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Precision Farming: The Only Alternative to Feeding 9 Billion People

By Dane Avanzi

By 2050, agricultural production is expected to increase its productivity by 60%. This should happen because the world’s population will reach nine billion. The figures are from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. According to the world body, countries will need to invest approximately R $ 128 billion per year in food production and distribution. Today, only about $ 23 billion are invested.
Even as urbanization grows, much of the world’s population will still continue to make a living through agriculture. Thus, through technology and management practices, farmers will have to find ways to increase production without spending too much. How? With precision farming. I explain why.

We live the evolution of information and communication technologies, cloud computing, big data and especially the internet of things that promise to revolutionize the whole experience we have today. All of this is embedded in precision farming. The most diverse types of information arising from the production process can have their data monitored, determined and even remotely corrected.

With this, it is possible to have greater capacity for assertiveness in decision making, produce a conglomerate of information that will allow more detailed and accurate planning for future harvests, which will ensure continuous learning for business managers.

In Brazil, precision agriculture has been widely used by the agribusiness sector, especially by large commodity producers that have larger acreages, greater willingness to invest, and the financial capacity to invest in technological innovations.

There are a number of precision farming tools that help agribusiness gain more productivity while spending less. We can mention the ground sensors, remote sensing – which makes it possible to accurately locate through wide area satellite photos – the drones, which help in the crop management process, among others.

Despite the importance of Brazil in the world agricultural scenario and the benefits of precision agriculture in terms of process and cost optimization, it is still in a very inaccessible phase for most small and medium producers. A scenario that must change.

Although much has already been accomplished, there is certainly still a long way to go. The goal is to provide a better socioeconomic environment for the industry in general.

Today, what is an option, tomorrow will become a necessity with the demand that awaits us for the next 35 years. Using information technology also in agriculture and agribusiness is the only way for producers not to waste time and money. Not to mention the need for food production for an estimated nine billion people worldwide.

Dane Avanzi is a businessman, lawyer and vice president of Aerbras – Association of Radiocommunication Companies of Brazil.

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