By Prabodh Krishna
The food and agriculture industry has experienced increasing disruption in recent years. Consumer behaviour trends have evolved continuously and have influenced markets
Human attention can be pulled up easily while talking about technology and how it will advance the agriculture production. An aspect which will well prepare us to meet challenges that are unavoidable in agriculture. These were the issues discussed at the session on “Emerging Trends on Agriculture Science & Equal opportunities to all” during women economic forum’s annual session in New Delhi on the 28th of April, 2018. The session has been addressed by Danielle Woods, founder of Space Enabled and Edel El Beltagy, chair of International Dryland Development Commission. Research students from parts of the world have attended the session along with various stakeholders from the field of agriculture.
The food and agriculture industry has experienced increasing disruption in recent years. Consumer behaviour trends have evolved continuously and have influenced markets. For instance, calorie, protein, and oil intake per capita are continuing to grow and have been linked to rising incomes, particularly in developing regions. India is no exception to it. India is also talking on the world on its own terms and on the strength of an empowered population that is now touching 1.3 billion mark. Addressing the same in the panel which had discussed a similar issue at women economic forum, Danielle Wood Director of ‘space enabled’, USA said that yes it’s the IT that has made the difference and will be changing the world very soon.
She has also discussed the impact of data science & design and technology which can be customised to meet the needs of farmer’s social issues. “United States Aid program also known as USAID is also helping various such programs to get implemented on the ground,” shared Danielle. The loophole of data error in much-focused satellite imaging in comparison to better data in more general satellite imaging was also discussed by Danielle. This is an issue to learn from, as most of the private players in this trade focus on a smaller area than larger area focused by government agencies. Danielle has also focused on how hydrology may be another area which can get better projection with the help of modern-day satellite tools.
Set of monitoring tools hedge the farmer from disaster and the learned panel had also thrown light on it. Aerial monitoring tools like drones, satellites, and airplanes reveal patterns in irrigation, soil variation, deforestation, changes in livestock, soil erosion, pest and fungal infestations and other phenomena that may not be easily apparent at the ground level. Airborne cameras take multispectral images, capturing data both from the infrared and the visual spectrum. These images can be sequenced to show changes in agricultural fields.
The ground-based monitoring tools are doing it via ‘In- or on-ground sensors’ that are deployed to detect crop conditions, weather data, and many other details, which can then be transmitted to decision analytics platforms via the Internet of Things (where computing devices embedded in everyday objects are connected to the Internet to facilitate analytics). Apart from core technology part, the other serious issues were also discussed with the start of world-renowned agriculture scientist Edel Bartagy’s address, Edel is Chair for International Dryland Development Commission.
60 per cent of the population lives in rural areas where technology enablement and climate change has become helping hand and nightmare respectively for the farming community. Edel said that it’s already a 1.3°C change in world temperature and alarms are ringing because it can rise up to additional 4°C by 2050. He has also raised a point that continuous migration from agriculture has posted a major challenge to overall agriculture production goals of the world and over 44 per cent of overall 2.5 billion agriculture practitioners have been continuously deprived of various basic rights.
Apart from addressing core social issues, Edel said that “Higher yield and sustainable development of agriculture is the major global goal.” Edel had rightly pointed out that over 50 per cent of global agriculture production may suffer due to simple and serious issues like climate change and deteriorating condition of women in agrarian practice. Edel has warned that after China which stands on number one position, India may well get drown due to rising Sea levels as India is consistently holding number two position in risk assessment index for the same.
“A mix of Mitigation, Adaption and Resilience is must to let the technology help Emerging Trends in agriculture science to give equal opportunity to all in development,” said Edel while closing the session.
Source: Economic Times