Michael Dix is overseeing spouse and co-founder of Intentional Future. Previously, “hes spent” eight years at Microsoft producing product management and marketing strategy squads. He likewise worked in Beijing, for News Corporation establishing one of the first internet undertakings in China, and in New York City, where he helped create and then extend an internet rule at Siegel& Gale.
Chris Walker is head at Intentional Future. For the last 15 years, Chris has worked at the intersection of the environment and emerging technologies. He has a Ph.D. in environmental engineering and an MBA from the University of Washingtons Foster School of Business.
Its entirely possible even probable that the evolutionary, cutting-edge developments in the 21 stcentury world of agriculture over the past few years have slipped under your radar. Fair enough, youre busy. We get that. But that doesnt means that a massive and comparatively stealthy interruption isnt happening as we speak.
In fact, you could argue that the period between right now and the advent of the next Sustainable Development Goals( SDGs) in 2030 will be as fundamentally transformative to the world of farming as the one that earned The Father of the Dark-green Revolution, Norman Borlaug, a Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.
In the 1950 s and 1960 s, the Dark-green Revolution brought smallholder farming into the modern age. Modern seed stocks, industrial fertilizers and mechanized farm tools increased agricultural production in all regions of the world. But that revolution may have also reduced agricultural biodiversity and increased the use of pesticides and herbicides, both of which threatened world food security.
How have things changed since then, and how might they apply to both smallholder and industrial agriculture?
Because of a confluence of global trends and macroeconomic indicators, the direction we grow and harvest food for an increasingly exploding population couldnt be at a more critical juncture than it is today. Here are the sobering facts: Right now, there are almost 7 1/2 billion people in “the worlds”. By 2050, that amount ought to be able to mushroom to nearly 10 billion more and more of whom( 60 percent) will live in urban centers, where theyll be much less likely to produce their own food.
At the same time, as incomes are going up and extreme poverty recedes( the worlds poorest population has gone down by about 10 percent over the past decade ), peoples diets will change. Higher incomes will lead to a larger intake of meat. Meat production requires tons of land, vigor and water resources that could be used for smarter calorie product. So is not simply will there be changing demands and a more selective approaching to intake, “theres been” growing needs to find sustainable solutions.
To help meet this increasingly yawning gap between quantity and requirement, farmers need to be smarter and more efficient. Thats where engineering comes in the point on the X-Y axis where ag encounters tech.
Investigating the future of agtech
We recently completed an investigation into the complex and promising realm of agtech. With an eye to where engineering can best relating to the gap, we talked to farmers, agriculture startups and robot manufacturers to disclose insights for what might usher in the next agricultural upsurge forward.
Using prevailing farmland to grow more food isnt sustainable. And it also isnt as easy as it musics. In fact, you could argue that its becoming harder for three main reasons.
First, harvest growth rates are beginning to plateau amongst richer, more developed countries that defined the modern standard for agricultural production. This raises questions about our ability to meet the needs of a growing population with current techniques. Second, the economics of agriculture are getting tighter( input costs are growing faster than merchandise costs ). Third, weather has become still more variable as a result of climate change, shaping yields more unpredictable.
Data is the new coin of the realm, and agtech companies are striving new ways to use data to develop appreciate for farmers.
But while it might seem obvious to some that technology can help mitigate some of these challenges, the fact is that agriculture is the least digitized major industry in the U.S.( according to 2015 study from the McKinsey Global Institute ).
The good report is, thats changing. Agricultural technology is beginning to force industry-wide digitization that could usher in an era of more sustainable product 😛 TAGEND
The ubiquity of smartphones and fast mobile internet moves sell informed about input expenditures, merchandise values and inventoryings across the agricultural ecosystem.
New ways to collect data, like dronings and autonomous vehicles, give rapid and real-time data that provides information about climate, clay and the lives of harvests.
Cheaper, most powerful sensors enable faster data analysis for applications ranging from distribution modelings to gene sequencing.
Advance in machine learning and data science can help farmers plant the best harvests for their particular clay at the right time.Related Items:Agrible, AgTech, aWhere, blue river technology, drones, farmers business network, monsanto, Syngenta
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