Agriculture has moved us ahead so far in thousands of years, but now, we are at a turning point. And by 2050, with a world population estimate of 9.7 Billion people, agricultural production will need to increase by at least 70% from present levels to fulfill the nutritional trends. Now more than ever, the pressure on farmers to produce a healthier yield is putting the planet’s well-being under more stress.
New technological advancements ranging from robotics and drones to computer vision software have completely transformed the way of farming. Ever-growing penetration of the internet among farmers has provided access to tools that will help them meet the requirements of the world’s population. One such technological innovation is ‘Farm Automation’.
Farm automation (aka Smart Farming) makes farms more efficient and mechanizes the crop production cycle by using robotics innovation to develop drones, autonomous tractors, robotic harvesters, and automatic watering & seeding robots. Although these technologies are fairly new, the sector has seen numerous traditional agriculture businesses adopt farm automation into their processes.
What technologies are being used in farm automation?
Automating the harvest of fruits and vegetables has always been problematic since it’s important to be gentle with the produce to avoid damage. Companies like Agrobot & Abundant Robotics have successfully developed robots for gently harvesting strawberries and apples, respectively, no matter where and how they are grown.
Autonomous tractors can be controlled distantly or even pre-programmed to give full liberty to a producer. These tractors deliver value to farmers by reducing labor costs and also increasing efficiency across operations with better yield.
Seeding and Weeding
Seeding and weeding automation target particular crop areas. Seeding can easily reduce labor and tedious tasks on the farm. Weeding automation can be unbelievably accurate and reduce pesticide application by 90% with computer vision. Many firms are employing computer vision and robotics technologies to precisely spray herbicides only where and with exactly what’s needed, giving farmers a new way to control weeds.
Drones can be used to monitor conditions and even apply fertilizers, pesticides, and other treatments from a distance. They can help farmers instantly and cost-effectively by identifying the problem areas with imagery & infrared analysis to determine issues early on.
Challenges of farm automation
Still, there are a few challenges of farm automation that must be addressed & solved. High costs to adopt automation technologies present a huge obstacle to entry for farmers, especially in developing countries. Fixing the technical issues and the breakdown of specialized equipment also requires high costs. Farmers will have to combine their knowledge and experience with these new advanced technologies to fully utilize farm automation.
To help with these financial and high-cost issues, agribazaar has come up with many solutions, Kisan Safalta Card being one of them. The card helps farmers to attain & fulfill their farm and personal needs as well. With its flexible loan limit & repayment duration, farmers are able to focus on their farms & producing a better yield than worrying about liabilities.
The way forward
We are only at the early stages of farm automation but it will definitely be able to transform agriculture.
Working towards the same goal, agribazaar has developed a few innovative agritech solutions that offer a path towards sustainable and more efficient agriculture through technological advancements, production systems, and software. For farmers to understand their farm and crops beter, agribazaar has produced AgriBhumi, Crop Doctor, AgriKnow and many such progressive products.
Every year, automation becomes more sophisticated, and what was cutting-edge earlier will become common and cost-effective soon. The human element will always be a foundational aspect of managing a farm, but fully autonomous farm equipment & tools are coming to revolutionize the agri industry!