Aiding Agriculture using IoT devices amid Climate Crisis
Internet of Things ensures better farm yields in agricultural practices.
Internet of Things is going to be the driving force behind the Industrial revolution 4.0. With the adoption of technologies gaining momentum, IoT has pervaded the industry. Industrial Internet of Things is leading automobile, telecommunication, and health sectors on all the fronts. Hence, the agriculture industry must not be an exception. Reports point out that by the end of 2018, the connected agriculture market stood at US$1.8 million globally and is expected to grow to US$4.3 billion by 2023 at a CAGR of 19.3%.
However, the agriculture industry is in a greater threat of getting distorted due to climate change. Environmental activists and experts are constantly warning about the implications of climate change in agricultural farmland. An exponential distortion of farmlands due to hot weather has been observed over the past few years. Reports suggest that an estimated 24 billion tonnes of fertile land are lost every year due to erosion, development, flooding, mining, or intensive agriculture. With the compounded loss of fertile ground, the existing food security challenges become more evident.
Countries like Yemen, Somalia, Syria, and many South African countries face acute food shortages. And with the exploitation of consuming energy-intensive foods, like Meat, food security challenges will get amplified. Moreover, reports have indicated that China produces 27% of global carbon emissions, thus contributing majorly to climate change because of carbon-compounds.
A collaborative study by the researchers from the University of Cambridge and the University of Aberdeen has pointed out that the global agricultural emission will increase by 80% by 2050 and potentially jeopardize the ambitious plan to keep planetary warming below the 2-degrees Celsius benchmark set under the Paris climate accord.
With extensive climate challenges surpassing the existent human food consumption rate, the need to adopt technological advancements becomes imperative. The havoc created by climate change is unprecedented. But technology, to a certain extent, will contribute to the preservation of farmlands and crops.
So how will the Internet of things aid in preserving the agriculture industry? This article will observe some key points regarding IoT and agriculture.
Preserving Agriculture with the Internet of Things
Internet of Things connects multiple devices and ensures the sharing of data between these devices for better outcomes. The advanced sensors integrated with IoT aid in collecting data through a satellite cellular network. The sensors are then connected to the cloud platforms for storing information.
The integration of IoT into agriculture will assist farmers in monitoring many aspects of farming for better outcomes. For example, by monitoring the water tank level, the irrigation process can be made efficient. The number of connected devices in agriculture will increase from 13 million in 2014 to 225 million by 2024.
Accessing Climate Conditions with IoT
Climate is an integral part of farming. Comprehensive knowledge about climate patterns becomes imperative for the quantity and quality of farm produce. The traditional farming practices find it extremely challenging to analyze climate patterns. However, with IoT, this process becomes feasible.
Placing the advanced sensors inside and outside the agricultural farmland will collect data about changing climatic conditions. It will also help recognize which crop yields maximum produce in a particular climatic condition and which doesn’t. Farmers can then use the crop accordingly. Moreover, the sensor devices will monitor the parameters and configurations required for smart farming. The sensors will also capture data about the duration of crop sustenance. As climate monitoring through IoT is robust and accurate, the need to physically verify the climatic conditions gets eliminated. This increases productivity and helps farmers to reap maximum agricultural benefits.
A successful farm yield is governed by precise decision making. In traditional farming practices, tracking the water irrigation level, field observation, livestock monitoring becomes challenging. The IoT devices thus aid to counter this challenge. Precision farming generates meaningful insights from the sensors’ data and assists farmers in analyzing this data to make smart and intelligent decisions. Moreover, with the help of precision farming, farmers can analyze the soil type, water, and nutrient level in the soil and fertility of fields. This increases efficiency and effectiveness.
Physically verifying the crop health over the stretched area of land becomes a tedious task for farmers. IoT in the agricultural drones will help to assess crop health, crop plantation, insects’ manifestation, and field analysis. It also identifies areas that require a change in irrigation.
With the growing adoption of technology, agriculture has a positive outcome with IoT. The agricultural practices will become cost-effective and will eliminate the need for physical presence. It will also aid in monitoring areas, which is not possible with traditional farm practices.