Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Agricultural Trends You Should Pay Attention To

For the longest time, the world did not pay as much attention to the population growth until things got out of hand, All of a sudden, we did not have enough food to feed the global population properly. This has however changed, and more attention is being paid to even the smallest of changes. As such, new trends are being observed daily in response to these changes.

Increase in Food Demand
The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050. This phenomenon changes the agricultural landscape altogether given that the world’s land under agriculture has not been increasing. Farmers, therefore, have to look for innovative ways to increase production otherwise severe food shortages will be witnessed in future years. Production agriculture will definitely drive the growth of all other sectors because, without food, living beings are nothing.

Adoption of Technology
No industry has been left behind in the technology age, and agriculture is no different. Given that the world’s population is expected to hit the 9 billion mark soon, it is imperative to come up with new technologies that will push up food production and reduce wastage between the farm and the final consumer. The world is currently looking at ways of ensuring that no food is lost due to poor post-harvest farming practices. Automation is also playing into the technological aspect since it allows for farming to be done faster and more efficiently compared to what can be done by sheer human resources. Agricultural robots, better known as agbots, are slowly being integrated into plowing, harvesting, packaging, and other farming activities.

Vertical Farming
As already mentioned, the world is looking for ways of boosting agricultural production, and this is one of the ways that has been identified as a solution to the ever decreasing amount of land under agriculture. Skyscraper farms could soon replace farming as we know it, especially in urban areas. Skyscrapers could be solely set aside for plant or animal farming practices. Vertical farming also offers a unique opportunity for urban cities to be autonomous in food production.

Changes in Consumer Tastes
People are currently looking for more organic agricultural produce which is shifting attention from what has been grown in the past. Additionally, diversification in consumer tastes from traditional food sources such as corn is seeing farmers experiment with other agricultural produce. Consumers are demanding a delicate balance between fresh vs. processed foods, global vs. local foods, and healthy vs. indulgent foods. This is an interesting trend to pay attention to since it will drive which path food production is going to take.
Data Management
Data is being collected in every sector. In the agricultural industry, the crux of the matter is interpreting this data in such a way that it is useful to the farmer on the ground. Translating this data into better economic gains for farmers will influence how innovative farmers will be in meeting increased demand for food.
Generational Change

The current farmer is typically above 55 years old, but farming has to continue into the future. Young people are taking over farming, and their exposure to more education and technology is influencing farming systems. This new generation of farmers is setting the pace for changes in farming as they push for the integration of new science and technology in the traditional family farm.