Sustainable & SMART AGRICULTURE
Smart farming is a modern farming concept that looks into the use of technology to improve agricultural production while at the same time lowering the inputs significantly. As it is, smart farming is an information-driven farming approach, which increases the need for it to be observed. This approach applies measures that are economically and ecologically meaningful to achieve improved output in production.
Smart farming runs on the principles of precision farming such as the use of GPS guidance in the application of measures that are site-specific. However, given that precision farming is primarily focusing on the adoption of certain farming technology, the implementation of auto-piloted harvesters and tractors, among other devices and farm machinery, shifts the approach to a holistic and more rounded approach where the focus is not only on spatial precision but to smartest treatment.
The typical issues that smart farming targets to solve include aspects such as how much fertilizer one needs to apply, time of application, and the specific area to be applied, which resources are needed for plant protection, and related aspects. However, the field of agriculture faces a manifold information challenge. Most farmers have very small plots where they produce food; a situation that leads to the implementation of high spatial and temporal measures on any monitoring system used. In addition, complex information is needed for better results where smart farming is used.
Smart farming comes with so many opportunities with the aim of reducing ecological footprint. The use of inputs that are site-specific or minimal use of resources such as pesticides and fertilizers can help in the mitigation of leaching problems and the release of harmful greenhouse gases to the environment. ICT improvement now allows the creation of a sensor network whereby farmers can interconnect and view the status of the soils, animals, and plants and align it with production inputs’ needs like medications, fertilizer, and water.
Secondly, with smart farming, it is easy to achieve profitability in agriculture. The use of certain techniques to reduce resource inputs can ensure that farmers save immensely on labour and the need for reliable spatial data in risk reduction. This is attributable to the fact that smart farming encourages the use of technology in site-specific weather forecasts, probability mapping of disasters and diseases, and yield projections.