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  The advent of new technologies is likely to increase food production to 70% for an additional population of 2.3 billion people by 2025. To effectively feed the teeming population with quality, safe and nutritious food, there is a need to make our agriculture smart by employing the use of new technologies.
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In this article, I discuss the concept and practice of smart farming and what technologies agrotech, small and large farmers and agricultural stakeholders need to make farming more efficient. What Is Smart Farming? Smart farming or smart agriculture is the use of new technologies for effective and more productive farming processes and output. Some of these technologies include IoT, sensors, and Artificial Intelligence. The aim of using these new technologies is to increase the quality and quantity of farm products while decreasing the application of human labour used for such purposes. In this article, we shall discuss each device that enables smart farming and its functions.
  1. Sensors.
Sensors are devices stationed on machines like robots, vehicles and drones to collect data. For instance, field soil sensors can compute the properties, including the PH levels, moisture levels and nutrient levels, of the soil in your farm. They help you to make better decisions, e.g., deciding how much pesticides or fertilizers you need to spray on your crops for their optimal health.
  1. Robotics.
Robots are machines employed by the farmer to help complete tasks previously done by humans in the field. For instance, after sensors obtain and disseminate data of the crops to the cloud, robots will be activated to automatically shower, spray or drop water, seeds or pesticides. Advanced robots such as drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can even complete the same spraying job much faster without taking up space on the ground.
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  1. Trackers.
Trackers, as the name sounds, are devices powered by Artificial Intelligence and IoT, which is used to track the health and whereabouts of livestock. To illustrate further, a farmer can place these solar-powered tags on cattle to track their number, well-being and locations. On the other hand, the conventional, physical monitoring of livestock can be cumbersome, overwhelming and time-consuming as cattle do not stay at fixed locations, and agriculturists usually need to keep an eye on these animals to stop them from wandering off.
  1. Connectivity.
Connectivity is very important in the farmland as data sharing and data processing works around the power of Internet connection. Connectivity is a technical route that connects physical things (like sensors) to the Internet so information can be passed. Farm connectivity is compulsory when it comes to transmitting and collecting data. Without connection, WiFi, GPS and sensors would not work; and without them, farmers would not be able to regulate, monitor, and detect their crops and animals’ well-being or respond to their needs based on the received and analyzed data.
  1. Big Data.
Big data is evaluated data meant for adequate and favourable decision-making. Without data analysis, data is simply numbered and there would be no insights for farmers to, for instance, determine or detect where the cattle might wander off in daylight, adjust their nutrition accordingly, prevent disease or enhance the health of the herd. With Big Data, farmers will be able to forecast weather conditions and know how to farm accordingly. Big data analyzes collected data of past events and even information in real-time, and gives the farmer the needed information that can guide his decision. Featured image source: Mint
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This article was first published on 25th February 2022


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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