Climate change is a central consideration in the sustained ability of farmers to grow the food that we need. The erratic weather patterns caused by climate change affect growing seasons, resource availability, and – ultimately – crop productivity. Add soil erosion and declining biodiversity, as well as a burgeoning green-minded consumer populace and it becomes clear that traditional operations require an overhaul to come up with sustainable processes, meet governmental and consumer expectations, and remain viable.
It is anticipated that technology innovation in agriculture holds the key to green diversification in agriculture. Central to this are farming processes that require reduced inputs and resources and increased yields and minimised emissions.
Agriculture innovation in the form of smart technologies provides a comprehensive technology toolkit for farmers to view full-scale farming operations in precise detail. This provides an accurate, data-based guide upon which farmers can, firstly, understand their current operations and, thereafter, strategise to change, improve, and boost productivity. This lays the groundwork for exciting opportunities around AI and automation.
Find out what farming innovation looks like in operation with our Complete Guide to Smart Farming.
The greatest challenge facing farmers of the future is the ability to increase productivity to meet food supply demands. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation has said food production will need to increase by 70% by 2050 if we are expected to feed a growing global population. When it comes to meat production, the World Health Organisation has estimated that meat production needs to increase to 376 million tonnes by 2030.
Multifaceted challenges exist on this front. These challenges include ever-reducing arable land and limited resources. Increasing levels of carbon dioxide also affects the nutritional value of grains, tubers, and legumes. This means we have the added concern of not only quantity, but nutritional value of the food we produce into the future.
In hand with climate change commitments for 2050, farmers are going to need to pivot dramatically from traditional methodologies to increase production at the required rate. Additionally, urbanisation is expected to reach 70% by 2050, which underscores the need for accelerated changes for sustainable intensification of agriculture. This will be achieved primarily by smart innovation in farming.