With millions of people relying on agriculture for a living, it is easy to see why agriculture is so vital to many African countries. Smart technology has the potential to totally revolutionise the agriculture industry in order to meet the world’s growing food need. This article examines seven major advancements in smart technology that will impact African agriculture in the coming years.
Sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and global positioning system (GPS) mapping technology are all part of the precision farming toolset. Precision agricultural equipment, which allows for continuous monitoring of soil moisture, nutrient levels, and plant growth, considerably improves a farmer’s capacity to make informed decisions about when to plant, fertilise, and harvest. Precision farming is gaining appeal among Africa’s smallholder farmers due to its ability to increase production while decreasing costs.
Distributed ledger technology (Blockchain)
Blockchain technology, which is a distributed, secure, and transparent ledger system, can be used to record and validate transactions. Blockchain technology has the potential to build an honest supply chain in agriculture, from the farm to the table. By tracing the origin and movement of agricultural products, blockchain technology can help reduce food waste, prevent food fraud, and ensure farmers are paid properly.
When applied to agricultural data, artificial intelligence (AI) can analyse huge volumes of data to estimate the industry’s future. With the help of AI-powered systems, weather patterns, crop yields, and pests and illnesses can all be tracked, predicted, and recognised. Farmers can increase output, reduce waste, and reduce their environmental impact by using AI to make data-driven decisions.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The term “Internet of Things” (IoT) is commonly used to describe a wide range of interconnected electronic gadgets, vehicles, and structures. IoT can be used to keep tabs on irrigation systems, keep track of livestock, and oversee storage facilities in the agricultural sector. Farmers may increase productivity and cut costs by connecting their devices to the internet and using remote access to real-time data and control systems.
Plants are grown in vertically stacked layers, with the help of artificial lighting, climate control, and fertiliser solutions. This farming technique has the potential to boost agricultural yields while decreasing demands on scarce urban resources like water and fertiliser. Because of its potential to lessen the burden on the environment caused by food transportation and spoilage, vertical farming is a viable and environmentally friendly alternative.
Solar and wind energy are two examples of renewable energy that have the potential to provide a long-term, steady energy source for agriculture. Many African countries struggle to power irrigation systems and other farming machinery due to a lack of dependable electricity. Farmers can save money and enhance production by converting to renewable energy sources, while also having a lower environmental impact.
Planting, weeding, and harvesting are just a few of the many agricultural processes that robots technology can automate. Farmers may use robots to improve crop quality and consistency while lowering labour costs and increasing efficiency. Because of the flight of young people to cities, robots technology can help with rural labour shortages.
To summarise, modern technical breakthroughs have the potential to significantly improve Africa’s agricultural sector by increasing productivity, minimising waste, and increasing long-term viability. African farmers can improve their ability to compete in today’s global economy by using these practises.