Agriculture

Agriculture

The challenge of how we’ll feed the exploding world population in the future – in a sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way – is seeding an agricultural revolution. Welcome to farming of the future : a hi-tech, capital-intensive system of growing food sustainably and cleanly for the masses.

Here are the facts. Each second, the world’s population grows by nearly three more people, that is 240 000 people a day. By 2025, the global population will reach 8 billion people and 9.6 billion by 2050, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This means there will be an extra billion mouths to feed within the next decade. And in just one generation, there will be more people additionally on the planet than there were at the beginning of the 20th century. Sounds improbable? Well, guess again.

With many of the resources needed for sustainable food security already stretched, the challenges are huge. At the same time, climate change is already negatively impacting agricultural production globally and locally. Farms must increase production of food while preserving the environment, but they can’t do it alone and they can’t do it using today’s traditional farming practices.

Subsistence farming in poorer countries is still a labour-intensive, low-reward industry, at the mercy of unexpected environmental changes, economic downturns and many other risk factors. And while mechanized agriculture in the developed world has considerably increased output per unit of land, more is required to sustainably meet the food demands of tomorrow. Happily, though, the Internet of Things (IoT) – essentially the art of connecting and integrating objects, people, information and systems for intelligent production and services – is now set to push the future of farming to the next level.