Using technology across agriculture value chain critical
Technology can be used at every stage of agriculture’s value chain to boost quality and quantity of produce, and reduce production costs as well as marketing costs.
Technology is key in genetically modified organisms where crops are enhanced to be fast maturing, high yielding, and drought-tolerant, among others.
In animals, gene technology can enhance meat, milk and egg output thereby improving earnings for farmers. The genetically-improved breeds can also be tolerant to unfavourable climatic conditions. Both plants and animals can be genetically-bred to resist pests and diseases thereby minimising losses for farmers.
Global Positioning System is essential in determining the deployment and utilisation of agricultural machinery including drones. Collecting information demands accuracy and speed and deployment of drones can be utilised in that context.
Remote sensing aids in understanding soil types and their deficiencies, hence influencing the modalities for improving them. For example, spectroscopic analysis of soils helps in determining the macro and micronutrient contents, alkalinity and acidity. The information is usable in maintaining soil fertility.
According to a Forbes.com article of December 2016 by Jennifer Kite-Powell, Internet of Things (IoT) has emerged to be a centre of attraction in agricultural production.
The application of crop-tracking technology has helped in developing better water use efficiency in broad acre farms, as well as in improving land and natural resource use.
Greenhouse technology can now be deployed to spread light for plants during the day and at night. Long day plants can be planted in greenhouses to proffer more light for enhanced growth and quality production. This is especially vital in floriculture. Greenhouses also helps in minimising pests and diseases in plants.
Multispectral analysis has generated new ways of studying plant responses to light wavelengths, which is key to greenhouse farming.
Technological advances have also enhanced the way farmers provide their livestock with proper care such as monitoring their activities and behavioural signs of temperature, weakness, and activeness.
Application of the above technologies are increasingly becoming a boon to farmers in all corners of the world.