The science and art of cultivating plants and animals is called agriculture. Agriculture in Nepal is crucial to economic growth and prosperity. In 2018, agriculture represented 4% of gross domestic product (GDP). In some non-industrial nations, it can represent over 25% of GDP. Agriculture’s share of global GDP has contracted to 33% of its contribution a decade ago. As a result, nearly 690 million individuals, or 8.9 percent of the global population are hungry. Which will increase by nearly 60 million in five years as detailed by a 2020 report. Other than demographics, scarcity of natural resources, climate change, and food waste are for the most part intensifying the hunger and food scarcity problem.
The agriculture practice has undergone three upheavals in the past and each was radical at that time. The first representing a transition from hunting and gathering to settle agriculture around 2000 years ago. The second was the farmland reorganization that preceded the end of feudalism in Europe from the seventeenth century onwards. The third (also referred to as the green revolution) was the introduction during the 1950s and 1960s of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and new high-yield crop breeds alongside heavy machinery.
Somewhere in the range of 1961 and 2004, cereal yields in East Asia rose by 2.8 percent a year, or more than 300 percent over the period empowered by the cutting-edge farming practices presented by the third agricultural evolution (World Bank 2008). The projection proposes a further increment by 2050. Agriculture records for 70 percent of water use and generates unsustainable levels of pollution and waste. This has contributed to climate change which brought about the variability of precipitation and a rise in the frequency of droughts and floods lastly reducing the productivity in agriculture.
Agriculture 4.0 Technology and Business
The challenge has been intensified by the need to produce 70 percent more food by 2050. While utilizing optimal energy, fertilizers, and pesticides, lowering Greenhouse gases level, and adapting to climate change. To address these difficulties, we need to disrupt the conventional agricultural framework which prompted the introduction of Agriculture 4.0 Technology in Business.
Agriculture 4.0 is the next step to feed the world by going through a fundamental transformation in the traditional approach of the food industry. Agriculture 4.0 Technology in Business is also a green revolution, with science and technology at its heart. Rather trend-setting innovation will be utilized to determine the ideal level or to eliminate them from the supply chain. Agriculture 4.0 will no longer depend on applying water, fertilizers, and pesticides across the entire field. Additionally, there will be the utilization of sophisticated technologies, for instance, robots, temperature and moisture sensors, aerial images. And GPS technology to make agriculture more profitable, efficient, safer, and environmentally friendly.
Agriculture 4.0 Technology in Business aims to look at both the demand and the supply side of the food scarcity equation, utilizing innovation not simply for the sake of innovation. But to improve and address the genuine requirements of the consumers and re-engineer the value chain.
A portion of the advancements and solutions utilized under Agriculture 4.0 are:
Producing differently using new techniques:
Agriculture 4.0 uses new procedures such as Hydroponics, desert agriculture, and seawater farming. Hydroponics is the method of growing plants without soil, using minerals nutrient solutions in a water solvent. About 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water and on remaining 29% of the land, 33% is covered by deserts. Notwithstanding that the world’s farmland is becoming progressively inadmissible for production. Based on certain metrics, 25 percent of the farmland is now evaluated as highly degraded while another 44% is moderately or slightly degraded. Accordingly, to tackle the food crisis, we should change our deserts and sea into food production facilities.
Using new technologies to increase efficiency in the food chain:
Agriculture 4.0 has acquainted innovations to increase the efficiency in the food chain such as vertical farming, genetic modification, and applying 3D technology to food. In vertical farming, foods are grown in a vertically stacked layer using soil, hydroponic, or aeroponic growing methods. The process uses 95 percent less water, fertilizers and nutrient supplements, and no pesticides while boosting productivity. Genetic modification is a technique to create breeds with improved yield and resistance to adverse conditions. Experts believe that the printers using hydrocolloids can utilize to supplant the base ingredients of foods with renewables like algae, duckweed, and grass.
Incorporation of cross-industry technologies and applications:
Precision farming, also known as satellite agriculture is at the core of agriculture 4.0. Precision agriculture is another procedure for farm management that uses IT for optimum health and productivity of the crops and soil. Some of the key game changers in agriculture 4.0 are the Internet of things (IoT), Data-driven farming, chatbots, Drone technology, and blockchain.
Technology in Agriculture
The use of information technology is relied upon to result in the generation of 4.1 million data points daily in 2050. IoT technologies will allow correlations of structured and unstructured data to provide insights into food production. By analyzing and correlating data about weather, types of seeds, soil quality, and the likelihood of infections, historical data, marketplace trends, and prices, farmers will make an informed decision. Drones can use throughout the crop cycle. Which incorporates soil and field analysis, planting, crop spraying, crop monitoring, irrigation, and health assessment. By producing 3-D maps for early soil examinations. Drones can play a part in planning seed planting and assembling information for overseeing water systems and nitrogen levels. The drone planting system decreases planting costs by 85% by shooting pods with seeds and nutrients into the soil.
Time-series animation can use to show the advancement of crop and reveal production inefficiencies. Sensor drones can be in use to identify which parts of a field is dry and need improvements. By scanning a crop using both visible and near infra-red light, drone-carried gadgets. This help to track changes in plants and indicate their health, and alert farmers to infections. Other than IOT and Drone technology, Blockchain additionally shapes the piece of Agriculture 4.0. Also known as distributed ledger technology (DLT), Blockchain is a computerized framework that records asset transactions and their information in multiple locations at all times. Blockchain can assist regulators to rapidly identify the source of contaminated foods and determine the scope of affected products during contamination incidents in this way improving food safety. The technology can likewise assist with reducing waste by detecting bottlenecks in the supply chain contributing to food spoilage.
Usage of Information Technology in Agriculture
At the point, when combined with IoT technologies such as sensors and radio-frequency identification tags, it can be used to monitor and communicate any transactions, regardless of whether big or small, across the entire supply chain. Blockchain technology can likewise help wipe out middlemen and lead to reasonable valuing for the farmers.
Accordingly, Agriculture 4.0 gives hope to the food scarcity problem. Also, other problems related to agriculture with the most extreme usage of science and technology. In any case, there are some negative consequences too. A ton of resources may be squander if the developed technologies fail to provide the desired outcomes. All things considered, agriculture 4.0 will rather be the reason for extra contamination and annihilation of natural resources. Besides, expanded use of technology could bring about the marginalization of experiential knowledge and disconnect between the farmer and the landscape.
The use of labor-saving technologies could lead to a high level of unemployment. This may exacerbate high levels of social and mental well-being issues. Data produced by commercial machinery which shapes the precious decision- making information may not be dispersed equally. And favor just the already powerful companies. As a result, there is the danger that developing countries involved in agriculture 4.0 may not receive the benefits experienced by the foreign investors. Who run farming enterprises or by the wealthier countries which import the food. People may also have concerned about various techniques such as robotic milking techniques and genetic modification. The resistance to change from the people may reduce the efficiency of agriculture 4.0. Thus, all these factors need wise review while applying Agriculture 4.0.