Bayer All Set to Deploy AI Agriculture ProjectBy Alejandro Ehrenberg | Thu, 07/16/2020 - 15:47
The Week in Agribusiness and Food highlights developments in Mexico’s industry, where Bayer is ready to launch an AI agriculture project and Burger King is working with UNAM to reduce cows’ CO2 emissions. Internationally, the Bill and Melinda Gates and Rockefeller Foundations’ AGRA program is scrutinized and Brazil’s food exports are questioned over deforestation concerns.
Government authorities stated that the Mayan Train will transport 5.5 tons of food and agricultural products in 2023, which will allow the population to offer added value to their production, something that in turn will help diversify a regional economy presently focused on tourism. The federal government plans to build a logistical structure that will allow for smooth transportation, including cold storage and collection centers along the route.
Bayer will launch in Mexico a smart agriculture project in collaboration with AI firm Prospera Technologies. The project seeks to establish a system that optimizes profitability and agricultural sustainability, as well as the operations of vegetable growers in Mexican greenhouses through machine learning.
Burger King is working with scientists at UNAM and the University of California to reduce methane emissions by adding lemongrass to cows’ diets. This modification, the fast-food chain claims, could reduce the bovine’s methane emissions by 33 percent. Methane gas, a by-product of a cows’ digestion, is seen as one of the most potent greenhouse gases.
Government representatives from Mexico and China held a virtual meeting to discuss e-commerce, investment, mining, customs, regulatory improvement and agriculture exports. Mexican parties present at the meeting included the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) and the National Service for Food Safety and Quality (SENASICA).
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is a Bill and Melinda Gates and Rockefeller Foundations’ program whose goal is to double productivity and incomes by 2020 for 30 million small-scale farming households, while reducing food insecurity by half in 20 countries. The San Francisco Bay View published an article questioning AGRA’s success, however.
Science Magazine presented a paper addressing the interlinkage between illegal deforestation in Brazil and EU imports of Brazil's soy and beef. “Although most of Brazil's agricultural output is deforestation-free, we find that 2 percent of properties in the Amazon and Cerrado are responsible for 62 percent of all potentially illegal deforestation and that roughly 20 percent of soy exports and at least 17 percent of beef exports from both biomes to the EU may be contaminated with illegal deforestation,” the paper states.