January 15, 2024 AGRI TECHRESEARCH0

As the global population surges towards 9.6 billion by 2050, the imperative to boost food production by 60% looms large. In this quest for sustainable solutions, the field of hydroponic agriculture has emerged as a promising candidate. Hydroponics, or plant cultivation without soil, provides water efficiency and reduced fertilizer usage compared to traditional soil-based methods.

Recent breakthroughs in the agriculture industry have introduced a revolutionary technology – the eSoil. A low-power bioelectronic growth scaffold, the eSoil stimulates plant growth through electrical stimulation of the root system in hydroponic settings. This innovative solution could potentially transform the agricultural landscape, particularly in regions facing challenges such as minimal arable land or harsh environmental conditions.

The eSoil’s active material, an organic mixed ionic electronic conductor, combined with its structural backbone of cellulose, the most abundant biopolymer, presents a cutting-edge approach to hydroponic cultivation. A notable feature of the eSoil is its ability to house barley seedlings, a staple used for fodder, within its porous matrix. Remarkably, a study by researchers from Linköping University showed that by polarizing the eSoil, seedling growth accelerates, resulting in an average 50% increase in dry weight after just 15 days of growth.

This remarkable growth enhancement extends to both root and shoot development, offering a potential game-changer in the quest for increased crop yields. Notably, the stimulated plants exhibit enhanced efficiency in reducing and assimilating Nitrate (NO3), a key finding that may hold the key to minimizing fertilizer use and, consequently, reducing environmental impact.

READ: How to Advance Africa’s Agriculture Sector with Climate-Smart Policies and Investments

However, the journey of eSoil from laboratory success to widespread agricultural implementation is not without challenges. While the technology displays promise for fodder production, further studies are essential to elucidate its impact on the complete growth cycle of plants. The mechanism behind the eSoil’s influence on nitrogen assimilation requires deeper exploration, yet the potential for a significant reduction in fertilizer dependency offers a glimpse into a more sustainable future.

The eSoil’s unique properties, including its low-power consumption in the micro-watt range, make it a beacon of hope for large-scale adoption in closed environment agriculture. The ability to power the eSoil with photovoltaics adds an eco-friendly dimension to its feasibility, aligning with the growing focus on sustainable farming practices.



The heart of our collective efforts revolves around the workforce that accomplishes the tasks and success is unattainable without the individuals who tirelessly labor, day in and day out. The agricultural sector faces its own distinctive workforce challenges, which include a scarcity of applicants, demanding working conditions, and fierce competition for labor.

While technology isn’t a magic solution, recent advancements offer potential relief from the labor-related burdens that farmers are grappling with. Beyond automating manual tasks and addressing hiring gaps, technology can create a safer and more efficient work environment, which can, in turn, enhance recruitment and staff retention.

For a long time now, agriculture has faced a plethora of challenges, but one issue consistently stands out as a top concern: labor. While other challenges, like government regulations and climate change, have surfaced over the years, labor remains the primary concern. It has become evident that mechanization is the only viable solution for sustaining production worldwide.

However, there is perhaps undue optimism about the speed of mechanization adoption. The development of technology is a gradual process, akin to constructing a skyscraper one story at a time. It’s not characterized by sudden breakthroughs but rather incremental progress. Failures are common in the realm of invention, and the disappointment in the slow progress of robotics can be attributed to the nature of technological development.

The agriculture industry faces the perennial challenge of attracting and retaining labor. However, the younger generation entering the workforce is discovering appealing and innovative opportunities in agriculture, largely thanks to ag tech. This technology is instrumental in attracting young individuals to an industry that is both exciting and purpose-driven.

Young people with a passion for technology see agriculture as a means to make a positive impact on the world. Agriculture is no longer at odds with sustainability; in fact, it leads the way in promoting it. To attract and retain talent, the industry needs to better convey its critical mission and the opportunities it offers for personal and financial growth.

Also, agriculture is one of the few professions with a steady demand for its products. People may choose how to spend their money, but they can’t choose whether or not to eat. This aspect, coupled with opportunities for travel within major agricultural companies, makes agriculture an attractive career option for young professionals.

The rapid transformation of the agriculture industry, driven by technological advancements, demands a different kind of workforce. It requires expertise in satellite technology and data science, placing agriculture in direct competition with tech giants like Google and Microsoft for talent. While those with a background in agriculture may be more inclined to pursue careers in the industry, there is a need to attract non-traditional candidates, including women, who are underrepresented.

Ag tech not only has a “cool factor” but also aligns with the values of the younger generation. It allows them to make a tangible impact on global issues like food security and sustainability. The ability to work remotely and enjoy a better work-life balance adds to the appeal of ag tech careers. These roles offer uncapped career potential and do not require prior agricultural experience.

Universities and technical schools are now offering specialized programs in ag tech, equipping young individuals with the skills and knowledge to excel in the field. This educational support further enhances the attractiveness of ag tech careers. The combination of technological innovation, sustainability objectives, diverse career paths, and success stories within the agriculture industry is drawing more young talent to explore the possibilities that ag tech has to offer.


September 20, 2023 AGRI TECHEAGMARK NEWS0


The global agriculture industry is confronting a myriad of challenges that are putting farmers’ profitability at risk. The rising costs of inputs and labor, coupled with the impacts of climate change, have created a daunting scenario for farmers worldwide. In Africa, these challenges are particularly pronounced, and the need for innovative solutions has never been greater.

Escalating Input Costs and Climate Change Pressures

Farmers across the globe have witnessed a dramatic surge in the prices of essential inputs such as fertilizers and crop protection chemicals. Over the past few years, these costs have escalated by an alarming 80 to 250 percent. The reasons behind this surge are complex, including supply chain disruptions and geopolitical challenges.

In tandem with rising input costs, climate change is aggravating the situation. The consequences of a warming climate are increasingly evident: more frequent acute weather events, prolonged droughts, and the emergence of new invasive crops and pests, all of which diminish crop yields. For instance, Kenya experienced a 5-season long megadrought in arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) and drought-hit communities are still struggling to recover, despite some improvement from the March-May long rains. While counties such as Isiolo, Kwale, Marsabit, and Nyeri have moved into the recovery phase, Kitui and Taita Taveta remain in the alert drought phase. Meanwhile, flash floods triggered by the long rains have caused the loss of lives and livelihoods in various parts of the country, including ASAL counties.

The Promise of Automation

In the face of these challenges, globally, farmers are turning to automation as a beacon of hope. Automation technology offers a spectrum of solutions, ranging from semi-automated techniques like assisted steering to fully autonomous systems such as weeding robots. These innovations leverage sensors, analytics, robotics, and equipment to help farmers make more informed decisions in the field.

Generative AI, a recent development, holds immense potential to automate decision-making processes by harnessing extensive datasets. This could aid farmers in developing strategic plans regarding the application of inputs like fertilizers, crop protection, and seeds, optimizing both profitability and sustainability. With a comprehensive curriculum, programs like the Precision Agriculture Course offered by Eagmark have been developed for African farmers to help accelerate the adoption of technology for farm profitability and overall sustainability. One can enroll in the course through Eagmark’s Online Learning Campus at


The benefits of automation are substantial, with the potential to deliver significant value to both row-crop and specialty-crop growers. For instance, in orchards and vineyards, fully autonomous systems can generate over $400 per acre annually, doubling to quadrupling returns on farmers’ automation investments.

Despite the promise, automation is still in its infancy. According to McKinsey’s 2022 Farmers Global Insights Survey, less than 5 percent of farmers globally have adopted this next-generation technology, while 21 percent are using farm management software. However, two distinct trends are poised to accelerate adoption: the economic pressures facing farmers and the growing emphasis on sustainable farming practices.

Addressing Farm Economics: Input Costs and Labor Challenges

Automation provides tangible solutions to two longstanding issues that have plagued farmers for years: rising chemical costs and labor-related challenges. Supply chain disruptions and geopolitical complexities have driven up the prices of fertilizers, with a staggering 15 percent annual increase over the past five years.

Automation can alleviate these costs by optimizing the use of pesticides and fertilizers. Precision spraying, enabled by sensors and real-time field data, adjusts chemical volumes and timing to minimize waste, significantly reducing expenses. The McKinsey report highlights that herbicide application technologies utilizing computer vision have demonstrated an 80 percent reduction in herbicide costs on large U.S. corn farms.

Labor challenges also persist, with farmworkers facing safety risks and wage pressures. Automation offers the potential to widen the labor pool by simplifying the tasks that require specialized skills. Additionally, it enhances productivity and reallocates labor to higher-value activities. Fully autonomous equipment can reduce the need for hazardous activities, ensuring a safer working environment for farmworkers.

Sustainability: A Catalyst for Change

While input costs provide immediate incentives for automation, sustainability pressures are poised to drive significant change in the near future. Governments worldwide are setting ambitious targets for environmentally sustainable farming practices. For instance, the European Green Deal aims to reduce pesticide use by 50 percent by 2030 and transition a quarter of agricultural land to organic farming. Canada, too, seeks to reduce fertilizer usage by 30 percent by 2030, with non-compliance resulting in significant financial penalties.

Automation emerges as a critical tool to meet these sustainability targets. Automated precision-spraying equipment and weeding technologies can drastically reduce the need for pesticides and fertilizers, aligning with regulatory requirements. Automation also simplifies data collection and reporting, facilitating participation in programs like organic certification.

Consumer Demand for Sustainability

Consumer interest in sustainable food systems is on the rise, pressuring farmers to adopt more environmentally friendly practices. Sustainable brands are experiencing significant growth, with products making environmental, social, and governance (ESG) claims outpacing others. Consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) companies are committing to sustainability, driving demand for traceability in farming practices.

Software solutions and autonomous equipment are enabling traceability from farm to fork. By collecting and transmitting rich, standardized data, farmers can substantiate sustainable practices such as reduced chemical use and efficient irrigation, aligning with the demands of CPG companies.

The Growing Excitement for Automation

The adoption of automated farm equipment hinges on several factors, including technological maturity, economic conditions, regulatory decisions, and environmental changes. To promote adoption, agricultural companies should communicate the immediate return on investment, reimagine the farming experience with digital ecosystems, evolve business models to reduce upfront costs, and collaborate closely with CPG companies to enhance transparency and traceability.

