Affordable precision agriculture for Asia’s farmers
More efficient deployment of resources, improved yields, and better returns on investment
26 August 2020 | AFN – Ag Funder News
An awful lot of the business of farming comes down to educated guesswork, preparedness for the unexpected, and more than a fair bit of plain old good luck.
Thankfully, technology is taking much of this uncertainty out of agriculture. With sensors that determine soil moisture levels, software that pinpoints specific areas of the field for treatment, and platforms that offer accurate and highly localized weather forecasts less is left to chance – leading to more efficient deployment of resources, improved yields, and better returns on investment.
But precision ag technologies like these remain out of reach for the majority in many parts of the world. For low-income smallholders working meager plots in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere, installing a constellation of soil probes or climatic sensors on their land is not only unaffordable; in many cases, it’s impractical, too.
Emerging markets, in particular, rely on these small farms to supply approximately 80% of their food. And with the climate changing and populations growing, food security and sustainability are paramount.
Giving these smallholders greater access to such solutions could vastly improve their output and allow them to use their limited resources more effectively, bringing enhanced security to the food system – while also increasing their incomes and safeguarding their livelihoods.
Israel’s SupPlant offers an autonomous crop watering system it calls ‘Growth Based Irrigation,’ which collects data from on-site sensors — as well as from third-party sources via the cloud — to help farms optimize their water usage.