How technology could solve agribusiness challenges

Check out how robotics and satellite tracking are some of the tools that could change the agribusiness sector. More about it.

How technology could solve agribusiness challenges
Challenges for the Agribusiness-Related Future. Photo by Marta Ortigosa / Unsplash

The challenges facing agribusiness in the coming years are varied and difficult to solve, by 2050 the world will be a more populated place, at least there will be more than 10 billion people on the planet, to feed this population producers will have to increase their production by 70 percent with less and less water and fertile land for cultivation.

For Mr. Gerardo García Barragán, CEO of Compu Campo S.A. de C.V., the challenge for the countryside is greater, since climate change will affect the world's population and agriculture, he said during his conference "Agro 4.0", given to students and academics at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara (UAG).

These effects are famine and extreme poverty; by the year 2050, famine could reach 800 million people and 2 billion will not receive the necessary nutrients. Given these scenarios, three different alternatives are envisioned to change the difficult future that awaits millions of human beings:

Change production methods by applying technology.
Use new technologies to offer more food to consumers and increase the efficiency of supply chains.
Incorporate new technologies and transversal applications known as "Agro 4.0".

The food industry of robotics and the Internet of Things

"I think it will be an excellent option to use agribusiness 4.0, you see, this is using the technology we have today, to give alternatives to tomorrow," he expounded.
Agro 4.0" is the incorporation of different information technology tools, communication technologies, process automation, robotics, and other tools for the benefit of agricultural production:

Facilitate the decision-making process.
Increase production and productivity.
Increase profitability.
Reduce the impact on the environment (sustainability), such as the use of natural resources, synthetic fertilizers, agrochemicals, and greenhouse gas emissions.

This will result in food security and a reduction in the environmental impact left by humans on the planet.

The idea is to incorporate new technologies and applications into the industry, which will make agriculture more intelligent, precise, innovative, and sustainable.
For the expert, smart agriculture is about strategic human processes that seek to better plan the activity with consumption patterns, markets, and production under contract.

"The companies go with the farmers, they already do it, but it is about doing it on a larger scale, and plan with them the harvest of a specific product, potato, avocado, but all this under a market strategy, sustainable and intelligent," he said.

On the other hand, thanks to the use of technology, other methods could be applied, such as precision agriculture, which is to manage the soil with the use of mapping and differential correction, to find out if they are functional.
This precision agriculture also includes the selection of seeds to obtain better products, planting with density planning, satellite monitoring, drones, and plant indexes.

At the same time, the use of robots and sensors for planting and harvesting products, application of less harmful pesticides, biofertilizers, and crop health monitoring will be incorporated.

"Robotics is getting closer and closer to being used in this case, with the use of robots to monitor production, harvesting, harvesting and crop health, human labor will be less and less necessary, but trained people will be required for the management, maintenance and creation of these machines," he said.

Other alternatives have emerged in agriculture, such as growing food in cities, in gardens, and on "green roofs", where the population could compensate for their food needs with products harvested by themselves and thus contribute to the sustainability of the planet and human life.

However, these visions of the present, which wish to take humanity to the next level, have their limitations: they require investment, the Internet, and human resources capable of understanding and using technology, characteristics that are lacking in poor or developing countries that concentrate their resources on other needs.