STORY INLINE POST
For over 15,000 years, people have worked to arrive at the perfect formula to harvest top-quality fruits. To this day, brave is the one who is dedicated to agriculture and can ensure complete control of cultivating hectares of land.
The method to grow fruit from a seed is the perfect mix of variables we can control and others where we are totally at the mercy of luck. The higher our volume and quality expectations, the greater the risk factors. Additionally, the demands of those who consume the fruit are increasingly higher.
Conventionally, for the administration of a crop, we do it based on the information collected from past conditions so that decision-making in the present is based on the past since today's conditions are already different. Visually, we can see it in performance maps, which are like colorful paintings. However, these paintings differ yearly, depending on weather conditions, fertilizer application, water availability, or pests and diseases during the growing period.
To make decisions based on current conditions, we would need to collect information in real time, information that consists of thousands of pieces of data that consider biophysical factors, such as changes in meteorological variables, temperature changes, rainfall regime, increases in carbon dioxide levels, carbon in the atmosphere, as well as biological, human and commercial factors. These aspects create a monumental task for human capabilities. Here is where the need for reinforcements begins, with the possibility of obtaining data greater than what a human mind can aspire to and creating an intelligent agriculture system.
Smart agriculture is a management concept that encourages increased agricultural productivity and food security under physical and chemical variables, a changing climate, and growing demands or expectations of transparency from all actors in the agri-food chain. Smart agriculture is a whole system that integrates various tools, among which the instrument that increases the probability of efficiency stands out: artificial intelligence (AI).
AI is a tool that can enable smart agriculture to achieve goals beyond the reach of human capabilities, where processing large amounts of data and transforming it into actionable insights is one of the challenges for the future.
Capturing thousands of data in real-time that provides us with indicators for decision-making and resource management is the key to controlling the variables in our power, such as timing of inputs, production methods and dates.
The involvement of high technology within the sector represents structural changes, such as accessibility issues, the future of employment, and its sustainability, so it seems reasonable to briefly develop these points.
Introducing new technologies within cultivation methods undoubtedly represents a considerable investment for farmers; however, this is not synonymous with being inaccessible in terms of costs for large and small farms since the solutions from technology providers must be based on the return on investment for each project . On the other hand, the complexity of solutions and the acceptability of using technologies, processes and solutions for land managers could represent a challenge, especially in a sector where 4 out of 10 farmers are over 60. And, for the most part, its preparation has been empirical. Although these statistics refer to the Mexican context, it is not far from the European scenario where only 1 in 10 farm managers is under 40. The cost of production and labor also has been increasing, especially in the last two years when the logistics of supplies suffered from international disruptions. However, the trend in recent decades has caused the younger generation to renounce agricultural activities as career opportunities. This situation intersects with the issues of introducing new technologies, the need for new talent within the industry, and attracting young people.
One of the primary purposes of introducing new technologies within the sector is to increase production profits. e Fortunately, this is also good news for the sustainability of the sector since waste within the industry is ostentatious, accounting for about a third of the total wasted production worldwide.
In conclusion, integrating advanced technology, such as AI, within the agriculture sector represents an opportunity to reach a point of sustainability and attract young talent. However, there are also challenges when introducing new trends within an industry with a broad empirical heritage and an older age. If we do not have empathy, we could be biased between the companies that can effectively adopt these new technologies and those that are left behind. In a world where we need more and more food security, this might not be so beneficial.
At Frutos Guadalajara, we have begun our digital transformation, and we invite more colleagues to be part of this transition. The benefits are profitability, sustainability, and gains for society, so we all win. The sun shines for one and all, and in this world, every living thing gets fed, thanks to the Earth.