Science and technology have led to increased productivity that is why the impact of science and technology on agriculture cannot be overemphasized.
Farmers can now increase their productivity through hybrid seeds as well as some other new technologies and discoveries. Likewise, technology has made it possible to predict the climate condition that is best suited for various crops.
What Is The Impact Of Science And Technology In Agriculture? A couple of technological innovations such as the development of the genetically modified crop, drones, the Internet of Things, refrigerated railcars among many others have played a major role in making the agricultural sector very productive.
How Science And Technology Is Impacting The Agricultural Sector
Agriculture has a history of using technology to improve and enhance crop production. It revolutionized how agriculturists run their business and it is also changing the face of the rural communities.
For a long time now, agriculture has been seen as a dirty job and has been left for rural communities but with the impact of technology in agriculture, that notion is changing.There are several ways in which the agricultural industry has been impacted by science and technology.
One of the first innovations that had a great impact on the sector was the introduction of machines on the farms. Before this innovation, tasks on the farm were performed solely using hands. Mechanization was a major change that helped the agricultural sector.
Transportation was a major challenge for farmers. Transporting the farm produce was quite expensive and because of the distance to market, most of the produce often spoils before it reaches the consumer thereby resulting in a great loss for the farmer.
The invention of railroads played a pivotal role to help resolve this challenge. With the expansion of railroad systems, farm produce could now be transported much faster and at a lesser cost.
This method helped increase the farmer’s ROI. The invention of the refrigerated rail cars also revolutionized the industry by allowing farmers to quickly deliver perishable products like meats using refrigerated vehicles.
This machinery not only makes the delivery faster but also helps to preserve the product by keeping it in a cool environment. Other modes of transportation like ships, trucks, barges, and so on were also invented to transport farm products from the farm to the market.
The technological advancement in transportation helped to reduce the cost of delivery, open new markets, and ultimately improved productivity and increase efficiency in the agricultural sector.
– Increased yield
For a long time, farmers depended on agricultural chemicals like herbicides and pesticides to control weeds, reduce pest damages, and increase yield. All these were discovered through scientific research.
Also, scientist underwent some experiment and have developed new biotechnological innovations which can be used to create genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
– Using crops as energy
Farmers had always produced crops as food and fiber. But, in recent times, scientists discovered that some crops can be used as a source of energy. Soya bean-based biodiesel and Corn-based ethanol were developed as a renewable alternative to petroleum-based energy.
What Are The Recent Innovations and Technologies in Agriculture?
1. Urban Agriculture, Vertical farms, and Smart designs
Urban agriculture allows for the effective utilization of space. Vertical farming is one of the latest trends in urban agriculture. As these trends continue, we are beginning to realize yields which are almost 10 times efficient when compared to traditional agriculture.
Vertical farming simply makes farming more efficient and also utilizes lesser space. Smart designs are now being used to reduce weight and increase yield.
2. Drones and Bees
Climate change is a major challenge in the agricultural sector. If the climate condition continues to worsen, it would result in food shortage. Also, bees that play a major role in pollination are now disappearing.
This change would be a major disaster if bees completely go into extinction as pollination is vital to the sustainability of agricultural production. Fortunately, drones are now being used as an agent of pollinations to supplement the pollination efforts of bees.
Aside from being used for pollinations, there are several ways in which drones can be well utilized in agriculture. It can be used for aerial drone photography to take a good look at the field.
3. Artificial Intelligence, IoT, and Automation
With artificial intelligence and automation, driverless vehicles are being introduced to the farm to perform different operations on the farm.
An example is a driverless tractor. Also, with the evolution of the internet of things, we have connected devices and smart devices on the farm that can communicate with each other to enhance and increase productivity on the farm.
4. Blockchain Technology
Blockchain is generally associated with cryptocurrency but recently, the agricultural industry is beginning to see the capability of blockchain in the industry.
It is being used for traceability and supply chains. A blockchain ledger can record and modify the status of crops from the planting phase to the harvesting phase to storage and then to delivery.
With this technology, the status of your crops would available to you in real-time and you would never lose track of the status of your crops. Blockchain is also being used for resource management.
What Are The Challenges Of Science And Technology In Agriculture?
One of the major challenges of science and technology in agriculture is that it can lead to a substantial environmental effect.
It causes pollution like the addition of toxins and other chemicals to the water and environment. Even though these chemicals have a positive impact on crop production, they harm the environment.
Also, the use of heavy machinery and tilling equipment on the soil can cause soil erosion and degradation of the environment. Another challenge of science and technology in agriculture is that most farmers are illiterates and find it difficult to adopt modern agricultural methods.