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Making Use Of Technology In The Agricultural Sector

Articles

July 3, 2020, 2:50 p.m.

Technology makes life simple, brings solutions, and is cost-effective in most cases.

With millions of people to feed in Ghana, it is imperative that the government consider making the use of technology in the agricultural sector a priority.

Technologies can be used to improve agriculture by growing more crops on farms and even small spaces, which is termed as indoor farming (indoor farming is growing crops or plants entirely indoors).

68% of Ghana’s population lives in rural areas with agriculture contributing 54% of the GDP and accounts for 40% of export earnings. It provides 90 % of the country’s food needs. 40 % of the population in Ghana are farmers. To improve the agricultural sector for farmers, measures need to be taken to ensure that farmers are no longer using outmoded farming practices. With the help of technology, farmers will not only improve farming practices but also yield which means more income for them.

Agricultural technology or Agro-technology is incorporating technology in agriculture, horticulture, and aquaculture with the aim of improving yield, efficiency, and profitability. Thankfully there are various inventions that aid farming and makes it efficient.

With that in mind here are seven emerging technologies that can change the agricultural phase in years to come.

Soil and Water Sensors

Soil and water sensors are used for irrigation and water management in agriculture. The use of soil water sensors is increasing as water scarcity increases and, conversely, as problems associated with over-irrigation increase. According to Wikipedia, Measuring soil moisture is important for agricultural applications to help farmers manage their irrigation systems more efficiently. Knowing the exact soil moisture conditions in their fields, not only are farmers able to generally use less water to grow a crop. They are also able to increase yields and the quality of the crop by improved management of soil moisture during critical plant growth stages

Weather Tracking

This works by remotely accessing exact data for the weather in your fields. This makes it possible for farmers to better and forecast upcoming rainfall, humidity, temperatures, and freezes. This can help farmers to prepare their crops for weather conditions like frost, drought, or heavy rainfall.

Satellite Imaging

By extension, satellites are also used as a management tool through the practice of precision agriculture. Satellite images are used to characterise a farmer's fields in detail, often used in combination with geographical information systems (GIS), to allow more intensive and efficient cultivation practices.

Pervasive Automation

This expands accurately and controls growth through proper guidance to farmers about optimum planting, water management, crop rotation, timely harvesting, nutrient management and pest attacks.

Minichromosome Technology

This is to permit the stacking of genes involved with herbicide tolerance and pest resistance. This usually involves combining two or more genes of interest into a single plant.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology

RFID has already been used for years in some aspects of the agriculture industry. Tagging of animals like sheep and cows allows the farmer to have superior traceability, better breeding control, better conservation efforts, and of course, data collection about each and every animal of the herd.

Vertical farming

Vertical farming is the practice of growing crops in vertically stacked layers. It often incorporates controlled-environment agriculture, which aims to optimize plant growth, and soilless farming techniques such as hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics.

Some farms also make use of some major technologies like harvest automation, autonomous tractors, seeding and weeding, and drones.

Farm automated technologies will aid in issues like rising global population, farm labor shortages, and consumer preferences.

With all these advantages of using technology to influence agriculture positively, the government must see to it that the agricultural sector undergoes changes so that the economy can benefit.

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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.

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