24 February 2018
Mary Defilippe

Commodity Trading News

Mary Defilippe - Eka

10Posts 56,688Views 0Comments

Can Technology Prevent a Global Food Crisis?

12 June 2017  |  3818 views  |  1

Over the last century, the global population has quadrupled, from 1.8 billion people in 1915 to 7.3 billion today – and it’s still growing. This growth has caused an increase in demand for food, which is expected to grow 70 percent by 2050. Farmers worldwide will need to increase crop production to feed this growing population. For some countries, this will be easier than for others.

Finding farmland

China’s growing population, combined with the rise of middle class consumers demanding more vegetables, pork, beef, and milk, is creating a food crisis. China eats about 20 percent of the world’s food, but has only nine percent of the world’s farmland. Much of China’s land is not suitable for farming, either consumed by factories or polluted by chemicals and waste. In 2013, China combatted this problem with the largest land lease ever, leasing 3 million hectares (11,500 square miles) of Ukrainian land – roughly 5 percent of Ukraine.

Leasing farmland from Ukraine may help China in the near term, but global food demand will continue to rise. Asia, Africa, and South America are forecasted to add another 2 billion people in the next generation and the amount of arable land is decreasing courtesy of shifting climates and industrialization. We need to find a way to feed over 9 billion people with ever decreasing farmland.

Technology is the answer

Farmers need to get more food out of every acre of available land. Luckily, the technology now exists to significantly increase farming efficiency.

  1. Drones can be used to gather a variety of image-based data about the condition of crops, enabling precision farming. Drone surveys provide greater exactness than alternatives such as manned scouting, aircrafts, and satellites for evaluating crop health. Drones take centimeter-level images that reveal much more detail about a crop’s condition, including plant height, plant count, plant health, presence of disease, presence of weeds, and presence of nutrients. Drones can scan an entire field, whether it is five acres or 5,000, finishing in hours what would historically take weeks, and deliver earlier detection of weeds, pests, and other abnormalities so farmers can quickly take corrective action.
  2. Sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT) can increase farm yields. Sensors embedded throughout farms indicate where soil is moist, eroded, or lacking nutrients, so farmers can immediately and properly treat soil to encourage crop growth. Sensors monitor crop health, indicating where crops are thriving and where they are not, and send signals to farm equipment which uses the data to automatically apply fertilizer and pesticides—just the right amount and exactly where the chemicals are needed – encouraging growth and increasing crop yields.
  3. Advanced analytic tools take the data from sensors and drones to accurately predict the quality, quantity, and timing of harvests. Armed with continuous data about crops, farmers can better predict when to harvest and the quality and quantity of crop yields. They can proactively manage every step of the value chain, securing the most efficient and cost-effective transportation and ensuring food reaches the right destination quickly, feeding more people.

The global food crisis is not going away. Farmers that invest in new technology can increase production and help alleviate the pressure. 

Advanced technology can help prevent a global food crisis. TagsInnovation

Comments: (1)

Saroj Kumar
Saroj Kumar - Root Info Solutions - Heathrow | 16 June, 2017, 07:25

Food for thought. Technology people are definitely taking the ownership to address this burning issue of hunger and food scarcity. I'm proud to be part of a tech company that is competent in creting such mobility solution. Here is one: IoT (Internet of Things)-based Agricultural app (http://www.rootinfosol.com/phonegap-project/connected-crops), that allows users to remotely monitor - temperature, humidity, windspeed and soil moisture. however, a great sense of responsibilities lies with people as well to control the population and minimize the loss of food. 

1 thumb up! 1 thumb up! (Log in to thumb up)
Comment on this story (membership required)

Latest posts from Mary

Can blockchain move from buzz to real world commodity solutions?

14 November 2017  |  5360 views  |  0 comments | recomends Recommends 0 TagsBlockchainTrade execution

The Dangers of Data Silos

11 September 2017  |  1043 views  |  0 comments | recomends Recommends 0 TagsArtificial IntelligenceInnovationGroupData Management 101

Why Is Risk Analytics Important?

18 August 2017  |  14596 views  |  0 comments | recomends Recommends 1 TagsArtificial IntelligenceRisk & regulationGroupFinancial Risk Management

Electric Cars: Have We Reached the Tipping Point?

21 July 2017  |  3895 views  |  0 comments | recomends Recommends 0 TagsInnovation

Data, Like Oil, Must Be Refined

20 June 2017  |  4267 views  |  0 comments | recomends Recommends 0 TagsInnovation

Mary's profile

job title Director of Marketing
location Norwalk
member since 2016
Summary profile See full profile »

Mary's expertise

Member since 2016
10 posts0 comments
What Mary reads
Mary's blog archive
2017 (10)

Who's commenting on Mary's posts

Saroj Kumar