What is Agriculture 4.0?

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Many of the readers who have made it this far, may have never heard of Agriculture 4.0. This is a concept which considers how food production will be in the coming years, where robotics, telecommunications, digital information and why not , MARKETING, will take on a protagonist’s role in terms of what we eat. So, why do we need to change what already works? Because the current world population is around 7,000 million and it is expected that by 2050 it will go up to 9,800 million. Which is why all aspect entailed in the food production chain must be updated and adapted to work with the XXI century’s resources.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let’s go back to the Neolithic age to see the changes that have gotten us here.

It is important to acknowledge that the transition from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic Era was no more (or less) than humans leaving their nomadic tendencies to look for food and being at the mercy of nature to provide, to producing food for themselves. This allowed definitive settlements to come about, increasing birth rates, survival rates and the creation of commerce and crafts.

Now that we know the beginning, let’s fast forward to 1865 and peer into a garden of an abbey in what is today known as the Czech Republic. Here we find Johann Gregor Mendel, also known as the father of classical genetics. Mr. Mendel studied how genetic characteristics were transmitted to different generations of peas. These discoveries have been the basis for many geneticists and have been used to improve crops from the wheat we use for making  bread to the tomatoes that we put in our salad.

Now let’s get back into our time machine and travel to the USA. It is 1960 and what was later known as THE GREEN REVOLUTION is about to begin.  It consisted in planting varieties of wheat, corn and rice, mainly, that were more resistant to extreme climates and pests, capable of achieving high yields using fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation.

Let’s now jump to 2018 where, humanity is experimenting with driver-less cars, drones capable of carrying our groceries home and with billions of informational data uploaded to the cloud that is available to us with one single click. All these advances  in technology are also reaching agriculture. AGRICULTURE 4.0.

future_farms_infographic_precision_agriculture

It is not a hard to imagine, as we see in the infographic, an army of robots plowing  our fields or picking our apples. And it is more than likely that these smart harvesters will be commanded by drones capable of recognize which farm has crops that have reached the perfect time in fruit maturity or capable of providing information on the pests affecting our crops

It seems interesting, right?

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