As the dual pressures of farm economics and sustainability intensify, the adoption of automation technology is geared for exponential growth. Farmers are recognizing the triple benefits of automation: increased productivity and profits, enhanced safety, and progress toward sustainability goals. The excitement surrounding these technologies is set to spread, indicating a promising future for African agriculture and its role in the global agriculture industry.



Over the years, we’ve witnessed an acceleration in the development of autonomous farming solutions across the world. From robotic harvesters to drones that monitor crop health, the AgriTech sector is undergoing a seismic shift.

The ever-evolving world of AgriTech has reached new heights and is frenzied with the race to develop autonomous farm vehicles. Autonomous farm vehicles are becoming increasingly sophisticated and capable, and are ready to revolutionize the agricultural industry. These vehicles can perform a wide range of tasks, from planting and harvesting to weeding and spraying, with little or no human intervention.

While the mechanical engineering aspects of creating these machines may seem straightforward – choosing the right powertrain, deciding between tracks and wheels, and building a suitable chassis – the real challenge lies in integrating advanced sensors, cameras, Lidar, satellite guidance, and other technologies that can withstand the rugged conditions of farmwork. The true heroes of this revolution are the software writers and electronics engineers who bring it all together, creating a digital platform for planning tasks and enabling 24/7 remote monitoring via mobile devices.

One of the biggest challenges in developing autonomous farm vehicles is creating a system that can reliably navigate complex environments and avoid obstacles. This requires a combination of sensors, cameras, and artificial intelligence.

Another challenge is to develop a system that can efficiently and accurately perform agricultural tasks. This requires a deep understanding of the specific task at hand, as well as the ability to adapt to changing conditions.

Despite the challenges, there has been significant progress in the development of autonomous farm vehicles in recent years.

These autonomous machines are addressing two critical issues in agriculture: the scarcity of skilled operators and the imperative to protect soils through the use of smaller, lighter machinery that can work longer hours. A number of companies are now offering commercial products, and many more are in development. Let’s delve into some remarkable innovations in the field.

AgXeed AgBot

Where innovation reigns supreme, the AgXeed AgBot stands as a testament to the boundless potential of autonomous farming. This remarkable range of purpose-built autonomous tractors is revolutionizing agriculture, offering a spectrum of capabilities that cater to the diverse needs of modern farming.

At the helm of the AgBot lineup is a 156hp twin-track machine, a powerhouse designed to tackle the most demanding agricultural tasks. Complementing this titan are the 75hp four-wheel drive and narrow trike models, ensuring that there’s an AgBot for every application on the farm.

What unites these autonomous marvels is their innovative Deutz diesel-electric power unit. This ingenious setup sees the engine driving an integrated generator that supplies power to electric motors, a technological marvel in itself. Furthermore, these AgBots offer the option to incorporate a 55kW (74hp) electrically driven power take-off (PTO) at the rear. What sets this PTO apart is its ability to rotate both clockwise and anti-clockwise, affording these vehicles the unique capability to work with PTO-driven implements in either direction, with the implement leading or trailing.

The tracked AgBot 5.115T2 is a testament to engineering excellence. It boasts a substantial 350-litre fuel capacity, ensuring extended hours of uninterrupted operation. Additionally, it features up to four double-acting proportional spool valves, along with an 85-litre/min hydraulic pump that can be upgraded to a load-sensing system. This combination of power and hydraulic efficiency empowers the AgBot to seamlessly handle a diverse range of tasks.

Implement carriage is a crucial aspect of any agricultural machinery, and the AgBot shines in this regard. It sports an 8-tonne capacity three-point linkage at the rear, complemented by a 3-tonne capacity assembly at the front. This design flexibility allows for the transportation of various implements, such as a rear-mounted drill with a hopper.

One of the defining features of the AgBot range is its adaptability to different crop and cropping systems. With numerous combinations of traction belt widths, ranging from 300mm to 910mm, and adjustable track spacings, these autonomous workhorses can effortlessly navigate varying agricultural terrains.

The AgBot 2.055W3, often referred to as the “trike,” is tailored primarily for orchard and vineyard applications. Its versatility shines through as it can be configured to be as narrow as 1.38 meters, ensuring easy navigation through tight spaces.

On the other hand, the four-wheel AgBot 2.055W4 offers a more versatile autonomous solution, catering to farming and commercial horticulture. With front-end steering, unequal tire diameters, and tire widths typically ranging from 270mm to 710mm, this model provides a robust and adaptable solution for various agricultural needs. Its hydraulics setup mirrors that of the tracked machine, featuring up to three spools and implement linkage capacities of 1.5 tonnes at the front and 4 tonnes at the rear.

The AgXeed AgBot range exemplifies the evolving landscape of agricultural technology, where automation and innovation converge to redefine farming as we know it. These autonomous tractors are not just machines; they are the future of agriculture, providing efficiency, precision, and adaptability that empower farmers to meet the demands of a changing world.

AgBot 2.055W4, 75hp, four-wheel drive from AgXeed © AgXeed

CNH Industrial

CNH Industrial, the parent company of Case IH and New Holland has a rich history of innovation and a commitment is pushing the boundaries of agricultural technology by easing into commercial autonomous tech after successful exploratory projects that hinted at a future where machines take the reins in the field.

One of their pioneering ventures, the Case IH AVC concept, introduced the idea of a cabless Magnum tractor, a bold step that showcased the potential of autonomous farming machinery. Following this trailblazing concept, CNH Industrial unveiled the New Holland NHDrive T8, a driver-optional tractor with autonomous working capabilities. These projects laid the groundwork for what was to come.

Fast forward to 2023, and CNH Industrial has set its sights on revolutionizing agriculture in the United States with the introduction of the Case IH Farmall 75C Electric and New Holland T4 Electric Power utility tractors. These battery electric tractors herald a new era, with limited self-driving features that promise to reshape the farming landscape.

One standout feature of these electric tractors is the “Follow Me” function. It allows operators to effortlessly guide the tractor along a designated path, such as a feed or fence line, without the need to constantly climb in and out of the cab. By simply walking ahead of the tractor and transmitting the appropriate commands through a smartphone app, the operator can ensure precise and efficient navigation. No more need for manual intervention during these routine tasks.

Another game-changing function empowers the tractor to autonomously pass-through gateways under remote command. This means no more time wasted hopping on and off the tractor to open and close gates, a common task that has traditionally disrupted workflow on the farm. With this innovation, the tractor seamlessly adapts to its environment, enhancing efficiency and reducing operator fatigue.

Case IH Farmall 75C Electric Tractor
Case IH Farmall 75C Electric Autonomous Electric Tractor © Case IH

Agrointelli Robotti

This Danish manufacturer’s Robotti tool-carrier is a versatile workhorse capable of operating various implements. Its capabilities are nothing short of astonishing, and it’s a testament to the ongoing transformation in agricultural technology. It has demonstrated its prowess by sowing beans, oilseed rape, cereals, sugar beets, maize, vegetables, salad crops, weeding, and even planting potatoes, showcasing its adaptability to diverse farming needs.

This intelligent machine represents a pivotal leap towards a more efficient and sustainable future for agriculture, effortlessly handling a wide array of implements between its four wheels.

But what truly sets the Robotti apart are its two distinctive versions, each tailored to meet specific agricultural demands. The Robotti LR is designed for light-duty operations, equipped with a modest 750k-rated linkage assembly. Its power source is a single 72hp Kubota diesel engine, ensuring up to 60 hours of uninterrupted operation on a single tank of fuel.

In contrast, the 150D version steps up to 144hp, making it suitable for more demanding tasks. It boasts an impressive 1,250kg lift capacity, a power take-off (PTO) system to drive various implements, and the brilliance of two engines – one for propulsion and another for PTO and hydraulic functions. This dual-engine setup provides a formidable total power output of 144hp when the situation demands it.

The Robotti’s design is a marvel of engineering, with a short wheelbase measuring a mere 1.55 meters. It offers flexibility with track widths ranging from 1.8 meters to 3.65 meters, making it adaptable to varying crop and terrain conditions. Its standard 320/65 R16 tires provide stability, while an optional narrower 260/70 R16 configuration is available for specific needs.

Maneuverability is at the heart of the Robotti’s operation, thanks to its front-end steering and four-wheel drive system. When being manually controlled, it can achieve speeds of up to 10 kilometers per hour, ensuring precise navigation. During work, the Robotti gracefully halves its speed, maintaining the utmost accuracy in steering.

The Robotti
The Robotti can operate varied implements © Robotti

Combined Powers

In a groundbreaking collaboration that fuses the expertise of grassland equipment specialist Krone and tillage machinery firm Lemken, a remarkable stride in agricultural technology has emerged—a four-wheel-drive tractor designed exclusively for autonomous operation. This revelation represents the pinnacle of innovation in the ever-evolving AgriTech industry and aligns seamlessly with the transformative momentum we’ve observed over the years.

With dimensions measuring 2.7 meters in width and a modest height of 2.6 meters, this autonomous marvel tips the scales at a sturdy 7.5 to 8 tons. Powered by a diesel-electric unit delivering an impressive 170kW (230hp), this tractor is more than capable of executing a wide array of tasks, from ploughing, cultivating, and seeding to mowing, tedding, and raking. Its versatility knows no bounds.

What sets this tractor apart is its intricate control system, tailored to harness the power of isobus Tractor Implement Management (TIM). This cutting-edge integration enables seamless communication between sensors and a dedicated job computer on the implement and the tractor itself. This means that control instructions, ranging from speed adjustments to hydraulic tweaks, and even start-stop commands, can be relayed effortlessly.

The year 2022 marked a significant milestone when this autonomous wonder publicly demonstrated its field capabilities. However, the journey doesn’t stop there. The project is now embarking on a phase of rigorous testing, exposing the tractor to typical and extreme working conditions. Simultaneously, invaluable feedback is being collected from farmers and contractors, providing essential insights into the concept’s practicality and adaptability.

