Artificial Intelligence Revolutionizing the Agriculture SectorBy Sofía Hanna | Fri, 02/05/2021 - 17:37
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has caught the attention of the agricultural sector in Mexico as it can help to create new and effective solutions to protect crops from disease, harmful grasses and pests while protecting ecosystems. Companies in Mexico have already started this process, collaborating with each other to obtain better technologies in a sustainable way.
As mentioned by Analytics Vidhya in an article by Agronoticias, some of the challenges that farmers have to face are related to climate conditions, which make decision-making during soil preparation, harvest and sowing more complicated. Incorrectly measuring the soil’s condition could lead to poor crops. Weed protection can also represent significant economic, time and soil losses if handled poorly.
This is where AI comes in. Some of the advancements that have been already used in the agriculture field, according to Analytics Vidhya, include:
· Weather forecasting. There are now tools that can give a more accurate forecast of weather and pollution, allowing farmers to analyze the current conditions and plan what type of crops are more viable.
· Monitoring systems. Through technology, farmers can identify soil nutrient shortages, including plant pests and diseases, from which they may also get an idea of which fertilizer to use to increase the quality of crops.
· Drones. These are not only useful for taking pictures. They can now be used to monitor crops and their health and transfer data directly to the person in charge.
· AI pest-detection systems. As stated by Analytics Vidhya, "AI systems use satellite images and compare them with historical data using AI algorithms to detect if any insects have landed, including locusts and grasshoppers."
In a previous MBN article, it was mentioned that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) have been presenting initiatives to accelerate the agricultural transformation toward sustainable rural development through collaboration with the private sector. By boosting the supply of materials and using the genetic wealth available in the country, these players are encouraging the development of innovative projects and technology. Two companies, Syngenta Crop Protection, located in Mexico, and Insilico Medicine, located in Hong Kong, have joined the efforts to promote artificial intelligence to achieve a sustainable result. "This collaboration with Insilico Medicine means that Syngenta can harness the immense potential and reach of AI to develop the next generation of sustainable crop protection solutions as part of Syngenta's commitment to invest US$2 billion in innovation and sustainability," said Camilla Corsi, Director of Crop Protection Research at Syngenta, according to Agronoticias.
Using AI in the agriculture sector not only benefits farmers but also protects human health while ensuring short and long-term safety, which can also bring environmental benefits in the future, said Alex Zhavoronkov, Doctor, Founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine, according to Agronoticias.