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.