Combined Powers Fully Autonomous Tractor
Combined Powers Fully Autonomous Tractor © Lemken/Krone

John Deere

As a pioneer in the industry, John Deere continues to push the boundaries of innovation with its groundbreaking forays into autonomous technologies and vehicles.

One of the most exciting breakthroughs from John Deere is the guided tractor and sprayer designed for orchards and similar applications. These intelligent machines feature automatic re-filling capabilities, enhancing efficiency and reducing the need for constant operator oversight.

John Deere has also unveiled a purpose-built driverless sprayer, specifically configured for high-clearance maize spraying, utilizing four track units for superior maneuverability. This innovation caters to the specialized needs of various crops, showcasing the adaptability of autonomous technology in the agricultural sector.

Recently, we have observed how the AgriTech industry worldwide has embraced electric-powered machinery. John Deere has not lagged behind in this aspect, introducing a remarkable 500kW (670hp) electric-drive single-axle autonomous tractor. This versatile tractor can seamlessly transition between wheels and tracks when coupled with cultivators, drills, and similar implements. This development resonates with the global shift towards sustainable and eco-friendly farming practices.

However, the revelation that truly turned heads was John Deere’s announcement in January 2022 regarding the imminent release of an autonomous version of its revered 8R series tractor in the USA. While the order book remains closed for now, the anticipation is palpable. The initial focus for this autonomous marvel will be chisel cultivation work, featuring the most potent model in the 8R series lineup.

The 8R 410, boasting 443hp for draft work and 458hp for PTO, transport, and applications with intense hydraulic demands, maintains the familiar configuration of its conventional counterpart. Still, it incorporates a groundbreaking feature—an array of six pairs of stereo cameras that facilitate 360-degree obstacle detection and distance calculation.

John Deere's Single-axle Electric Tractor
John Deere’s Single-axle Electric Tractor © John Deere


FarmDroid’s FD20 stands out as a specialist tool carrier dedicated to precision sowing and weeding. Operating predominantly in the United Kingdom, it is finding its niche in organic sugar beet, fodder beet, and vegetable production.

The FarmDroid FD20, available in both trike and four-wheel configurations, showcases a commitment to sustainable energy sources. This marvel of engineering harnesses battery-electric power, fortified by an expansive solar panel canopy. But what truly sets it apart are the two unique autonomous power unit concepts currently being explored by Horsch, a pioneer in agricultural technology.

One concept takes the form of a driverless tracked unit that bears a striking resemblance to the traditional field tractor. The other, a formidable large tool carrier-type machine, is no less impressive. While official specifications remain somewhat elusive, insiders suggest that the Robo independent power unit, despite its compact size, boasts a formidable 450hp diesel engine. Equipped with either a hydrostatic drive or a hydro-mechanical “vario” transmission, it offers remarkable versatility.

The Robo’s ingenuity extends to its remote manual control for easy setup and a convenient pull-out drawbar at the front, allowing effortless towing to and from the field. But it’s the field trials featuring the Robo operating a trailed Maestro precision planter in a close-coupled configuration that have truly turned heads. This configuration effectively transforms the Robo into a self-propelled outfit, with the tracked unit shouldering a significant portion of the seed cart’s weight, offering efficiency like never before.

FarmDroid FD20
FarmDroid FD20 weed even before crops emerges © FarmDroid



Kubota, a name synonymous with agricultural machinery, made waves in 2020 when they unveiled the Kubota X, a four-track electric tractor concept that embodied the future of farming. Fast forward to today, and Kubota is on the cusp of turning this vision into reality by testing a fleet of autonomy-capable AgriRobo wheeled tractors.

Japan is facing a unique crisis with an aging population of farmers and a reluctance among younger generations to step into the shoes of their predecessors. This demographic challenge threatens the sustainability of agriculture in the country, but Kubota is determined to find a solution.

In addition to their iconic rice transplanter and rice combine, Kubota has introduced the MR1000A, a 100hp tractor equipped with an impressive array of self-driving guidance and sensor technologies. This innovation aims to ease the farm labor shortage by providing farmers with cutting-edge tools that enhance productivity and reduce their dependence on manual labor.

100hp MR1000A AgriRobo tractor Kubota Tractor
100hp MR1000A AgriRobo tractor Kubota Tractor © Kubota


One of Horsch’s visionary projects is the Robo independent power unit. This compact yet formidable machine is shrouded in secrecy, but some intriguing details have emerged. At its heart, it boasts a robust 450hp diesel engine, coupled with either hydrostatic drive or a hydro-mechanical “vario” transmission. This powerful combination ensures that the Robo is more than capable of tackling the demands of modern agriculture.

What sets the Robo apart is its versatility. With remote manual control for setup and a front-mounted drawbar, it can be effortlessly towed to and from the field, making it as adaptable as it is powerful. In a fascinating twist, the Robo has been put through its paces in field trials, where it operated in conjunction with a trailed Maestro precision planter. This close-coupled configuration effectively transforms the Robo into a self-propelled unit, with the tracked platform bearing the weight of the seed cart.

Meanwhile, Horsch’s Brazilian division is making waves with a gantry-like machine designed for precision planting. This 24-meter Maestro precision planter, tailored for maize, is perched atop four large-diameter swivel-steer drive wheels with hydrostatic propulsion motors. The design’s wide frame, which transitions seamlessly from the yard to the field, houses a central power unit flanked by hoppers on either side, with planter units suspended beneath.

While these innovations are undeniably impressive, what’s even more intriguing is the potential for a commercial rollout. Horsch has been collaborating with Trimble to develop an autonomy package for self-propelled sprayers. This partnership extends beyond just autonomous control; it encompasses full workflow automation, bridging the gap between office and field.

In its initial phase, the collaboration aims to automate planning, machine control, and logistics for sprayer operators. This holistic approach not only enhances machine performance but also alleviates the operator’s workload and minimizes the risk of errors. It’s a significant step towards realizing fully autonomous agricultural machines.

Horsch’s Robo Tractor with a Maestro precision planter © Horsch

Raven Industries

One of Raven’s groundbreaking contributions to the field is the development of two systems tailored to enhance the productivity of US growers. First in line is the OmniDrive system, a marvel of technology that empowers combine operators to effortlessly synchronize with automated grain tractors and trailers. This synchronization feature not only streamlines operations but also alleviates the burden on farmers during the demanding harvest season. This concept isn’t entirely new in the AgriTech world, as it builds on the foundation laid by similar systems globally.

The second jewel in Raven’s crown is the Cart Automation system. Unlike OmniDrive, this system focuses solely on speed and heading synchronization. Its beauty lies in its versatility, as it can be retrofitted to virtually any make of machinery and adapted to various harvesting tasks, including sugar beet farming. This adaptability showcases Raven’s commitment to providing solutions that cater to a wide spectrum of agricultural needs.

Raven Industries hasn’t limited its innovation to retrofit solutions alone. In a significant stride towards full autonomy, they have recently unveiled a comprehensive solution for the Case IH Trident 5550 self-propelled fertilizer spreader. This development resonates with the global trend of automating agricultural equipment, as we’ve seen similar strides in precision farming systems across continents.

While Raven’s Autonomy division primarily focuses on electronics and software, they do have a vehicle in their portfolio—the OmniPower 3200 tool carrier. Originally developed in collaboration with Dot Technology and Seedmaster in Canada, this vehicle boasts hydrostatic drive, four-wheel steering, and interchangeable modules for sowing, spreading, and spraying. It’s a testament to Raven’s commitment to diversification and ensuring they offer comprehensive solutions to their clientele.

Raven AutoCart
Raven AutoCart works by synchronizing with harvesters and trailers © Raven

To sum it up, we have seen that in this era of technological advancement, the agriculture technology industry is witnessing a transformation that promises increased efficiency, reduced labor dependency, and enhanced sustainability. These autonomous farm vehicles are not just a glimpse into the future of agriculture; they are the future, working tirelessly to meet the demands of modern farming while protecting our precious soils. As we look back on the journey so far, it’s clear that the AgriTech industry is on an unstoppable trajectory towards smarter, more sustainable agriculture.


South Africa is abuzz with activities as leaders of the five-member BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — began a three-day summit in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 22 August 2023 with the agenda of expanding the club as an alternative to a geopolitical alternative to Western-led forums such as the Group of 7.

The latest assembly of the BRICS leaders has sparked international interest at a level not witnessed since its formation 14 years ago. Collectively, BRICS nations contribute over a third of the world’s agricultural output and this could even be more after Argentina, Nigeria, Iran, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia expressing interest in joining the coalition, which will further add to the diversity of the BRICS bloc, accounting for 40% of the global population and a quarter of the global economy.

Agriculture featured as one of the headlines during the BRICS Business Forum in Sandton, Johannesburg, given the industry’s transformative shift, propelled by the integration of technology which has been pivotal in reshaping and modernizing the global agriculture. The evolution of the industry promises to increased food security and presents an opportunity to reduce costs and promote sustainability.

Notably, this paradigm shift could pave the way for Africa to become the world’s food basket. The integration of technology enhances food security and presents an opportunity to reduce carbon emissions, presenting a path towards de-carbonization and food security.

The 2023 BRICS Business Forum discussions on sustainable agricultural development and the promotion of trade and investment within the agricultural sector across member nations featured esteemed voices from various sectors who shared insights on the potential impacts of technology in agriculture.

Jai Shroff, Chairman and Global CEO of UPL, and a member of the BRICS Business Council from India, emphasized the impact of climate change on the agricultural sector. Shroff advocated for rewarding farmers for adopting sustainable practices, suggesting that such incentives could catalyze a significant reduction in carbon emissions. Beyond carbon credits, he proposed rewarding farmers either monetarily or by offering improved shelf space in stores as a means to drive sustainable behavior.

Bruno Ferla, Vice President of BRF – Brazil’s leading animal protein producer and largest poultry exporter – stressed the role of technology in meeting the growing food demand. He highlighted how technology can optimize resource allocation, such as water and soil, and improve livestock management. Ferla urged BRICS nations to embrace technology and play an active role in shaping global agricultural policies.

