientific farming approach — or rather a connected one to be more precise — wherein we use a range of AI powered smart sensors to monitor and optimize the usage of resources as well as the yield.
Does this sound very futuristic? No, it is not. Thanks to the latest advances in IoT and other associated technologies, AI powered sensors are becoming smaller, lighter, powerful, accurate and most importantly, affordable. This makes them ideal for deployment across the field to monitor and obtain real-time insights about moisture levels, sunlight, wind speed and a host of other factors to make informed decisions.
Unlocking the future
Imaging the kind of benefits that we can unlock when we connect these AI powered devices with other advanced technologies such as Big Data and cloud. I am not much of a green thumb, but if I have an app that could sense and communicate to me that plants in my backyard needs water or some other kind of nourishment, wouldn’t I be able to tend to the plants more sensibly and keep them healthier for longer. IoT powered sensors deployed in the field does the same thing for farmers, but obviously on a larger scale, and help them increase yield and reduce wastage — exactly what this industry needs.
Not just this, there are plenty of other use cases that prove these internet connected devices can provide greater value to farmers. For instance, consider the example of autonomous irrigation, wherein we can use intelligent irrigation sensors that keep a tab on the water level and automatically control the overall irrigation and sprinkler system. The usage of flood sensors to control water levels and prevent over-watering or flooding of fields is another prominent example. And then there is the example of usage of IoT devices to monitor the health of livestock. Internet enabled devices attached to the animals provide real-time updates about the temperature, health, activity, and nutrition insights of each animal, which enables us to seamlessly identify sick animals and effectively quarantine them to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and reduce mortality rates. IoT sensors attached to individual animals have also been known to aid in the optimization of grazing patterns and improve milk productions for dairy farmers.
As our population continues to grow, our agricultural methods must grow with it. It is time to take advantage of IoT to empower farmers and put food on the table of each and every person across the globe.
Authored By Arvind Srinivasan – SVP – Strategic Initiatives & Global Markets, eMudhra