This week, the IoF2020 project celebrates its first anniversary in Almería, Spain. We are getting ready to reap the first fruits towards the large-scale implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the European farming and food sector.
The sustainable management of water and other precious natural resources is one of the defining challenges of our time and a main concern for farmers and public authorities alike. The demand of those resources grows simultaneously with the population, so it would become scarcer over time. Fortunately, we now have a solution for water conservation, which is especially good news for those farms located in drought-stricken areas, such as Spain. Smart water management technologies using data derived from sensors to monitor fields in real-time can help to mitigate the severity of droughts in the future.
The assumption for this gloomy outlook is based on a recent trend that is expected to continue if we don’t take action. Almost 80 % of our food supply depends on, or at least benefits from, the pollination insects provide. This corresponds to an estimated €5 billion of annual EU agricultural output directly attributed to pollinators and even more in macroeconomic terms (world food supply, impact on commodity prices). Multiple drivers are responsible for the unfortunate situation of significant decline in pollinator abundance and diversity.
What does it take to get involved in precision farming? If your assumption includes vast land of several hectares, multiple drones, GPS-equipped tractors, smart sensors spread all over the field and winning lottery ticket, you might be wrong!
In December 2017, the Agrisource free online platform was officially launched by the UN’s FAO. Agrisource is Europe’s first open innovation platform for climate-smart agriculture. The platform empowers international actors to implement climate-smart agricultural practices across the supply chain.
Demography will certainly be one of the major issues of the 21st century. Food scarcity and unequal access to food already result in over one billion people suffering from malnutrition. This tendency will only worsen with a global population that is growing steadily and set to reach 9.1 billion by 2050. In its current state, agriculture is unable to feed all those mouths.
Since 2014 more than half of the world’s population resides in urban areas. Yet, migration into cities is projected to intensify. By 2050, estimates anticipate 66 % of urban dwellers. Consequently, this is expected to increase the demand of resources while triggering food insecurity. Hence, transforming urban food systems by using technological innovations is an integral part of a sustainable development path for cities.