In the words of Ferla, “Everyone wants a seat at the table, but what’s the point if there’s no food on the table?” He emphasized the need to strike a balance between various factors while providing quality food at an affordable price. This sentiment underscores the importance of aligning sustainability efforts with consumer demands.

Vladimir Nosov, Head of Competence Centre: PhosAgro in Russia, highlighted the multifaceted challenges facing the agriculture sector. He advocated for smart products, including bio-fertilizers and eco-efficient solutions, to address these challenges. Nosov’s insights shed light on the innovative strategies required to enhance agricultural productivity sustainably.

Sharing China’s strategic agricultural approach, Jun Lyu, Chairman of COFCO Group, China’s largest food processor, manufacturer, and trader, shared the county’s unique perspective. Despite limited arable land and fresh water resources, China plays a pivotal role in global food provision. Lyu emphasized the strategic use of technology and innovative methods that have contributed to China’s success in agricultural production.

These discussions underscored the transformative potential of technology in modernizing the agricultural industry. As the world looks toward a future marked by both challenges and opportunities, embracing technological advancements remains paramount for a thriving agricultural sector.


In a groundbreaking leap forward for the agriculture industry, renowned tractor manufacturer John Deere has unveiled its latest innovation – the fully autonomous tractor. This cutting-edge technology not only promises increased efficiency and productivity but also represents a significant step towards the future of autonomous farming.

Unlike mere concepts, John Deere’s autonomous tractor is a reality. It brings everything farmers love about the reliable 8R tractor but with the added option of running it with or without an operator. This revolutionary development opens up new possibilities for farmers, allowing them to delegate certain tasks to the tractor while they focus on other crucial aspects of their operations.

So, how close are farmers to embracing this new autonomous era? Surprisingly close, it seems. For those already using precision technology such as Starfire™ receivers and AutoPath™ guidance, the transition to full autonomy is well within reach. Additionally, farmers comfortable with transferring maps, tillage prescriptions, and machine and field data to and from the tractor through the John Deere Operations Center™ are already more than halfway to realizing the benefits of autonomous farming.

The system’s autonomy lies in a combination of components and applications that may already sound familiar, including a StarFire™ receiver, AutoTrac™ Turn Automation, and the John Deere Operations Center™. However, John Deere has added a few game-changing innovations to enable full autonomy including:

  1. 360-Degree advanced cameras that grant the tractor a 360-degree vision, enabling it to detect objects in the field and calculate distances with incredible precision. This real-time visual information processed in as little as 100 milliseconds, allowing the tractor to identify obstacles and stop automatically if it encounters anything unfamiliar, immediately alerting the farmer.
  2. High-Speed Processor that complement the cameras, by evaluating every pixel of every image to make informed decisions about the tractor’s next move.
  3. A Neural Network that powers Artificial Intelligence (AI) which analyzes the images and determines whether the terrain is safe to drive on or not, all within a remarkably short timeframe of about 100 milliseconds.

The autonomous ready tractor comes equipped with a fully functional cab, complete with operator controls. When desired, farmers can take the reins and drive it conventionally. However, during periods of labor shortages, tight weather windows, or when more time is needed for personal matters, the autonomous option proves invaluable. The tractor tirelessly continues its work while farmers can focus on other essential aspects of their lives.

The advantages of autonomy are numerous. Consider it as an extra pair of reliable and tireless hands. With the tractor handling tasks efficiently throughout the day and night, farmers can optimize their time and take advantage of favorable soil conditions. This not only results in increased productivity but also opens up opportunities to cover more acres without the need for additional labor.

John Deere’s Operations Center mobile application further enhances the autonomous experience. Farmers can monitor their tractor’s activities in real-time from anywhere using a smartphone or tablet. The app also provides alerts in case of any obstacles or mechanical issues, ensuring that the tractor operates smoothly and efficiently.

Putting the autonomous-capable tractor to work is a seamless process. After transporting the tractor to the field, farmers can easily configure it for autonomous operation. With a simple swipe on their tablet or smartphone, the tractor will initiate, scan for obstacles, and indicate an “all clear” if the path is safe, allowing it to automatically commence the assigned tasks.

The imminent availability of the autonomous John Deere tractor marks a pivotal moment in agriculture. This technological marvel is set to transform the industry in the coming days, empowering farmers with newfound efficiencies, increased productivity, and improved resource management. As we step into this era of autonomy, John Deere’s contribution to shaping the future of farming cannot be overstated. The dawn of autonomous farming is upon us, and it promises to revolutionize agriculture as we know it.


Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are transforming the way farmers approach crop treatment and pesticide application. In a recent discussion with Ag Tech Talk Podcast, the CEO and Co-founder of Hylio, Arthur Erickson, talked about the revolutionary impact of agricultural drones on farming practices. The conversation shed light on the challenges faced by the industry, the current adoption rate, and the future of drone technology in agriculture.

Arthur acknowledged the successful drone delivery project in Costa Rica, which preceded Amazon and Google’s ventures into this field. Although the project showcased the technical feasibility of drone deliveries, profitability remained a concern due to excessive red tape and limited monetary returns. Consequently, the focus shifted entirely to the agricultural sector, where the potential of drones in crop treatment became evident.

Today, companies like Hylio design, manufacture, and sell crop treatment platforms in the form of crop spraying drones. These drones can effectively apply both liquid and solid products, ranging from pesticides to seeds or bait. The versatility of these devices makes them invaluable tools in the agriculture and adjacent industries, enabling the precise and efficient delivery of chemicals and products for treating crops.

One of the key concerns regarding UAV technology is regulatory landscape surrounding their operations. However, the regulations for agricultural drone use are relatively more lenient compared to those for cargo or human transport over cities. In recent times, however, regulators such as the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have however shown greater flexibility when it comes to granting exemptions and waivers for agricultural drone operations, particularly in sparsely populated rural areas. By demonstrating responsible operation practices, such as flying over vast acres of land with minimal human presence, farmers can navigate the current regulatory environment.

The adoption rate of drones in agriculture has been a concern all over the world. While drones have become increasingly ubiquitous, the adoption of agricultural drones has faced some initial hesitancy. This hesitancy can be attributed to farmers’ familiarity with traditional large-scale equipment and the misconception that drones’ smaller carrying capacity may hinder their effectiveness. However, educating farmers about the advantages of drones is important to ensure high update of this groundbreaking technology.

For example, most farmers do not know that agricultural drones can spray crops with a much finer and more penetrative mist, offering increased efficacy even with smaller volumes. Farmers need to be made aware that they can achieve similar results with a 75-litre drone compared to a 1000-litre tractor. Educating the market about these benefits is crucial to driving wider adoption.

The cost savings offered by drones have a much more significant advantage over traditional equipment like spraying with tractors or humans. With the ability to cover 100 acres per hour, agricultural drones are not only more cost-effective in terms of initial purchase prices but also in terms of operating costs. Compared to a $300,000-$450,000 high-clearance sprayer, two of the largest drones currently available in the market, such as Hylio’s Ag272, can achieve the same results at approximately half the price. The operating costs are further reduced to 30%-40% of traditional methods due to lower fuel consumption and maintenance requirements. Drones also offer greater flexibility in deployment, as they can access challenging terrain and perform spot spraying with precision, providing additional cost savings.

Contrary to common assumptions, modern agricultural drones are capable of handling wind speeds of up to 25-30 miles per hour, making them reliable in various weather conditions. However, it is important to adhere to safety guidelines and avoid spraying in excessive wind speeds. The limitations on drone applications were mainly associated with the weight of heavy fertilizers, where traditional equipment remains more efficient.

In terms of usage, agricultural drones can be purchased or rented, depending on the farmer’s preference and needs. Larger farmers often choose to invest in their own drones, while service providers cater to smaller farms and offer drone spraying services. The split between direct buyers and service providers is approximately 50-50.

It is worth noting that the challenges faced by the agriculture technology industry go beyond education. Regulatory uncertainties, labor shortages, and the need for localized support are areas that need attention. Regulatory bodies need to adapt to the evolving industry and provide clearer guidelines to foster growth. Additionally, the industry needs to address the demand for cost-effective and durable drone solutions, particularly in regions with smaller farms and limited infrastructure.

Looking to the future, there is great potential in the advancement of drone technology. It is predicted that drones will continue to increase in size and payload capacity, potentially reaching up to between 190-380 litres. However, the emphasis must be put on further automation to make drones to be more autonomous and capable of charging and refilling between flights. This can involve deploying a fleet of drones to cover a given area, with each drone operating independently based on pre-set instructions. The aim is to minimize human intervention and maximize efficiency.

It has become evident that agricultural drones have the potential to revolutionize farming practices worldwide. With their ability to reduce costs, improve precision, and overcome labor shortages, drones are poised to become an essential tool in modern agriculture. While challenges remain, such as education, regulations, and industry consolidation, the industry is progressing rapidly, and agricultural drones are proving to be a game-changer for farmers across the globe.

For more information about the applications and benefits of agricultural drones, you can enroll for the Precision Agriculture Course at The course offers comprehensive resources for those interested in exploring the potential of drone technology and other technology in agriculture.


  • Kenya’s Milk Production Improves to New Heights as Taita Taveta County Reports Promising Increase in Milk Output, Boosting Agricultural Sector

Taita Taveta County’s Department of Livestock in Kenya has announced a significant rise in milk production thanks to the implementation of subsidized artificial insemination (AI) services, enhanced livestock disease and pest control, and the adoption of improved animal feeds and management practices. The county is now on track to reach an annual milk production of 30 million liters.

Erickson Kyongo, the County Executive Committee Member in charge of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Irrigation, expressed optimism about the county’s progress. He highlighted the efforts made to provide affordable and high-quality AI services, as well as support for best practices in animal feed management and disease control.

“Our continuous efforts to make cheap and high-quality AI services accessible, along with the promotion of best practices in animal feed management and disease control, are driving us towards achieving an annual milk production of 30 million liters,” stated Kyongo.

He further projected that by the end of 2023, farmers in the county would have produced at least 20 million liters of milk before the onset of the dry season, which typically slows down production.

The journey towards this significant milestone began in 2018 when the county leadership signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Center, leading to a substantial reduction in the price of AI services. The cost per animal dropped from between Sh1,500 and Sh2,000 to an affordable Sh200.

