In the modern world we live in, technology is implemented in almost all sectors to improve the efficiency of processes and generate more profits. The same is with the agricultural sector, where technology is embraced to prosper. Plus, it is one of the most important sectors as it allows us to feed our growing population. The demand for food is rising, and we need technology to create a balance on the supply side. But it has been observed that the integration of technology in agriculture is moving at a slower pace compared to other sectors.
Mostly, the technology is used in machinery, but that’s not enough. Lately, it is also being used to make informed farm decisions, which will boost productivity in the long run. Having said this, now let us look at the impact of technology on agriculture in detail. Then, we will move on to understanding our dependence on agriculture. Lastly, we will analyze the relationship between technology and agriculture.
Impact of technology on agriculture
As much as technology provides us benefits, it leads to consequences that force us to rethink. So, let us explore the positive and negative impacts of technology on agriculture.
Technology has brought mechanization and that’s how we have been able to reduce manual labor significantly. And the benefits are in the form of increased productivity, efficient use of resources, and reduced costs. Traditionally, farmers had to rely on their experience to predict the weather condition, which is one of the crucial factors taken into account in farming. Now that we have the technology to predict the weather, farmers can make informed decisions and grow quality yields. Mechanization and weather forecasting is one part of the story – technology improves the supply chain too. On the consumer end, we enjoy the benefits in the form of quality food and less price.
But it’s not all rosy when it comes to technology. Agricultural technology can have negative consequences on human health and natural habitat. Firstly, the overuse of chemical fertilizer technology has detrimental effects on health. Secondly, the extensive use of technologies on the farm reduces the need for manual labor. While mechanization is good for increasing the yield, it reduces employment opportunities. Therefore, resulting in reduced engagement of human resources. Also, as the territories are being expanded for farming, it is depriving wildlife of living places. Plus, overuse of technology meddles with the natural processes of soil, which leads to soil degradation.
Our dependence on agriculture
We used to be hunter-gatherers, then we shifted to the neolithic revolution, thus changing the way we live, eat and interact forever. We became a more settled society and started farming. Since then, we grew more and more dependent on agriculture, and now there is no turning back. In fact, agriculture paved the path for the modern world we live in. Agriculture remains the main source of food supply for the majority of the population. Even though there are initiatives to reduce our dependence on agriculture, the research is still in the development stage. With pressing issues such as overpopulation, climate change, and pollution, we are left with no option but to leverage technology to bring innovation to the agricultural sector to deal with the problems.
Technology vs Agriculture
If overuse of technology can harm our environment, then the same technology can provide us means to gain understanding and rectify our mistakes and develop sustainable solutions. The following section will help you to understand the relationship between technology and agriculture.
Using traditional methods of farming in modern times is too time-consuming and strenuous on physical health. Instead, modern farm equipment is the viable option. A few examples of tech-enabled farm equipment are autonomous vehicles controlled by robots or remote terminals, robotic harvesters, and automatic watering. This improves the efficiency of the farm processes by automating them. That way, technology helps the agricultural sector deal with issues such as farm labor shortages, rising global population, and dynamic consumer preferences.
The advanced technology monitors the farm round the clock and alerts the farmer if immediate actions are required. The sensors and satellites gather the information, which is displayed to the farmer on their devices. It helps them to better track and monitor the weather condition, crop conditions, and soil conditions. As advanced technology provides all the data required to make accurate decisions, it increases the quantity and quality of yields. Along with this, it saves time for farmers by eliminating the frequent visits to fields.
Emerging technologies such as genetic engineering and blockchain have proven to be beneficial for farmers. The advancement in genetic engineering focuses on enhancing the nutrient composition and improving the quality of food. Additionally, it aims at increasing the tolerance level of crops to biotic and abiotic stresses. In essence, genetic engineering is used to deal with food insecurity and malnutrition concerns.
As we are working towards developing a healthy lifestyle, we have been more concerned with the food we consume and from where it comes. This has led organizations to adopt blockchain technology for food traceability. It solves the issues of food fraud and supply chain inefficiency. It tracks the provenance of foods, which not only improves the quality of the supply chain but also creates a relationship of trust between the consumers and producers. Eventually, it saves a lot of time and resources for all the participants in the agricultural sector.
Coming to the end of our analysis, we can say that we need technology in the agricultural sector more than ever. We have major concerns such as rising population, food shortage, food insecurity, labor shortages, and global warming to deal with. Integrating technology into the agricultural processes increases efficiency and allows us to meet the growing demands of the consumers. It gives businesses a competitive advantage as it provides them opportunities to enhance the value of their agricultural products. To sum up, the agricultural sector can leverage technology to increase their yields and reduce their cost, eventually generating more profits.