With Nampo occurring in Bothaville, Free State, today, a concern that needs to be uppermost in the minds of everybody attending this premier yearly AgriBusiness occasion in Bothaville is how the world is going to make sure that there suffices inexpensive food to feed an ever-growing population.
Worldwide population growth is anticipated to continue on an upward pattern, while arable land is gradually reducing and weather patterns are becoming less predictable. It is estimated that the worldwide population will reach 9.8 billion people by 2050, requiring 70% more food than is taken in today. The year 2050 may seem far, however it is a mere 32 years away. Available arable land is not increasing, which indicates that the kids in school today will require to produce 70% more food in 2050, yet with the very same resources we have today. The ongoing problem of unpredictable weather condition patterns, in turn implies, that it is going to be increasingly challenging to produce food. All these elements have actually integrated to put the issue of international food security high on the program, and require sustainable services to handle the threat of mankind lacking food in the future.
An essential answer to the food security threat that future generations face lies in harnessing the most current technologies and inputs to produce an environment that supports optimum food production. This, coupled with the use of advanced farming skills and innovative ways of utilizing details or data, must assist our children in staying efficient.
This is where careful analysis of information comes in, particularly since it has been stated that 90% of all global info that has ever been captured or produced occurred in the past two years. The smart usage of data, part of the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, will increase performance and, ultimately, drive earnings and more affordable farming production systems. A few of the brand-new innovations showcased at Nampo promise to help farmers to use and secure their existing resources more effectively, while growing their earnings line. These technologies consist of bio-innovation, gene editing, robotics, big data, synthetic intelligence and maker knowing.
A few examples come to mind. Through bio-innovation, today it is possible to produce a beef hamburger patty totally from plants. Heme, the magic particle obtained from Leghemoglobin in the roots of beans, is exactly what makes this possible. Heme supplies the meaty flavour– from plants! Plant-based patties treated with heme braai, roast and taste like real beef. Currently, 45% of the earth’s surface is used to grow livestock. With heme, additional boost in greenhouse gasses as well as the loss of environment and species can be avoided. Food-borne diseases and carcinogens are limited. The world will need 75% less water and 95% less land, and no cows, to produce burgers. There are no hormones, prescription antibiotics, pathogens or cholesterol involved.
Gene modifying is another example of technological development that ought to go a long way in enhancing the world’s capacity to feed itself: The Institute for Sustainable Farming in Spain handled to get rid of 85%, or 35 from 45, gliadin genes in wheat. This has actually given hope to have gluten-free wheat quickly. However, regulative issues in many countries stay the largest stumbling block in boosting wheat varieties for drought and disease resistance.
The field of robotics can likewise play an important part in ensuring international food security. For circumstances, robotics, such as strawberry harvesters, are already capable of choosing as much as 25 acres in three days, a task that is presently being done by a crew of 30 people.
Other examples include:
- The latest tomato processing equipment is saving up to 90% in labour costs.
- Water jet cutting innovation in Florida to cut lettuce is paid off in a year thanks to increased efficiency.
- Eighty percent of grapes will be harvested mechanically in Florida by 2022.
The financial benefit of these developments must be seen holistically: they increase effectiveness and financial advancement for countries.
Making use of “big data” will also be vital to unlocking the world’s capacity to produce adequate food. Vertical farming production systems in the US use 130 000 information points to optimise and monitor growing conditions. Veggies are grown without soil or sunshine in a completely regulated environment, and about 95% less water is utilized compared to field farming. Engineered lighting to control the size, shape, colour as well as flavor of veggies is used. Through wise bug management, the life process of pests are interrupted without the application of chemicals.
Artificial Intelligence is another area of development that must be thought about. Expert system is the ability of digital systems to carry out tasks that are typically connected with smart beings. For instance, technology can run scent traps to discover pests in a field, the concentration and life cycle there off and to choose when the application of a pesticide will be optimal and timely to combat bugs with very little expense included and with less environmental effect.
Artificial intelligence: device learning uses algorithms to parse information, discover from it and make determinations without human intervention. The most recent seed and spray technology can trim the world’s spend of $25 billion a year on herbicides by 95%.
Those associated with the production of food should ensure that they keep up with the most recent technological advancements to prevent being left behind. Worldwide, producers need, in addition to this newest technology, a steady and specific policy environment for producers to focus their attention on production, before it’s too late.
* Wessel Lemmer is a Senior Agricultural Financial Expert at Absa
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