Agriculture largely controls the world economy and is an integral factor when it comes to developing nations. It acts as a primary source of income, employment, food, and other basic needs all over the globe. As per the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), agriculture shares 67% of the total population.
It is one of the most essential parts of the economy as well as daily life. When it comes to farming the growth in this sector for raising incomes is two to four times more among the poorest than compared to other sectors. Around 2018 the global gross domestic product of this industry was four percent.
This is equivalent to more than 25% of GDP in some developing countries. A few trends and innovations are expected to impact the global agricultural market by 2025. In this article, we will go through the top 10 innovations that changed food production in the agricultural sector.
1. Drones and Bees
Due to climate change, food shortage can be a major issue for scientists. This will thrive the prices as well. Due to such reasons public health officials are coming up with alternative ways of farming and shoring up food reserves. One such example is drone technology.
Drones are extremely useful for automated crop harvesting, aerial photography, and potential delivery drones in the future. They also help in supplementing the pollination efforts that bees perform. The disappearance of bees is catastrophic as they help in cross-pollination among plants.
Before reapers, small grains were harvested by hand for centuries. This task required a lot of patience and human labor. Grains were harvested using raked, sickles, and then tied into sheaves. The first harvesting machine was created by Cyrus McCormick at the age of 22 in the year 1831.
With reapers, it is possible to harvest large fields in a short duration and it also allows farmers to have bigger crops.
3. Steam Engine
Often in some places due to a lack of Technology harvesting and plowing are still done with power horses or oxen. But this was a frequent practice at earlier times. This process takes a lot of time and effort. In 1849 threshing machines were first used with portable steam power. The invention of the steam engine increased threshing production by hundred times.
The term hydraulic refers to the power obtained by using fluids under pressure to operate engines. Several Agricultural types of equipment used hydraulic energy such as tractors, self-propelled sprayers, self-propelled harvesters, and truck loaders. This technology has largely transformed the agriculture and farming industry over the years.
5. Artificial intelligence, automation and the internet of things.
Ever thought about driverless vehicles on farms? This is now possible, the way Artificial Intelligence is taking full control over things. A U.S based company Smart Ag has announced its driverless tractor technology in the form of “AutoCart” software. This step would be beneficial during the busy harvest season.
The software is a cloud-based platform that means automated agricultural vehicles will become part of the global internet of things.
6. Blockchain Technology
Blockchain, incorporated into the agricultural world and has opened an innovative door. Earlier blockchain applications in agriculture were used in supply chains and traceability.
The status of crops right from harvesting to delivery can be recorded and updated using blockchain.
This is secure and highly accurate. Crops that belong to a specific farmer can be traced in real-time. Blockchain is also effective in resource management, live tracking other sensors and equipment for example maintaining machinery records.
7. Urban agriculture and vertical farming
Urban agricultural techniques have made the best use of farm space. Urban Farms are small by nature but can be beneficial in the form of an outdoor traditional community garden.
Sometimes they can be stacked on top of each other known as vertical farming.When compared to traditional agricultural methods vertical farming can be around 10 times more efficient. Traditional farmers can learn a lot from vertical farmers concerning design, building structure, and making the most of smart design to increase yield and reduce waste.
As the world continues to grow, the population is increasing and taking up more room. Efficient farming practices are becoming essential and are the need of the hour. This will help in keeping up with our agricultural demands in the future.
8. Genetic Editing
With the advancements in science and technology, the crops are engineered in a way so they can thrive in less water and yield more food. This is done through genetic editing. Researchers have started to utilize CRISPR/Cas9 to carry out genetic “surgeries”.
With this technology, they can identify and alter an organism’s genome by replacing or removing specific genetic sequencing on strands of DNA. This will lead to industry efficiency and increased profitability.