Dr. Margaret Kibogy, the Managing Director of the Kenya Dairy Board, provided insight into the broader national dairy industry. She noted that Kenya’s dairy sector has been experiencing an estimated annual growth rate of 5%, with current milk production standing at 5.2 billion liters per year.

Dr. Kibogy emphasized the importance of the dairy industry, stating, “Kenya’s dairy sector contributes 4% to the national GDP, 12% to the agriculture GDP, and 44% to the livestock GDP. Approximately 1.8 million smallholder farmers depend on dairy production for their livelihoods.”

Meanwhile, the government has pledged support for dairy farmers through various interventions as part of its agricultural reformation efforts, aiming to create wealth and expand job opportunities within the sector. Cooperative union members have expressed optimism about the transformative initiatives of the government and have vowed to leverage them to advocate for and reform the dairy industry in the country.

During the launch of the Meru Central Dairy Cooperative Union Factory Phase, President William Ruto made commitments to further support the dairy sector. He pledged to reduce the cost of semen from the current Sh8,000 to Sh1,500, along with plans to establish a Sh400 million plant producing 500,000 doses of semen locally, eliminating the need for imports.

According to the 2020 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Food Balance Sheet report, milk and its related products have the highest per capita consumption in Kenya, with 93.3 kilograms per person annually. This is followed by maize (69.5 kg), wheat (41.3 kg), and vegetables (32.6 kg).

The rise in milk production in Taita Taveta County and the government’s commitment to supporting the dairy sector are encouraging signs for the agricultural industry in Kenya. As the nation continues to prioritize the dairy sector’s growth, it will contribute to improved livelihoods for smallholder farmers, increased economic prosperity, and enhanced food security.


Syngenta Crop Protection’s Seedcare business has unveiled a groundbreaking solution for farmers seeking effective control over soil pests while also improving the sustainability of their farming practices. The new seed treatment, named EQUENTO®, harnesses Syngenta’s state-of-the-art PLINAZOLIN® technology to safeguard crops from the earliest stages of their growth.

What sets EQUENTO® apart is its novel mode of action, categorized as IRAC Group 30, which effectively combats the rise of insect resistance. By utilizing this innovative approach, EQUENTO® ensures precise control over a wide range of soil pests, including notoriously challenging ones like wireworms and red-legged earth mites. This seed treatment can be applied across multiple crops, such as cereals and canola, enhancing its versatility and applicability.

One of the standout advantages of EQUENTO® is its ability to promote sustainability within farming operations. With its low dose rates and limited solubility and mobility in soil, EQUENTO® offers highly effective pest control while remaining safe for both seeds and plants. By concentrating its action around the plant’s roots, it not only provides precise and efficient pest management but also fosters healthier root systems that contribute to improved soil health and biodiversity.

Furthermore, this groundbreaking seed treatment affords farmers greater flexibility in making informed decisions regarding their farming practices. It accommodates various application timings, dose rates, and even allows for mixtures with other insecticides and fungicides. EQUENTO® proves effective even under low soil temperatures, effectively controlling pests that either ingest or come into contact with the plant, ultimately reducing pest populations in the soil. Its exceptional target specificity empowers farmers to tailor the dose rates precisely to address specific pest challenges they may encounter.

Speaking to another newsroom, Jonathan Brown, the Global Head of Syngenta Seedcare, expressed the company’s dedication to innovation, stating, “EQUENTO®’s combination of a novel mode of action, broad spectrum pest control, as well as superior seed and crop safety reflects Syngenta’s commitment to innovation.” This groundbreaking solution transforms farmers’ ability to manage pests such as wireworms, enabling the establishment of healthy young crops critical for optimal yields, all while safeguarding soil health, biodiversity, and the environment.

Farmers face substantial challenges from insects and soil pests that not only threaten crop yields but also compromise harvest quality by providing gateways for diseases. Climate change exacerbates these challenges as it leads to shifts in insect pressure and spectrums faced by farmers. The continuous evolution of pests, coupled with the urgency to protect sustainable productivity, necessitates innovative solutions.

Approximately 600 insect species are already resistant to at least one insecticide, highlighting the need for effective and sustainable pest management approaches. In response to these challenges, Syngenta plans to launch EQUENTO® globally, starting with its introduction in Australia later this year under the trademark EQUENTO® Extreme. Further registrations are expected in markets worldwide, ensuring access to this revolutionary seed treatment for farmers worldwide.

By introducing EQUENTO®, Syngenta Crop Protection’s Seedcare business is spearheading the advancement of pest control technologies in agriculture while prioritizing sustainability and the future of farming. This breakthrough solution holds the potential to revolutionize the way farmers combat soil pests and enhance their farming practices, contributing to a more resilient and productive agricultural sector.


An international team of researchers has achieved a significant milestone by successfully sequencing the genome of a climate-resilient bean variety, opening doors to improve food security in regions prone to drought. The sequencing of the hyacinth bean, also known as ‘lablab bean’ (Lablab purpureus), holds immense promise for expanding cultivation of this crop, which not only brings economic benefits but also adds much-needed diversity to the global food system.

Originally native to Africa, the hyacinth bean is grown across tropical regions, producing highly nutritious beans used for both human consumption and livestock feed. It has demonstrated exceptional resilience to drought and exhibits adaptability to various environmental conditions, thereby contributing to both food and economic security. Additionally, the hyacinth bean enhances soil fertility by nitrogen fixation and holds medicinal properties due to its bioactive compounds.

The extensive genetic diversity of the plant suggests the possibility of selecting adaptive genotypes tailored for different environments and climatic challenges. Despite its potential for genetic improvement to boost productivity and enable wider cultivation, especially in drought-prone areas, the full utilization of the hyacinth bean’s capabilities has yet to be realized.

Chris Jones, Program Leader for Feed and Forage Development at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Kenya and one of the lead authors of a new study published in Nature Communications, emphasized the importance of recognizing the high value of crops like the hyacinth bean for farmers struggling to produce sufficient food. While its cultivation may be smaller in scale compared to major crops, its impact on food security is significant.

In their study, the researchers identified the genomic location of crucial agronomic traits related to yield and seed/plant size. They also documented the organization of trypsin inhibitor genes, which could be targeted for breeding purposes to reduce anti-nutritional properties. Furthermore, the study traced the history of the hyacinth bean’s domestication, revealing that it occurred independently in two different locations. This finding paves the way for investigating the evolution of agronomic traits and exploring different pathways that can lead to similar outcomes.

The hyacinth bean is among several “orphan crops” that play a vital role in local nutrition and livelihoods but have received limited attention from breeders and researchers. Currently, wheat, rice, and maize account for over 40 percent of global calorie intake and receive the majority of breeding and crop improvement efforts. This lack of crop diversity renders the global food system susceptible to environmental and social instabilities. Underutilized crops like the hyacinth bean hold the key to developing diversified and climate-resilient food systems. Genome-assisted breeding emerges as a promising strategy to enhance their productivity and adoption.

Oluwaseyi Shorinola, another lead author of the study from the International Livestock Research Institute and a visiting scientist at the John Innes Centre in the United Kingdom, sees the potential for orphan crops like the hyacinth bean to pave the way for the next green revolution. The first green revolution witnessed significant advancements in major crops such as wheat and rice, and now it is time for underutilized crops to take center stage.

Notably, this research project stands out not only for its scientific breakthrough but also for its African-led approach. African scientists led the project, collaborating with international institutes. Meki Shehabu, a scientist at ILRI in Ethiopia and co-author of the study, highlighted the significance of African scientists taking a leading role in the research. Overcoming contextual challenges, such as limited sequencing facilities, computing infrastructure, and bioinformatics capacity in Africa, the team utilized low-cost portable sequencing platforms and conducted extensive capacity building initiatives. The project’s success was achieved through an Africa-based eight-month residential bioinformatics training program, promoting knowledge transfer and skill development.

You may also want to read about: The Role of Biostimulants and Climate Smart Farming

Looking ahead, the research team anticipates that the genome sequencing of the hyacinth bean will inspire further genetic improvement efforts not only for this crop but also for other underutilized indigenous crops. Their goal is to enhance food and feed availability not only in Africa but also globally.

The implications of this breakthrough extend beyond the scientific community. The findings emphasize the importance of recognizing and valuing crops based on their local significance and impact on food security, rather than solely considering their global market value. Orphan crops like the hyacinth bean may not receive the same level of attention as major crops, but their potential to improve food security in regions facing challenges such as drought is immense.

Diversifying the global food system is crucial to building resilience against environmental uncertainties and social disruptions. By embracing and harnessing the genetic diversity of underutilized crops, such as the hyacinth bean, farmers and communities can adapt to changing climatic conditions and enhance their livelihoods.

The success of this research project serves as a testament to the power of collaboration, inclusivity, and African leadership in addressing agricultural challenges. It demonstrates the importance of involving scientists from diverse backgrounds and regions to tackle complex issues and find sustainable solutions.

As the world faces increasing pressure to ensure food security for a growing population, studies like this highlight the untapped potential of indigenous crops. By investing in research, genetic improvement, and sustainable farming practices, we can unlock the full potential of underutilized crops, creating a more resilient and diverse global food system.

The groundbreaking achievements in sequencing the hyacinth bean genome not only provide a stepping stone towards enhanced food security in drought-prone regions but also offer valuable insights into the genomics of other indigenous crops. This knowledge can revolutionize agricultural practices and contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive future for global agriculture.

Eagmark Agri-Hub will continue to follow the progress of this research and provide updates on the utilization of the hyacinth bean’s genetic potential, as well as other advancements in the field of agriculture, to support a resilient and thriving agricultural sector worldwide.

You may also wan to read about: Global Citrus Production Outlook


Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies, which provide a means of taking carbon out of the atmosphere, are one of the hottest areas of climate research, but also the most controversial. The debate over whether and how to develop CDR has been ignited by the release of the final section of the comprehensive review of climate science by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The report found that ways of capturing and storing carbon dioxide might play a role in trying to keep global temperatures within safe bounds. However, scientists and policymakers are divided. Some say the technology must be the immediate priority for research. Others urge caution, and warn against putting faith in untested technology before we have even fully deployed the reliable low-carbon technologies that we already have.

