Picture of Impact Of Science And Technology In Agriculture

What Is The Impact Of Science And Technology In Agriculture?

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.

Mechanization

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

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?

Picture of 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.

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Where Can Urban Farming Occur?

Given the extent to which urban areas are developing with building and infrastructure erected to accommodate the ever-streaming population, one creative and viable way to make use of the limited land space is to practice urban farming.

Urban farming sees to the cultivation, procession, and distribution of food in cities. Urban farming has several methods like gardening, aquaponics, aeroponics, and hydroponics, all of which are explained over here.

Where can urban farming occur? Urban farming can occur in places with large infrastructure and high population density otherwise known as urban areas and the surrounding regions [peri-urban areas]

What Are The Aspects of Urban Farming?

Urban farming is done on different scales ranging from small to large. Given the limited space associated with inhabited urban areas, urban farming has to be very creative, in that the farmers try to manage the limited space they have and come up with innovative ways to maximize the available space.

So you see styles like vertical gardening in little spaces between houses and rooftop intensive farming. You also get to see a variety of crops planted in limited space by a house, or between buildings.

Some families engage in gardening in their compounds to grow pepper, tomatoes, okra, maize, cassava, etc. In his TED talk, a South Central Los Angeles urban gardener, Ron Finley, said gardening is the ‘most therapeutic and defiant act you can do’.

It saves money and improves the quality and quantity of food consumed by these families. Aside from gardening, urban farming is practiced in different forms like hydroponics, aeroponics, and aquaponics.

Hydroponics farming involves growing plants underwater with no soil, rather with mineral nutrients solution. Profitable plants for hydroponics include Dill, Mint, Cilantro, Basil, Bay leaves, Chives, Tarragon, etc.

Aquaponics is an integrated system where you can fertilize plants with nutrients from fish-inhabited water. Plants such as spinach, lettuce, basil (which can be used to make pesto and pizza), cherry tomatoes, dill, mushrooms, Cilantro, and Chives are very profitable for aquaponics.

Aeroponics involves growing plants in the air without using soil or an aggregate medium, but with the help of a moist environment. Aeroponics is eco-friendly and the system is water-efficient. The plants grow fast and sterilizing the growing equipment keep pest and diseases at bay.

What Are The Development of Urban Farming Over The Years?

The practice of urban agriculture has been in existence for years. It has been used to combat food shortage and famine in times of war and depression. In Germany during the 19th century, people were assigned ‘allotment gardens’ to help them address food insecurity and poverty.

Hazen S. Pingree, in 1893 during the depression, asked the citizens of Detroit to grow vegetables in any vacant lot to supply food and generate income. The potato patches were called Pingree’s Potato Patches.

During World War 1 and World War 2, several vegetables, herb and fruit gardens were sited in public parks and private residences in Canada, the US, UK, Germany, and Australia to boost food supply.

During World War I, President Woodrow Wilson obliged Americans to grow food in their available land spaces to provide food for the US and possibly other countries.

By 1919, over 5 million food-growing plots were flourishing and food products were way above 500 million pounds. Over the years, urban farming has developed in leaps and bounds. In some cities, community spaces are allotted for farming to boost the economy of the region.

In this age of technology, urban farming has become versatile in that it is now practiced in different methods. Judging from the past and the present, urban farming will flourish more in time to come.

What Are The Importance of Urban Farming?

Urban farming is important because it helps to improve the food quantity and quality in the cities and even rural areas.

The high population density of urban areas requires a larger quantity of food production. In cases where all the food is being supplied from rural areas, there is bound to be a shortage of supply.

In this situation, urban farming helps to bridge the gap. This consequently impacts on the health of the masses.

Urban farming provides employment opportunities for many people. In cities plagued by general poverty and hunger, agricultural practices are usually in large scale, most times in community spaces.

People are employed to assist in the different stages of farming. Some people do volunteer and get to learn the nuances of different types of farming.

When such people get to establish themselves, they become self-employed. Urban farming also helps in growing the economy of the cities by way of generating revenue.

Income is also circulated in the city or region as the people buy from themselves. The farmers may also sell at cheaper rates considering that there is no complex distribution method.

They harvest their crops and sell to the people around them making for a somewhat stress-free procedure. The practice of urban farming is eco-friendly because there’s a reduced amount of carbon emission involved in transporting goods from distances.

Foods produced in the city are close to the consumer market. Urban farming engenders sustainable development. It does not feed today at the expense of tomorrow.

Conclusion

A lot of people take interest in what they eat and how it is produced but not getting to know agricultural procedures properly.

Today, being a city dweller is not a restriction. Urban farming is on the rise and many urban dwellers are taking the advantage to grow their food and even sell to others.

Urban farming has been a long time coming, but so many people are now aware of its advantages and buying into this great deal. People who have land spaces are going into gardening.

Some community offers large spaces to citizens for farming. People with minimal land spaces or no space at all are going into hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics and the likes.