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Agritech is the use of technology in agriculture, horticulture, and aquaculture with the aim of improving yield, efficiency, and profitability. Agritech can be products, services or applications derived from agriculture that improve various input/output processes.
A major turning point for agricultural technology is the Industrial Revolution.
Types of agritech
Technologies and applications in agri-tech include:
Drones satellite photography and sensors IoT-based sensor networks phase tracking weather forecasts automated irrigation light and heat control intelligent software analysis for pest and disease prediction, soil management and other involved analytical tasks Biotech is another type of agri-tech.
Practical use-case of Technology in Agribusiness
Agriculture has been wrongly perceived in the past as a "dirty job" for the old people in rural communities but with the renaissance Technology brought to Agriculture, young people now see it as a potential sector to explore.
This is the practical use of Technology in Agriculture by a few start-ups in Africa.
Mobile Application for Agriculture
There is a Nigeria’s digital agriculture platform which focused on connecting farm sponsors with real farmers in order to increase food production while promoting youth participation in agriculture.
This agritech startup is currently disrupting the agriculture ecosystem in the country by connecting small-scale farmers with investors using their platform App which is available on Google and Apple app stores.
Farmers and sponsors all receive a percentage of the profits on harvest. The platform also makes provision for insurance cover for all existing farm projects, so that in the event of unforeseen circumstances, the sponsors’ capital can be refunded.
Drones for Agriculture
Drones can be used on Crop field for scanning with compact multispectral imaging sensors, GPS map creation through onboard cameras, heavy payload transportation, and livestock monitoring with thermal-imaging camera-equipped drones.
High-income countries have seen recent improvements in their agricultural management systems through modern remote sensing technology, such as satellites and aircraft and the information they collect. Out of the vast amount of data collected, advice is provided to farmers and fishers to help inform their decisions.
This has led to better crop yields, higher quality produce and more sustainable agricultural practices in some cases. Big data also informs high-level decision-makers on how to better manage food supply at national and regional levels.
The use of small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) better known as 'drones' for agricultural purposes is a new emerging technology which could revolutionise the way agricultural entrepreneurs interact with their land, water, crops and infrastructure. UAVs can be made specifically for business use and farming in particular, they can capture geo-referenced, overlapping, high-resolution images (2-5 cm) of 400 hectares in a single flight; can seamlessly upload data and produce agricultural analytics from their data management systems, and fly autonomously from take-off to landing.
Blockchain for Agriculture
A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order, it allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central recordkeeping. Each node (a computer connected to the network) gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically.
Originally developed as the accounting method for the virtual currency Bitcoin, blockchains – which use what's known as distributed ledger technology (DLT) – are appearing in a variety of commercial applications today. Currently, the technology is primarily used to verify transactions, within digital currencies though it is possible to digitize, code and insert practically any document into the blockchain. Doing so creates an indelible record that cannot be changed; furthermore, the record’s authenticity can be verified by the entire community using the blockchain instead of a single centralized authority.
Today, Blockchain is revolutionizing the Agriculture sector in many ways including
Trading commodities on the blockchain is helping to reduce middlemen interference by promoting a peer-to-peer model of connecting farmers with end users. It is also helping to promote fairer trades by removing trade barriers, reducing over reliance on United States Dollars and promoting cross-border trading in local currency.
Other methods of leveraging blockchain technology is in settling land disputes through blockchain based land registry, and using QR codes to promote traceability.
ICT for Agriculture
Information Communication Technologies like podcasts, weblogs, social media platforms, e-books are constantly helping to bridge the information gap in the Agriculture sector for farmers and Agripreneurs.
Hydroponics is a soilless farming technology that is used to grow vegetables and tomatoes.
It guarantees an all-year-round production for farmers and insulates these crops from the effects of climate change.
- "What is Agritech?". Sprout. Retrieved 11 January 2016.