A rash of new technology startups bears witness to the potential business opportunity that many companies and investors see in CDR. These fledgling companies are exploring everything from “scrubbers” that chemically remove carbon dioxide from the air, to “biochar,” which creates fertilizer from burning wood waste without oxygen, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) by which carbon dioxide is liquefied and pumped into underground geological formations.

But the key section of the IPCC report, which ignited the controversy, was fiercely fought over by scientists and governments up until the last moments before the document was finalized. Many scientists, campaigners and green experts are unhappy with the references as they fear that giving the impression there are viable options for removing carbon dioxide might engender a false sense of security. Most CDR technologies are unproven, are likely to be limited in scope, take years to develop and will cost large amounts of money.

Friederike Otto, a lead author of the IPCC report and associate director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, stated that the report was not intended to endorse any particular technology or solution. Instead, it was meant to highlight the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the potential role of CDR in achieving that goal.

Otto also pointed out that the IPCC report was based on the best available scientific evidence and that it did not promote any specific CDR technology. Rather, it recognized that there are different options available and that further research is needed to evaluate their potential and feasibility.

You may also want to read about: Navigating the Challenges of Climate Change in Agriculture: The Role of Biostimulants and Climate Smart Farming

Despite the controversy surrounding CDR, many experts agree that it is a critical tool in the fight against climate change. According to a report by the National Academy of Sciences, the United States could remove up to 10 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year by using a combination of natural and technological approaches.

The report found that to meet climate goals, carbon dioxide removal technologies and strategies will need to remove roughly 10 gigatons of CO2 every year by 2050. The report also discusses possible carbon dioxide removal (CDR) approaches and then discusses them in depth.

The report also noted that CDR alone cannot solve the problem of climate change, and that it must be accompanied by efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other measures.

While the development and deployment of CDR technologies remain a divisive issue among scientists, policymakers, and the public, many experts agree that they have the potential to play a vital role in mitigating the worst effects of climate change. However, it is crucial to approach the issue with caution, and to ensure that the development of these technologies is guided by scientific evidence, cost-effectiveness, and environmental sustainability.


AGCO and BASF, two of the most prominent names in the agriculture industry, have joined forces to develop smart spraying technology that could revolutionize crop protection. This advanced technology is expected to increase efficiency and sustainability in spraying and reduce the environmental impact of agricultural practices.

The smart spraying technology will use cutting-edge sensors, algorithms, and software to target crops with high precision, optimizing the application of sprays while minimizing their impact on the environment. Data analytics and machine learning will be incorporated to provide real-time insights into crop health and growth, allowing farmers to make informed decisions about their farming practices.

Precision agriculture is an emerging field that aims to maximize yields while minimizing waste and environmental impact, and smart spraying technology is a critical component of this approach. With smart spraying technology, farmers can apply crop protection products in a more efficient and targeted manner, reducing the amount of chemicals used, lowering costs, and minimizing the impact on the environment.

AGCO and BASF’s partnership represents a significant milestone in the development of smart spraying technology, which has the potential to revolutionize the agricultural industry. The two companies’ commitment to sustainable agriculture and the advancement of farmers’ needs is demonstrated by this joint effort.


FarmTrace, a cloud-based farm management tool based in Tzaneen, Limpopo and Stellenbosch, Western Cape, has announced a significant equity investment from Secha Capital and Hassium Capital to expand its capacity and enhance customer success. FarmTrace is a unique software that provides a diverse range of tools to help farmers manage their operations, integrating all production activities into a single management platform. This digital data aggregation enables farmers to monitor and control their operations from anywhere in the world. The system offers customization, fitting into farmers’ existing processes, and digitizes their manual practices into actionable data, making them more efficient, productive and profitable.

FarmTrace’s solution provides management with an accurate, holistic and live view of their entire farming operation to improve yields and increase efficiencies across all aspects of the farm. With the FarmTrace team knowledge about the key pain points in farming operations, they have developed a solution to solve them, becoming the backbone of farming operations, a vertical operating system that integrates across all data and processes on the farm. Farmers adopt FarmTrace because it was built by farmers, and for farmers.

You may also want to read about The Syngenta Group Introduces a Novel Collaboration and Acceleration Platform for Agricultural Innovation

Secha Capital and Hassium Capital’s Managing Directors, Brendan Mullen and Howard Saffy, respectively, are excited to support FarmTrace on their journey and be part of their growth in South Africa and beyond. They met FarmTrace three years ago when the company worked with several local macadamia and citrus farms, and the feedback from the farmers was incredible. FarmTrace is uniquely positioned to grow as farmers adopt technology in their farming and business practices.

FarmTrace co-founders, Jacques du Plessis and Werner Lategan, expressed their excitement at the investment and partnership, saying that it will bring about the next wave of farming cost savings, yield and efficiency improvements. With this capital, FarmTrace will serve more farms, more products and more geographies, ensuring that they can help farms grow sustainably and profitably. This investment and partnership will not only ensure that FarmTrace can help farmers profitably position their operations for generations to come, but it also unlocks sustainable growth in the local agribusiness sector by increasing exports, increasing local employment and reducing food waste.

The agricultural industry is experiencing a rapid influx of technological solutions that seem to appear almost daily. Syngenta, an industry giant, is offering a suite of solutions that will benefit end-users. In an exclusive interview with AgriBusiness Global DIRECT, Syngenta’s Head of Digital Agriculture Solutions, Ron Cowman, shared insight into the company’s digital ag offering. He discussed the evolution of technology in the industry and the importance of risk mitigation tools and predictive modeling.

Cowman said that when he began working in the technology sector, it was really focused more on what lagging indicators were there. It was about creating a digital file cabinet to capture everything that was being done on the farm, and where we see that evolving.

Cowman believes that the next area of breakthrough will be in computational agronomy, where the plant’s interaction with its environment will be analyzed in more detail to provide prescriptive data insight. The more we know about the plant interaction within that specific environment, the more detailed and prescriptive your data insight will be.

You may also want to read Beyond Buzzwords: Exploring the Real-World Applications of ChatGPT in Agriculture

The areas of precision application technology, such as See & Spray technology, and automation from the equipment perspective, such as driverless tractors, will also come into play. The ultimate goal is to provide more information to members of the supply chain so that they can make better decisions.

In addition to decision-making and insights, other type of risk mitigation tools can be put into play or some other types of predictive modeling can be put into place so that a customer or a grower isn’t always working off what had happened, but they are working off the current environmental conditions and what could happen.

You may also want to read Top Technology Trends That Are Revolutionizing Agriculture

Read the full story at HERE.


Watch Related Content Video 

ChatGPT has taken the tech world by a storm ever since its launch by OpenAI in late 2022, and it has had an outstanding uptake in almost every global industry. Its application is beyond doubt what would be termed as revolutionary, but for some, they think it spells doom for their careers as they may be rendered jobless soon, especially for those who do not have specialized skillsets. For us at Eagmark, we have tried to keep off the ChatGPT craze and online buzz that has surrounded it ever since its debut, but nonetheless, here we are!

“GPT” in ChatGPT stands for “Generative Pre-trained Transformer,” which refers to the deep learning algorithm used to process natural language data and generate responses. The “Chat” part of the name implies that the model is designed for conversational applications, such as chatbots or virtual assistants.

ChatGPT uses a deep learning algorithm known as a transformer to process natural language data. This algorithm enables the model to learn and understand the relationships between different words and phrases, making it possible for the model to generate coherent and contextually appropriate responses. This technology has numerous potential applications in various industries, including healthcare, finance, customer service and agriculture.

In recent years, the agriculture industry has witnessed a significant transformation in its operations, thanks to technological advancements. One of the most recent developments is the introduction of powerful language models like ChatGPT into farming operations. This innovative technology has the potential to revolutionize agriculture by helping farmers evaluate vast amounts of data, deliver insights, generate automated reports, and assist with better predictions.

One of the most significant benefits of using ChatGPT in agriculture is its potential ability to monitor crops and livestock when integrated into sensors and cameras. This feature can allow farmers to discover early signs of disease and take proactive measures to resolve concerns. Furthermore, ChatGPT can be trained using massive amounts of agricultural data, including soil conditions, weather patterns, and pest control, to provide accurate predictions and insights. This can aid in decision-making and lead to increased efficiency and profitability.

In addition to monitoring crops and livestock, ChatGPT can also be integrated with messaging applications like WhatsApp to provide farmers with essential information on policy changes and raise awareness, especially for those who are in the marginalized areas. Farmers can receive answers via voice notes and text, making it easier for those who are not comfortable with typing. However, the development of ChatGPT’s support for local dialects may take some time as it currently relies on input in English.

You may also want o read: Top Technology Trends That Are Revolutionizing Agriculture

The automation of manual tasks is another area where ChatGPT can be used to save time and money. It can aid in the optimization of irrigation systems and provide accurate data analysis, enabling farmers to make quick decisions.

Integrating ChatGPT with the other advanced technologies such as robots, temperature and moisture sensors, GPS technology, and aerial images can also play an essential role in the future of agriculture. These devices and robotic systems can make farms more profitable, efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly. The integration of these technologies into farming methods will be crucial to reducing the agriculture industry’s environmental impact while still increasing productivity.

To sum it up, the use of advanced technologies like ChatGPT in agriculture is a game changer that can transform farming operations and lead to increased profitability. The potential benefits are enormous, and the possibilities are endless. As the agriculture industry continues to evolve, it is vital that farmers and industry players embrace new technologies to ensure a sustainable future.


The AgTech market is booming, with no signs of slowing down. According to a report by Research And Markets, the global smart agriculture market is estimated to be USD 12.59 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 22.14 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 11.95%. Investment in AgTech will continue to evolve and be used in new ways.

As the world population continues to grow and the challenges facing the agricultural industry persist, it is essential for everyone to work towards the goal of feeding an estimated 9.8 billion people by 2050. Agricultural corporations, governments, and farmers are increasingly adopting technologies to shape the future of food systems. In 2023, it is crucial to keep an eye on the following technology trends in the industry.

