Smart Agriculture

SMART AGRICULTURE

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach for transforming and reorienting agricultural systems to support food security under the new realities of climate change. Widespread changes in rainfall and temperature patterns threaten agricultural production and increase the vulnerability of people dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, which includes most of the world's poor. Climate change disrupts food markets, posing population-wide risks to the food supply. Threats can be reduced by increasing the adaptive capacity of farmers as well as increasing resilience and resource use efficiency in agricultural production systems. CSA promotes coordinated actions by farmers, researchers, private sector, civil society and policymakers towards climate-resilient pathways through four main action areas: (1) building evidence; (2) increasing local institutional effectiveness; (3) fostering coherence between climate and agricultural policies; and (4) linking climate and agricultural financing. CSA differs from 'business-as-usual' approaches by emphasizing the capacity to implement flexible, context-specific solutions, supported by innovative policy and financing actions.

  • Food Safety

    Food Safety

    According to recent research, the Internet of Things (IoT) is playing an even bigger role in food safety management, revolutionizing tracking and traceability to logistics.

    In an increasingly globalized world, food supply chains, safety issues surrounding food supply and production are becoming more complex.

    The demands and expectations of both consumers and regulatory bodies mean that technological innovations must and are moving quickly to ensure the highest standards of food safety management.

    The Food Supply Chain, explains how the IoT is a driving force in this space, and here are six ways it’s making a difference.

    1. End-to-end tracking and traceability of goods with IoT

    The greatest area of opportunity (in terms of technology in food safety management) lies in end-to-end tracking and traceability of goods across the entire supply chain.

    Such an approach can afford businesses many capabilities, including quickly discovering the origins of contamination in the supply chain for example, who may be liable, and how to avoid future outbreaks.

    This was certainly the case for Victoria-based tomato processor Kagome. The use of RFID tags and GPS technology among others to collect data let Kagome reach previously unattainable heights of transparency throughout its entire processing cycle, and also helped mitigate threats on the tomato supply.

    2. Data for accurate predictions

    The ability to analyze big data brought about by the IoT allows the game-changing opportunity to accurately predict future issues. To increase food security for example, a combination of information available through your supplier, pest control company and your own data (plus things like the weather forecast) can help you foresee potential pest infestations, allowing you to formulate an action plan before the problem happens.

    Chicago started using predictive analytics to deal with rat-infested areas of the city two years ago, to the extent that potential breeding grounds have been cleaned up seven days ahead of a rodent infestation.

    3. Environmental control

    IoT technology has already improved standards of environmental control in food production and storage.

    Advanced methods of analysis and detection can identify possible environmental problems before they arise. Sophisticated sensor technology with the capacity to detect pests and trigger traps is an example of how the IoT is aiding environmental control in farming today.

    4. Inventory management

    IoT application can help businesses better manage and improve the cost of inventory by providing real-time data to enable better decision-making when ordering stock and forecasting needs. This in turn can ensure:
    - The freshest ingredients are available (managers can be notified when food products are about to expire and need to be disposed of).

    - Better prevention of food waste (by tracking inventory from farm to fork).

    Refrigeration monitoring, for example, reduces waste by alerting businesses when temperatures pass predetermined thresholds.

    5. Automated reporting for compliance

    Besides fostering a paperless work environment, the IoT can also help businesses provide seamless, accurate, timely reports to regulators (and shareholders), reducing work hours and errors on essential administrative tasks.

    Smart sensors and connected devices simplify the detailed monitoring and record keeping required by legislation. They are also using pre-loaded HACCP checklists to maintain continuous data on food through the production, manufacturing, transportation and storage stages.

    6. Optimizing logistics

    The implications of big data and the IoT are obvious in food logistics. Analytics can provide indications of how certain logistical procedures can be optimized for timeliness and cost-efficiency.

    According to experts, connected devices can also potentially prevent machine malfunctions and perfect processes through data analysis.

    Conclusion

    From design to distribution, the IoT has seemingly endless applications which can transform food safety, minimize waste and contamination, while affording businesses' greater capabilities to manage compliance and transparency.

  • Climate Change

    Climate Change

    Climate change, also called global warming, refers to the rise in average surface temperatures on Earth. An overwhelming scientific consensus maintains that climate change is due primarily to the human use of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the air. The gases trap heat within the atmosphere, which can have a range of effects on ecosystems, including rising sea levels, severe weather events, and droughts that render landscapes more susceptible to wildfires.

    There is broad-based agreement within the scientific community that climate change is real. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration concur that climate change is indeed occurring and is almost certainly due to human activity.

    The primary cause of climate change is the burning of fossil fuels, such as oil and coal, which emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere—primarily carbon dioxide. Other human activities, such as agriculture and deforestation, also contribute to the proliferation of greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

    Even small increases in Earth’s temperature caused by climate change can have severe effects. The earth’s average temperature has gone up 1.4° F over the past century and is expected to rise as much as 11.5° F over the next. That might not seem like a lot, but the average temperature during the last Ice Age was about 4º F lower than it is today.

  • Animal Health & Welfare

    Animal Health & Welfare

    Farmers are turning to the Internet of Things (IoT) to help them manage their livestock more effectively, boosting productivity and animal health.

    Smart agriculture is becoming more common, but in order to accelerate the worldwide adoption of IoT, farmers and need low cost, low-power sensors – and that’s where technology comes into play.

    The system runs from a small sensor located in the animal’s rumen, where it remains without harm to the animals. This constantly measures the animal’s temperature and is linked via long-distance wireless technology to an Edge hub, which records all the data in one place. When combined with a wireless weighing platform, it can send alerts to the farmer when an animal isn’t gaining weight or has a temperature, enabling them to act swiftly, improving recovery speeds and reducing the use of antibiotics.

    Since many farms are in rural areas without access to cellular or licensed spectrum coverage they need an easy to install network infrastructure for their IoT applications – something which PrognostiX can offer through its Rapid Site 4G coverage in conjunction with EE.

  • Food Security

    Food Security

    In recent years, much has been written about the Internet of Things and its potential to revolutionize the way businesses and public services operate. The vision, fast becoming reality, is for networks of connected sensors that gather data from factories, vehicles, hospitals, homes, shops and supply chains across the globe. It’s being hailed as the technology that will enable everything from smart cities that can, for example, optimize traffic flow, energy usage and signage, to systems that predict earthquakes.

    The Internet of Things is currently used most commonly in the food industry to track and trace the status of products through the production, processing and supply chain. At the most basic level, companies have been using barcodes and RFID tags for over 20 years to track food stuffs from their points of origin through to processing plants, transport, storage, distribution points and food retail.

    In more recent years, we’ve also seen the development of more sophisticated sensors that can monitor safety factors to a fine level of detail during food processing and logistics. It’s now relatively common for companies to install sensor networks that measure food dust particles, temperature or humidity in food manufacturing plants and transport containers, for example.

     

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