It’s undeniable that adopting IoT helps the agricultural industry to reap various benefits. Its successful implementation has turned passive followers of smart farming into raving fans. Still, there are a few challenges faced by the farmers and the crop industry too.
According to a report, the earth’s population may reach 9.7 billion people. This same thing can considerably increase the demand for food. Smart farming can meet the demands while being productive and efficient but the challenges of working with the technology are discouraging the farmers significantly.
Let’s take a cursory look at the challenges. Before that, we would like you to go through the brief on smart agriculture technologies.
What is smart farming?
By using modern information and communication, smart farming can increase the quality and quantity of the products, while optimizing human labor. For present-day farmers, there are various technologies available like software, sensors, location, data analytics, robotics, software, etc. Armed with the latest innovations, farmers can make strategic decisions and monitor field conditions at the same time.
|Software||Specialized software solutions related to IoT platforms|
|Data analytics||Data pipelines, standalone analytics solutions|
|Humidity, water, soil, temperature management|
Challenges faced by the farmers during implementing smart farming
Actual growth and significant proliferation sometimes don’t perform robustly as expected. With several challenges involved, farmers and the entire agricultural sector faces many hindrances. Here we go-
1. Technical failures
With the dependability of burgeoning technology, it’s imaginable what benefits can be reaped from there. However, mechanical breakdown or malfunction may lead to serious crop damage. For instance, if the smart irrigation sensors are down, then it can cause an overwatered or underwatered situation. Even a power failure may cause devastating consequences if no power backup is available.
2. Risk of energy depletion
How smart agriculture is advantageous and how farmers can reap benefits from the same has already been explored in several articles. However, the requirement of powerful data centers and gateways for the operation of intelligent sensors may lead to high energy consumption. To replenish the energy, more resources are required.
Besides, new agricultural IoT tools also affect the energy sector. Most companies have already taken their first step to focus on farming technology platforms that don’t cause energy depletion.
3. Indoor farming challenge
For outdoor farming, precision agriculture has its own methods and resources. With the current research and studies, experts proposed to focus more on indoor farming. Issues like daily climatic fluctuations and changes in the season need to be considered while gearing up with indoor farming methods. Also, the nutritional values should not be affected in any situation while indoor farming. Farmers must learn how to rely on technology while creating a growing environment.
4. Manual employment
After the outbreak of COVID-19, many workers have already lost their jobs. Few companies have decided to lay off the employees in order to cut down the expenditure. With its immediate effect, the agricultural industry has also faced the consequences. Additionally, IoT and its automation process lead to the loss of jobs. It already raised dissatisfaction among the workers.
Absorbing the workforce seems not to be fully functional yet. Farmers need to be well-trained and responsive to the new technology to do that effectively. In that way, new technology can be implemented more smartly.
5. Lack of infrastructure
As poor communication infrastructure is still there in a few remote areas, farmers of those areas cannot able to adopt IoT technology. Internet is the bedrock for establishing solid virtual communication, which is mandatory for smart farming. From advanced monitoring systems to crop yielding, a strong internet connection and its importance cannot be undermined.
- Remote monitoring– Using the latest smart technologies, remote control and monitoring on all plants can help the farmers get instant notifications for the fields/crops. Accordingly, they can address the issues immediately.
- Automated adaptation on plant irrigation– Automated adaptation and its similar processes depending on weather forecast may lead to better optimization. In turn, there would be better utilization rates and resources.
Opportunities of smart farming
With the challenges, the scope of smart farming and its implementation is a cakewalk for the farmers, and the entire agricultural industry. With IoT, there are two significant ways to revolutionize agriculture. It includes farming automation and precision farming.
It’s an IoT-based approach that makes farming more accurate and controlled. Machines enabled with superhuman accuracy can precisely control the plants and cattle. The decision of farming using these machines is made per square meter/ per plant or animal rather than the field.
Precision livestock farming
With smart farming techniques, farmers can monitor the needs of animals, while adjusting their nutrition accordingly. In turn, it prevents disease and enhances herd health.
With drones, it is now possible to collect thermal, visual, and multispectral imagery while providing farmers with valuable insights. It includes plant counting and yield prediction, plant height measurement, stockpile measuring, nitrogen content in wheat, drainage mapping, etc. Based on the analysis, farmers can make the necessary decisions.
Wrapping it up
Smart farming can deliver a more sustainable and productive form of agricultural production. However, once the farmers become accustomed to the challenges and their significant solutions, the entire purpose of smart farming will be served as the eternal dream of mankind. In the upcoming days, it will feed our entire population. Needless to say, an excellent pursuit for an eco-friendly, sustainable nature.