Smart farming is a need of the future. We need to change the way of farming to cope with the incoming food crisis by 2050. Before explaining anything, please go through the below scenario.
Imagine you live in a modern city, a city full of contemporary houses and structures having all the luxurious things you can think of. There is no space for a park also. You go to bed, and the next day when you wake up from your bed, suddenly all the grocery stores and marts are empty, leaving no food to eat. You have money still you cannot buy/purchase food to eat. Your food reverse emptied. What will you do at that moment?
You might die due to hunger, as there will not be any food and fertile land to do farming. Hunger can be a significant issue in the future. Mother earth is now feeding 7.6 billion people. The scientist estimated that the world population would reach 10 billion by 2050 as per the population growth rate.
The world population could be too big to feed. By 2050, food demand will have increased by 70 percent.
According to Harvard sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson,
“If everyone agreed to become vegetarian, leaving little or nothing for livestock, the present 1.4 billion hectares of arable land would support about 10 billion people.”
Hunger is coming, even faster than climate change.
By 2050, the fertile land of the earth will decrease as humans will cover the ground with concrete or make fertile land infertile that it cannot fruit any food. The plant will not grow on certain lands. It will directly affect the food chain, which can lead to hunger in the future.
The shortage of water, decrease of arable land and energy with increased demand from a population will create a global food shortage leading to the food crisis around 2050.
We are losing the earth topsoil
Topsoil is the upper 5-20cm of soil with the highest organic matter and microorganism’s concentration. The earth is currently losing 75 billion tons of topsoil each year.
Scientists estimated that we had lost a third of the world’s soil in the last 40 years, and it is happing at an increasing rate.
“To meet the increasing demand from a growing population, we will need to produce more food in next 40 years than has been produced in the previous 8,000 years.”Jason Clay, Senior Vice President WWF, 2013
According to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, by 2050, the world’s population will reach nearly 10 billion, i.e., 34 percent higher than today. Food production must be increased by 70 percent than today to feed this larger population.
This report argues that humans can only cope with increased food demand if only we put the necessary investment and policies into agricultural production now.
Food price will skyrocket
Yes, you heard me right. By 2050, food prices will skyrocket as part of the food crisis. Scientists believe that the cost of rice and corn will increase rapidly by 180-190 percent by 2030.
What are Agriculture and Farming?
Agriculture is the art and science of cultivating the soil, growing crops, and raising livestock, whereas farming is the activity or business of growing crops and raising livestock.
Over centuries, the growth of agriculture contributed to the rise of civilizations. Origin of Agriculture took place around 11,500 years ago. Before that, people spent most of their lives searching for food, i.e., hunting wild animals and gathering wild plants.
Two thousand years ago, much of the earth’s population had become dependent on agriculture, and scholars believe that shifting to farming took place due to climate change.
People started to adopt wild plants and animals to use (domestication). Scholars believe that the first domesticated plant was rice by Chinese farmers as early as 7500 B.C.
People used the first domesticated animal’s dogs for hunting. Later on, people domesticated sheep, goats, and also domestic cattle and pigs. People raised the hunted animals for milk, cheese, and butter. Eventually, people domesticated oxen for plowing, pulling, and transportation.
Are we farming to the fullest potential?
No. We are not farming to the fullest potential of mother earth. People are polluting the fertile land in the name of urbanization. Humans are making shelters in arable land once where we used to grow crops. People are degrading the fertility of land with the overuse of fertilizer and pesticides. For these reasons, we are not growing and harvesting to the fullest potential.
Why are smart farming techniques required?
As per scholars, by 2050, we might go food crisis leading to hunger. We need to produce food 34 percent more than today. Degrading arable land will be challenging in the future. There will be effects of climate change.
We should use the smart farming technique as much as possible. Some of these smart farming techniques are aeroponics, hydroponics, aquaponics, site-specific weed control, site-specific fertilizing, etc.
Farmers are not able to grow crops to the fullest potential. Less rainfall, climate change, dryness, disease, pests, etc., can affect the crops. These reasons yield low harvesting.
Many agriculture companies have invested in robotics. Different farming robots are used in weed control, pest control, harvesting, planning, and analyzing farming data. Now farmers can grow plants as per years weather prediction. Many have used artificial intelligence to power robotics. Companies have developed software to help farmers for better harvesting in the end.
Now farmers use proper techniques to cure crops and livestock as per early detection. They can know which diseases have infected crops and livestock, and they can use appropriate solutions. Farmers are using brilliant harvest storing methods to protect the supply chain throughout the year.