INDUSTRY 4.0 IN AGRICULTURE
Business Of Agriculture|May-June 2020
At present, the world population is around 7.8 billion and expected to grow up to 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.9 billion by 2100.
R.S. NEGI

With the growing population, the agriculture sector will have its fair share of challenges in the coming years. To cater to the food demand for such a large population, a paradigm shift will be needed globally, which will be witnessed by the world in terms of Industry 4.0 in Agriculture or Agriculture 4.0.

Industry 4.0 is a term coined by Working Group members on ‘computerization across industries for the next industrial revolution’ in Germany in the year 2011. When implemented in the Agriculture sector, it can be a saviour for the global agriculture industry.

The core idea behind Agriculture 4.0 is the fusion of computerization and technological innovations like Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, weather satellites, etc. with agriculture. The benefits of this fusion can be varied in terms of increased productivity and production, natural resources conservation, sustainable use of fertilizers and agrochemicals, less dependency on human resource and many others.

There are several key drivers and linked challenges affecting the global agriculture industry in the coming years and Agriculture 4.0 has customised solution for each of them.

Demographics is a challenging factor for agriculture. Urbanization is resulting in the migration of rural population to cities leading a steep shrink in the workforce but at the same time, we simply cannot opt-out of growing food. Agriculture 4.0 in the form of indoor farming has already been adopted by many existing companies and farmers in urban areas worldwide. Recently introduced machine learning, artificial intelligence helps indoor farming by optimizing yields and give produce exactly what it needs to achieve - optimal freshness and taste.

Recent developments in Artificial Intelligence and robotic system helped farmers accurately fertilize and spray their fields by automation of timings and amounts. Farmers can monitor progress from a computer or a smartphone.

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