Smart Agriculture: from the plow to the drone

Published by TelefonicaIoT IoT General

The relentless growth of the world population that has been happening since the middle of last century (it is expected that in 2050 global population will reach 9.500 million), coupled with the need to limit the use of diminishing natural resources, has left the agricultural sector with no choice but to look for new advanced solutions that can offer an effective response to this new context. The use of new technological tools, combined with Internet development, is presented as indispensable tools in the agriculture of the 21st century.

We need to produce more and better, and we have to do it in rationally and efficiently, with an adequate use of resources and in a more sustainable way in the medium and long term. Society faces the great challenge of producing twice as much food in smaller cultivated zones, with less labor and with serious water shortage problems that indicators reveal will worsen in the coming years.

In this context of concern for sustainability, quality and quantity of agri-food productions, the objective of the sector is to find new solutions that optimize the use of resources and arable land. In this sense, agriculture increasingly relies on technology and the use of large volumes of data (Big Data). This is known as precision agriculture and consists in the analysis of the collected data, mainly by intelligent sensors, to optimize the management of a cultivated land from the agronomic, environmental and economic point of view. The objective is to carry out a more efficient and precise use of resources.

Agriculture increasingly relies on technology and the use of large volumes of data

The main method of precision agriculture is to apply the necessary resources, but at the right time and in the right place. For this, the new type of agriculture employs global positioning systems (GPS) and other electronic media such as drones that allow you to obtain accurate crop data and act in the best way. Through the collection and analysis of data, farmers can optimize resources such as irrigation water, fertilizers or pesticides, which translate into a significant reduction in costs and an improvement in product quality, as well as more responsible use of the environment.

On the other hand, agricultural automation and robotics also have a leading role in the agricultural sector and allow, thanks to artificial intelligence, to improve the yields of the various processes in the field of agriculture. Automation is a reality that continues to advance in various tasks. Actions such as controlling irrigation from a smartphone or driving a harvester from a virtual reality system already represent the day to day of many farmers throughout the world. Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows people to program complex tasks on computers or configure them to learn to refine their procedures through experience, just as humans do.

Agricultural automation and robotics also have a leading role in the agricultural sector

A technological revolution has started in the agricultural sector that has no intention of stopping : projects such as "Smart Agro ", promoted by Telefónica and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with the aim of transforming agriculture and increase food security, will soon be implemented in Bucayá , Colombia, benefiting 38 families in the area.

More than just one technology in particular, smart farming is the confluence of a diversity of technologies that is bringing a true revolution to the value chain and is growing rapidly. Through current technology, farmers will improve the quantity and quality of the products produced in a sustainable way, with the consequent benefits that this will bring to society. The data and technology have become part of the agriculture and will mark the way forward in the future.

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