1. Controlled Environment Agriculture

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) or indoor farming, is an advanced and intensive form of hydroponically-based agriculture where plants grow within a controlled environment to optimize horticultural practices. Today, CEA facilities mainly produce herbs, lettuces, microgreens, tomatoes, berries, and flowers. In 2023, we expect to see an expansion of the types of products grown in a CEA environment due to ongoing supply chain issues and associated challenges, such as the rising costs of goods and services.

Investors are already targeting farming innovations such as CEA. It is important to note that this innovation would come with potential challenges and additional needs, such as higher upfront equipment costs and training workers on how to use the technology. Operations that invest in new technology will need to upskill their workforce to prepare for the future of work. In doing so, they can better position themselves to be the leaders of their industry.

2. Precision Agriculture

The future of agriculture is exciting, with technology driving the transformation of the industry. One such technology that is gaining popularity is precision agriculture – the use of technology to precisely target farming practices to specific areas, resulting in increased efficiency, lower costs, and reduced environmental impact.

Enroll for the Precision Agriculture Course on the Eagmark Online Learning Campus

Precision agriculture involves using technologies such as sensors, Global Positioning System (GPS) mapping, and drones to gather data about soil health and moisture levels, crops, and weather conditions. This data is then used to optimize farming operations, reduce waste, and increase yields. Precision agriculture enables farmers to make data-driven decisions, leading to improved productivity and profitability.

3. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming agriculture by enabling farmers to collect, analyze, and interpret vast amounts of data. AI-powered tools can identify crop diseases, pests, and nutrient deficiencies, allowing farmers to take proactive measures to protect their crops. AI can also predict weather patterns, enabling farmers to plan their farming activities and reduce crop losses due to extreme weather conditions.

4. Blockchain

Blockchain technology is becoming increasingly popular in the agriculture industry due to its ability to enhance transparency and traceability. Blockchain allows farmers and other stakeholders in the food supply chain to track the journey of food products from farm to fork. This can help to prevent food fraud, reduce waste, and improve food safety.

You may also want to read: How Blockchain is Decoding the Future of Agriculture

5. Robotics

The use of robotics is also on the rise in agriculture. Robots can be used for tasks such as planting, weeding, and harvesting. This can result in reduced labor costs and increased efficiency and productivity, as robots can work around the clock without the need for breaks. Robots can also reduce the use of herbicides and pesticides, leading to better environmental outcomes.

6. Vertical Farming

Another trend in agriculture is the growth of vertical farming. Vertical farms use a controlled environment to grow crops in vertically stacked layers, often in urban areas. This allows for year-round crop production, higher crop yields, and reduced land use. It also allows for greater control over growing conditions, resulting in less water and fertilizer use and reduced pesticide use.

Vertical farming involves growing crops in vertically stacked layers, using artificial lighting and controlled environments. Vertical farming enables farmers to produce crops in urban areas, reducing the distance food travels from farm to fork. Vertical farming also reduces water usage, energy consumption, and the use of pesticides and herbicides.

In 2023, we believe vertical farms could become more automated. Technology and automation, including artificial intelligence, can help support consistent plant results with predictable yields without the issues that can be caused by human error and the labor costs incurred with traditional farming methods.

7. Climate-Smart Agriculture

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing agriculture, and climate-smart agriculture is a response to this challenge. Climate-smart agriculture involves using farming practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase resilience to climate change, and increase food security. Examples of climate-smart agriculture practices include crop diversification, conservation agriculture, and agroforestry.

8. Biotechnology

Biotechnology is also transforming agriculture. Genetic engineering can be used to produce crops with desirable traits, such as resistance to pests and diseases, or increased tolerance to environmental stress. Biotechnology can also be used to produce crops with improved nutritional value, such as golden rice, which is genetically modified to contain beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A.

You may also want to read: The Duality, Promise, and Perils of CRISPR in Feeding the World

Overall, the future of agriculture is bright, with technology driving innovation and transforming the industry. As the world’s population continues to grow, the demand for food will increase, making it essential to continue to develop and adopt new technologies that can increase efficiency, reduce costs, and protect the environment.

9. High-speed 5G networks

The implementation of 5G technology is transforming multiple industries by enhancing decision-making, production processes, and factory operations. Agriculture is among the sectors that are experiencing significant advantages from this advanced technology. The low latency, increased network capacity, and reliable high-speed data transfer of 5G are enabling the rapid and effortless transfer of large amounts of data, such as images, videos, 3D models, weather, and topographical information from connected farms. This is saving time and improving the accuracy of AI/ML modelling. With just one click, data from multiple cameras in a connected farm can be transmitted, a process that used to take days using traditional networks. Ultimately, 5G will accelerate the digitization of agriculture for farmers and businesses.

You may also want to read: Revolutionary Smart Farming And Contribution Of 5G In Its Advancement

Shoots by Syngenta,” a worldwide platform created to aid in addressing agriculture’s most difficult challenges, fostering innovation, and advancing more sustainable agriculture, has been officially launched by Syngenta Group. The platform will connect scientific discovery and creativity, bringing together academia, research centers, startups, and cross-industry sectors to work with Syngenta’s global network of 5,000+ scientists. It will begin with science-based innovation challenges.

A startup accelerator will also be a part of “Shoots by Syngenta,” offering a supportive environment for early-stage businesses creating breakthrough agricultural technologies. Startup cohorts will enroll in a program that connects them with funding, mentors, and resources to hasten their growth and impact.

With the help of agricultural innovation, 5 billion more people can now be fed on virtually the same amount of land as they were 70 years ago. However, by 2050, 2+ billion more people will be eating 50% more food, necessitating a quicker innovation pathway for useful and scalable technology. These solutions for farmers facing escalating dangers from pests, disease, and harsh weather play an increasingly essential role in innovation through collaboration.

Specific innovation needs from across the Syngenta Crop Protection and Seeds businesses will be highlighted in “Shoots by Syngenta.” Every person with a scientific interest is able to submit proposals in response to the challenges or other areas of attention when the science-based innovation challenges are posted on the website. Quick evaluation of proposals leads to the progression of those that fit both parties into a cooperative partnership to further the study or technology that may later be licensed.

Early-stage businesses will have the chance to test their technology at Syngenta’s Farm of the Future and a few select grower farms around the world. The startup accelerator will also offer mentorship and access to industry experts, as well as a chance to present and test ideas with relevant business executives and investors. Participants will get individualized coaching from Syngenta business leaders that is tailored to meet the needs of each team.


January 12, 2023 AGRI TECHBLOG0

Blockchain technology is shaking up the agriculture industry with its revolutionary approach to recording transactions and accounts. Dubbed the “blockchain ledger,” this distributed system is gaining popularity as a tool for promoting transparency and accountability.

Gone are the days of costly data storage. Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we store and access information about inventory, farm operations, and the overall status of the agriculture sector.

With blockchain, tracking the source of agricultural products is now a breeze. This means that farmers, customers, and everyone in between can have confidence in the quality of the food supply chain.

But that’s not all. Blockchain’s ability to facilitate data-driven technologies is bringing us closer to the smart farming industry of the future. With its stable and trustworthy data storage capabilities, combined with the power of smart contracts, blockchain is smoothing out the process of transactions between multiple parties and making the entire process faster and more efficient.

Application and uses of Blockchain in Agriculture

Blockchain technology is revolutionizing the agricultural industry by providing new and innovative ways to improve efficiency and transparency. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into some of the most exciting uses of blockchain in agriculture.

Imagine being able to incorporate cutting-edge technology, like sensors, machine learning, and data analysis tools, into your farming operations. This is the concept of “smart farming,” also known as “smart agriculture.” It’s all about using technology to make farming more precise, efficient, and reliable. But, as with any new technology, there are always challenges to overcome.

Traditionally, the management systems for smart farming have been centralized, which can lead to errors in data collection and increases the risk of cyber-attacks. That’s where blockchain technology comes in. By using blockchain, we can securely store data from seed to sale, and allow all players in the process to generate and access the necessary environmental monitoring data at any point along the way. Blockchain’s decentralization is its greatest strength in smart agriculture, as it simplifies data sharing and reduces the risk of data loss and distortion.

There are many exciting projects and solutions currently being developed to take advantage of the power of blockchain in agriculture.

The future of agriculture is looking brighter than ever before, thanks to blockchain technology. With its ability to increase efficiency, transparency, and security, we can look forward to a smarter and more sustainable agricultural industry.

Unleashing the Power of Blockchain in the Agricultural Food Supply Chain: A Revolution in Traceability and Efficiency

In today’s globalized world, the food supply chain in the agriculture industry has become longer and more complex than ever before. But with this increased complexity comes a host of challenges, from concerns about food security and quality, to issues of traceability, trust, and supply chain inefficiencies. These challenges weigh heavily on the economy and society, and put the health of customers at risk.

Enter blockchain technology, the game-changer that resolves many of these difficulties. With blockchain, trust is established between producers and customers by providing specific product data within the blockchain. This greatly improves transparency in the food supply chain process.

The benefits of blockchain technology are far-reaching for both corporations and farmers. It empowers businesses to raise the value of their goods and increase their market competitiveness. It also makes it nearly impossible for low-quality or fake goods providers to continue their deceitful practices.

Think of it as a digital watchdog that guards the food supply chain and make sure that only high-quality and authentic goods make it to your plate. Blockchain technology is bringing a new level of trust and transparency to the agricultural industry, and it’s an exciting time to be a part of it.

Revolutionizing Agriculture: Unlocking the Potential of Blockchain in Supply Chain Management

The food supply chain has become a tangled web of complexities due to the global nature of our food system and the intense competition in the market. Inefficiencies such as traceability, safety, quality, trust, and supply chain inefficiency, pose a significant risk to society, the economy, and human health. Smart contracts play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and efficient food supply chain system.

Blockchain technology has the power to alleviate many of these issues by helping manufacturers establish a trusting relationship with customers by providing transparent and accurate information about their products on the blockchain. This not only improves the reputation of the products but also helps to boost the competitiveness of the businesses. It also makes it difficult for fraud and low-quality product providers to survive, ultimately driving all suppliers in the agricultural and food industries to improve their product quality.

