In agriculture, when we talk about available technologies we refer to various technological resources that can be integrated into agricultural processes to improve them. Thanks to these resources, producers can keep a detailed control of their production processes, turning traditional agriculture into smart agriculture.
The main objective of smart agriculture is to improve the productivity and quality of crops, thus increasing their profitability. To achieve this, new tools such as SAP must be integrated, blockchain technology, artificial intelligence and automation of processes in agriculture.
Currently, all agricultural producers are facing great challenges related to the productivity, competitiveness and sustainability of their businesses. The use of available technologies can solve many of these problems by applying these tools to the monitoring of crop-related processes.
How do available technologies benefit the agricultural industry?
The current available technologies allow changing the traditional way of working, for a new system based on the good use of information. By analyzing crop-related data in real time, growers streamline their processes, reduce costs and they become more competitive.
Currently, there are many applied technological tools that are accessible to most farmers. Since agricultural software to IoT monitoring equipment, the great variety of these tools allows them to be adapted to the needs of each producer.
Data collection in farm fields is done through agricultural mobile apps that can be used on many digital devices. After this, that information cataloged, analyzed and stored in the cloud, and can be used at any time, generating many benefits such as:
- Reduction of costs associated with production
- Land and crop optimization
- Greater profitability
- Prevention of pests and diseases
All these advantages translate into greater competitiveness, because they are focused on the efficient use of each of the available resources.
Is it necessary to use technology in agricultural processes?
The way it works in the agricultural sector has been changing in recent years, especially after the restrictions caused by Covid-19. Much of this transformation is due to the technology adoption in the field, which offers great benefits to producers.
Some of these benefits have been reported by IICA in its document “Outlook for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Americas”. According to this document, digitization improves the producer price by 30% and generates savings of up to 75% for consumers.
Agrotechnology applied to crop production, marketing and distribution systems is a totally necessary tool for the transformation of processes.
If producers take advantage of the benefits offered by the new available technologies, the fields would be much more productive and efficient, improving the food system considerably.
Historically, agriculture has gone through many changes that have increased its efficiency and profitability, so, the use of technology is the next step.
What are some of the technologies that can be applied in the agricultural industry?
Today, there are many technological tools that can be used by agricultural producers in their crops. Although the resources are innumerable, some of the most used are:
They are photographs obtained through specialized satellites that contain information about crops and land, offering producers 4 great advantages that are:
- Evaluation of the land, analyzing the crops and the possible risks of adverse conditions such as droughts and floods.
- Monitoring of the state of crops, identifying areas with special needs, facilitating the efficient use of resources.
- Control and detection of pests and weeds, irrigation needs, fertilizers, etc.
- Efficient crop planning based on the estimation of the potential yields of the land.
Drones are small unmanned aircraft that offer growers a detailed view on the state of the crops. Among its main utilities are:
- Yield estimation by cultivation area.
- Species identification.
- Weed detection and monitoring.
- Topographic and relief evaluation, etc.
They are devices capable of record data such as the levels of nutrients present in the area, soil moisture, weather conditions, irrigation needs, etc.
They are specialized machines that perform complex operations autonomously with the help of artificial intelligence what:
- Application of fertilizers and pesticides.
- Detection of plants with diseases, etc.
All these tools are combined with the use of special software such as SAP or blockchain technology, for the processing and management of information.
Is it very difficult to implement technology in agricultural processes?
Although there are several barriers that hinder the use of available technologies in agriculture, the main one is the resistance of producers to use it. Believe it or not, many producers continue to use a model of “feudal pattern”, or landlord (*), from past centuries, refusing to accept the use of technology.
(*) credits for article: ”Modern management retired the 'LandLord'” by Sebastian Valdés. He is a respected and Chilean expert in Agribusiness, Management and Board of Directors of large companies.
In this old business model, decisions are concentrated in a single person and are generally based on on manually collected information. By not having exact information in real time, the decisions made in most cases they are neither efficient nor effective.
Another difficulty we encounter is the level of access to technology in some areas. Although the reach of the internet is certainly increasing every day, this does not guarantee that it will be used by farmers.
On this subject, the United Nations Organization published a study muy detallado en 2012 y también otro trabajo profundo tanto de la FAO como la CEPAL publicado recientemente, se analizan las brechas presentes en América Latina. Sin embargo, estas barreras se pueden derribar si existe un genuine interest in the producer to implement new technologies in their processes.
Implementing the technologies available in your company is essential
Due to the current need to produce efficiently and at low cost, the use of available technologies in agriculture it has become a necessity. Today, the traditional production model no longer works and farm workers need to evolve with the help of these technologies.
It is very important to be clear that the entire industry is changing, the producers need to adapt to these changes, integrating the new tools in their processes.
For this transition to take place, producers they must be aware that they need to change their way of thinking. investment is required in the updating of machinery, training and acquisition of new technologies in order to be efficient and competitive in the current market.
This investment will position farmers in better positions among the competition and will be recovered thanks to the better profitability that you will achieve in your business.
New technologies are here to stay and are drastically changing the way of producing and marketing farm products. A producer who does not adopt the necessary changes will be relegated and it will not be able to compete with others that do use technology in their processes.