The majority of the world population earlier was engaged in the agriculture sector for their livelihood but now the scene has changed. In this article, we will put light on How AI is Transforming Agriculture and why we need it in food farming.
Agriculture began to flourish throughout the world since human civilization began. With time and innovations, agricultural practices and techniques evolved. AI is the recruit to farms.
With the advent of industrialization, people shifted from agriculture to industries for employment. Leaving the agricultural labor force down.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the population will increase by 2 billion by 2050. However, only 4% of additional land will come under cultivation by then.
To feed the expanding population with less labor force and less land More scientific and modern approaches are needed today to enhance agriculture.
AI (artificial intelligence) in the field of agriculture is one of the best scientific solutions to boost agriculture productivity with fewer labors, efforts, and cost of production.
Moreover, it is enabling farmers to have a good understanding of crops and problems related to them.
Role of Artificial intelligence in Agriculture:
Agriculture is unavoidable because it is providing the necessities for life and the modern industrial world.
The role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in agriculture can be like a key to many locks. It can provide solutions to many hurdles in producing food to fight hunger globally.
It is one of the enhancing and innovative steps toward continuity of this sacred profession with fewer efforts. More innovations are needed to expand this life dependent sector.
In this technological era, we need to understand the scope of artificial intelligence in agriculture.
AI in predictive agriculture:
AI techs connected with the internet are providing predictions about the crops for the growers. AI can act as an early alert system. It can analyze and predict data of climatic conditions and weather forecast of a month.
The sooner the growers are aware of the upcoming unfavorable conditions the better they can adopt precautionary and take care strategies.
Large yearly based data is also stored from the past years that give information about the weather and rainfall pattern of a particular area. It can give information about the clouds, UV index, storms, duration of sun, and length of daylight to farmers.
Artificial intelligence is a preserver for agriculture. The predictions help in various aspects of farming:
- This pre-known information helps the farmer in deciding sowing and harvesting dates to be later or sooner.
- They can cover the grain of harvested crops and harvest it earlier if rainfall is expected which helps in reducing losses to farmers.
- By knowing the climatic and environmental conditions yearly they can select best-fit seed, crop rotation, and cropping pattern.
AI in detecting pest and pathogens:
Diseases and pests are the major problems of agricultural losses globally. Timely information about pests and diseases can significantly help to save crop failure and reduce losses.
Artificial intelligence technology developed in agriculture can detect diseases and pest attacks in crops. Digital apps are available for detection purposes.
These apps can detect disease and pathogens by a simple image captured by the camera. This image is sent to the company’s large database which contains millions of images and different models of diseases and pests attack symptoms.
AI compares these images to the pre-screened collected data by scientists. The AI concludes by that data to which disease and pest attack the image matched and displays the information.
After the analysis through the AI, the app displays the data which contains plant species, pest or pathogen race, and name of the disease. All this information helps to further investigate disease control or precautionary strategies to avoid losses.
AI chatbots for agriculture solutions:
One of the many benefits of artificial intelligence in agriculture is that it helped the farmers to get an instant response.
Farmers in developing countries are usually not literate and can not learn technical methods of using technology or write their queries on devices.
Agricultural chatbots are developed on mobile apps that instantly answer the oral questions asked by farmers. The chatbots answer questions such as commodity prices in markets, news about farming, and weather conditions.
These chatbots direct them to the company’s database and provide timely analyzed information.
Moreover, chatbots can connect the farmers to different agricultural extensions and call centers established by governments or private firms. These firms assist them in concerning a problem or provide guidelines in different scenarios.
Artificial intelligence in precision agriculture:
One of the immense advantages of artificial intelligence in agriculture is precise operations.
High-quality thermal imagery through powerful lenses from above through drones gives brief information on the field.
Thermal images are used as an analytical tool for field conditions. These thermal images display the information of various field problems. The information in the thermal images can point out various problems like which area of the field is having soil, nutrients, and irrigation problems.
Usually, fields are treated uniformly in terms of irrigation, fertilizer applications, and soil management practices.
AI Thermal images are now a more innovative approach to field management. It points out different areas of the field with different problems that need variable control.
This approach enables a farmer to precisely treat a problem and get most from every part of the field and save time and cost which would otherwise be more if treated the whole field uniformly.
AI and robotics in Agriculture:
Artificial intelligence for agriculture proved to be a stunning idea. Companies are working to fully exploit AI potential to empower farmers for facing challenges in crop production.
Weeds are one of the most challenging problems in the agriculture sector that cause yield losses globally. Weed control through herbicides increased the cost of production as well as environmental pollution that affects the health of animals and humans.
Artificial intelligence used in agriculture provided the solution to scale down the expenditure and pollution caused by herbicides.
Different kinds of weed control robots with AI (the weed-killer robots) are developed with different modes of action.
The morphology and general characteristics of the appearance of weed are fed in the robot database. Through cameras or sensors, it detects weed in the crop and sprays only on weed while the crop remains unsprayed.
This new method of AI sprayers reduced the risk of herbicide’s effect on crops and the environment. It also cut down the labor shortcoming problem as well as the cost of herbicide.
Selective spray shortened the volume of herbicide being used. No need to spray the entire field and instead of labor the robots perform the job.
AI in harvesting crops:
To overcome the labor deficiency problem, the need for artificial intelligence in agriculture is increasing. High tech and advanced companies developed a variety of autonomous robots that use AI and harvest different crops and fruits.
The information about a crop plant and fruit is fed into the database of robots. Sensors and cameras are used to distinguish between the ripened and unripened fruit.
These robots harvest crops and fruits at a much faster pace and a great volume compared to human labor. They are mounted with cameras and sensors to distinguish between fruits and arms that can precisely and carefully harvest the ripened fruit.
AI drones in agriculture farms:
The drone is a new toy for invigilating crops and fields. Drones were used for various purposes in different fields and now in agriculture.
These drones are equipped with powerful cameras that fly above the field and can detect different problems in the field which otherwise are difficult to observe from the ground. It would take much time for a human to detect.
These agricultural drones can detect diseased plants in the field and those areas in the field having a problem or pest attack.
The drones can be mounted with different AI devices and sensors that can gather important data for farmers to analyze their farming. It enables the farmer to know about the production and outcome of the crops.
Artificial intelligence on agriculture drones proved to be helpful in mapping and management of fields and they can become more significant with more innovation. They can be used to broadcast seeds and spray a particular area of the field if remodeled.
The Final Opinion:
The agriculture sector has an important responsibility to feed the world. The fast pace of the growing population and shifting of labor from agriculture to the industrial sector has created a risk of global food security.
In the current circumstances, the agriculture sector needs innovation to overcome these problems.
After reading How AI is transforming agriculture, you can also read about the impact of technology on agriculture, click here.
Artificial intelligence used in agriculture projects has provided the base for modern and autonomous farming that proved to be a great help.
More research and innovation on Artificial intelligence and agriculture can help in contributing to global food security and food productivity.
If you want to read more about the impact of technology on the food industry and productivity, click here.
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