From the consumer standpoint, blockchain gives accurate and reliable information about how food is produced and traded, addressing concerns about safety, quality, and environmental sustainability. It enables customers to better understand the food production process and connect with farmers, thus fostering consumer trust and confidence in food safety. For regulatory authorities, blockchain provides transparent and accurate supply chain data that allows them to implement informed and efficient policies and even aid in crop insurance.

While blockchain technology is rapidly evolving, it still has a long way to go in transforming the food supply chain. Its implementation in the food supply chain still faces challenges, such as a lack of widespread engagement and collaboration from all stakeholders, and immature and flawed areas in the deployment process. Furthermore, it is critical to study the motivations of the parties involved to contribute accurate data to the blockchain, particularly for small-scale farming, as the benefits of blockchain may vary depending on the size of the farm.

In conclusion, blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the food supply chain by providing transparency, security, and decentralization. It helps in preventing food fraud, reducing supply chain management costs, improving food safety and traceability, enabling smart farming and smart index-based agriculture insurance, and provides new revenue streams. However, its implementation is still in its early stages and further research is needed to understand its full potential and limitations.

Harvesting the Benefits: How Blockchain is Transforming Agricultural Insurance

Climate change has thrown the agricultural industry into a state of uncertainty, with extreme weather events taking a toll on the quality of crops and cattle. To combat this unpredictability, farmers often turn to agricultural insurance schemes as a safety net.

Farmers pay a small insurance fee at the start of each growing cycle, and in return, they are compensated if their farms suffer losses due to unpredictable weather conditions. This gives farmers a sense of security as they navigate the unpredictability of weather patterns and the vagaries of the supply chain.

With various insurance policies to choose from, farmers can pick a policy that suits their needs the best. However, traditional insurance policies often have difficulties relating to damage assessment and lack of insurer information, causing headaches for both farmers and insurance companies.

But what if I tell you there’s a technology that can change all that? Blockchain technology has the potential to transform a variety of industries, and the agricultural industry is no exception. Blockchain can aid the advancement of index-based insurances in a couple of ways.

First, payments could be based on real-time and automatic criteria like weather data. For example, if a certain temperature threshold is reached, it would trigger a payout to the farmer. Smart contracts can specify these terms exactly.

Secondly, with a smart oracle, all data sources, such as weather data and plant growth information, can be automatically used in the insurance scheme, which significantly improves the payment process and index determination.

It’s an exciting time for the agricultural industry as blockchain technology is providing new ways to mitigate risk and uncertainty. It’s a game-changer for farmers and insurance companies alike.

Blockchain-Powered Data Storage

Picture this, with the help of a blockchain developer, buying and selling agricultural products on e-commerce sites becomes a breeze, thanks to the power of blockchain technology. Imagine a world where information protection, food supply chain management, agricultural supply chain data storage, decentralized crop insurance and reduced transaction costs are all a reality.

When it comes to data security, blockchain has your back. It offers the vital feature of private key encryption, which strengthens the validity of the authentication process. This ensures that all data collected throughout the planting and harvesting stages is kept safe and secure.

In terms of supply chain management, blockchain acts like a conductor, orchestrating the flow of information and transactions between all parties, leading to increased efficiency and lower costs. This can also help to improve traceability and transparency, allowing you to know the exact origin of your produce.

And let’s not forget the payment process, which becomes a seamless experience. Blockchain technology enables digital payment solutions with zero transaction costs, and the integration of cryptocurrencies can further reduce the costs, allowing you to save more.

All of these features contribute to increasing customer trust in the e-commerce process of buying agricultural products. This not only benefits farmers by increasing their revenue and reach to a larger audience, but it also empowers customers to make informed decisions about the food they consume.

In short, blockchain technology has the power to revolutionize the agricultural industry by improving data.

Blockchain for Better Bites: Revolutionizing Food Production with this innovative technology

Blockchain technology is a game-changer for the food industry. It offers transparency, security, and decentralization to an industry that desperately needs it. With blockchain, transactions are recorded and stored immutably, meaning that every modification is tracked and exposed to the entire network, making it impossible for transactions to be altered or disguised.

Think of blockchain as a digital ledger that records all the information about the food production process, stored in a distributed fashion across multiple networks that all members can access and read. This creates a transparent environment where trust is no longer necessary and there is no need for a central authority to mediate between parties.

This is especially important when it comes to detecting food tampering, fraud, and deceptive advertising. It also helps with large-scale recalls of hazardous goods, reducing food waste in supply chain networks and preventing food spoilage, and allowing businesses to confirm organic or fair-trade origins.

However, implementing blockchain technology in the food production industry does come with its challenges. Understanding the complexity of the food ecosystem and creating a tailored system that can handle different shapes, sizes, storage systems, handling processes, and data recording methods can be a barrier for newcomers to the field.

Another issue is data transparency, as it can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can provide accountability and improve transparency in the agricultural industry, but on the other hand, it can lead to backlash against corporations if something goes wrong. And as we all know, blockchain technology needs to handle large amount of data and properly plan out the structure and scaling of the network.

Blockchain technology has the power to revolutionize the food production industry, making it more transparent, secure and efficient. It may be a bit challenging to implement, but with the right approach, it can bring a whole new level of transparency and trust to the food industry.

Summing It All Up

Blockchain technology is on the rise and showing no signs of slowing down. It has the potential to shake up multiple industries, but the agriculture market is particularly ripe for disruption. With a global value of over 2.4 trillion dollars and over one billion employees, the possibilities for innovation are endless.

Think of blockchain in agriculture as a tool for streamlining and modernizing the entire supply chain process. Smart contracts, big data, crop insurance, and unmanned aerial vehicles are just a few examples of how blockchain can be utilized to track and improve efficiency in the food production process.

Imagine being able to trace the exact origin of your produce, all the way from the farm to the grocery store. Smart contracts can revolutionize the way agricultural supply chains operate by using the data collected through crop insurance schemes to boost overall supply chain management.

In short, if you’re an agricultural supply chain looking to increase efficiency, implementing a private, local blockchain to track and manage your data is the way to go. With live access to information collected throughout the entire food production process, your supply chain will be able to operate with precision and transparency.Top of Form


Video credit: John Deere

From unmanned tractors to robots, drones, gadgets and AI/ML and big data, the agricultural industry is being transformed with the advent of digital revolution and 5G has everything to do with it.

With the current state of global food security and extreme hunger, agricultural sustainability is more critical now than ever and smart farming definitely plays a vital role in food crop production. The amalgamation of 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data and edge computing provides a powerful element which could forever change smart farming which can lead to agricultural transformation and increased food production.

Agriculture forms the backbone human survival, and yet currently the world is still at the crossroads with increasing food production to meet the global demand given the soaring population that is estimated to reach about 9.7 billion by the mid of the 21st century. With the current technological advancements witnessed globally, it’s dumbfounding that more than two decades into the 21st century farming in most parts of the world still remains largely labor-intensive. Thanks to the penetration of 5G in most parts of the world, farming as it is traditionally known is changing through the automation of the traditional manual labor, marking the advent of modern farming.

Resource Constraints & Challenges in Agriculture

A number of factors have continued to stifle advancement in agriculture to meet the food production needs of the 21st century. The cost of farming and production has been increasing due the high input prices, and increasing cost of other factors of production including labor. The demand for food and other agricultural products is rising while natural resources continue to diminish, and the effects of climate change continue to pummel.  Greenhouse gas emissions are leading to the rise in global temperatures, precipitation patterns are changing, and the infestation of pests, diseases and weeds have continued to reduce crop yields.

The Advent of Smart Farming & Agri-Tech

5G is the next generation of communication systems and is poised to transform agriculture as we know it. Telecommunication carriers are currently on the digital race to rollout high-speed data, 5G-compatible devices and gadgets in their portfolios and within no time 5G will part of our daily lives.

The role of 5G in agriculture cannot be underscored enough as it will increasingly automate the industry which will lead to production of more autonomous agricultural machinery and development of data-driven smart agricultural systems. Conglomerates are now racing against time to develop smart farming systems that can benefit from 5G, AI/ML and edge computing systems. The integration of 5G with other technologies will lead to further advancement of precision farming using customized, data-driven approaches to farm management to replace the traditional cumbersome approaches which lacked the ability to predict future changes in weather and climate patterns, soil nutrient changes and real-time relaying and sharing of data.

The Value of Agri-Tech & Smart Farming

Agri-Tech and Smart Farming play a vital role in making agriculture profitable by improving productivity through advancing precision farming – producing the required crops at the required times in the required amounts, improving yield and flavor per unit area, reducing input waste through data-driven applications, and realizing sustainable agriculture that is resistant to climate change, among other benefits.

Eagmark’s Vision for the Future of Agri-Tech & Smart Farming

Due to the diminishing farmland in Africa, agricultural production has been dwindling while the continent’s population is on a constant growth. Due to the growing number of challenges in agriculture, most individuals are now moving into other professions and this has resulted in a shortage of labor on farms. For the remaining farmers who are continuing to depend on the industry, there is an urgent need to provide them with assistance to meet these challenges.

Eagmark acts as a catalyst and has embarked on an advocacy mission for farmers and agribusiness owners to adopt smart farming and Agri-Tech innovations and inventions to address the issues in agriculture. Eagmark acknowledges the rising expectations for smart farming and is focused on researching the current global trends as well as working with industry giants to facilitate provision of precision agriculture that utilizes big data to improve the future of smart agriculture which will reduce farmers’ burden and achieve better productivity.

The Anticipated Contribution of 5G to Agri-Tech & Smart Farming

5G provides more advanced features that make it different from other past communications systems. These include ultra-high speeds as it is said to be 100 times faster than its predecessor 4G. Secondly 5G has ultra-low latency meaning that users can remotely control any gadget in real time without any delays or time lag allowing for monitoring and control of multiple agricultural machines and detection of individuals and objects in real time. 5G also allows multiple simultaneous connections between devices and other equipment. This will enable synchronized work by multiple agricultural machines in the field under one dependable remote monitoring and control system.

Email us with any inquiries or questions.

Connect with us on our social networks: