IoT in Agriculture: Four Ways This Technology is a Boon for Farmers
When farmers have an access to data and insights regarding the farming field, they are in better position to take decision regarding different activities than with no data in hand. This is where internet of things (IoT) comes into the picture. IoT technology can be used to offer insights that can be used for taking decisions, improving crop health, reducing wastage, and acquiring financial stability. It has a potential to help farmers in more ways than imagined. With advancements in technology and innovative thinking, tech companies and startups have launched devices and systems to help farmers. The launch of new devices and emergence of innovative solutions would continue as farmers have experienced the benefits of the technology and have begun implementation despite the challenges. The demand for IoT in agriculture would increase in the coming years. According to the report published by Allied Market Research, the global IoT in agriculture market is estimated to reach $48.71 billion by 2025. Following are some of the ways in which IoT can be leveraged in agriculture.
More crop growth and less water usage
Optimal utilization of resources is crucial in agricultural activities as resources may not be available in abundance all the time. So, a startup firm came up with an IoT device that would provide farmers information regarding crop health and help saving water. The device named Fyllo offers insights on crop health, predicting time about irrigation, and determining diseases. There are nearly 13 parameters including humidity, air pressure, light intensity, rainfall wind speed, and others that are predicted by the sensors. This information is transmitted to smartphones of farmers in real time. With the help of information, farmers are able to determine time for irrigation and save water. Through implementation of this device and technology, they saved nearly 20 million liters of water. In addition, farmers produced 12 tons of crop yields and exported nearly eight ton before implementation of the technology. However, they are able to produce is 15 tons and export nearly 14.5 tons.
Reduction in food wastage
From the production to consumption, a huge amount of food is wasted during its lifecycle. The wasted food, if not decomposed or utilized properly, can get decayed and harm the environment. Methane is emitted during the decaying process and poses risks. To prevent wastage of food, IoT can be used at various stages. Through installation of multiple cameras and sensors on the field, farmers can gain an access to real-time data and track the points at which food has been wasted. With the help of insights extracted from data, farmers can take necessary measures to monitor and reduce food wastage. Same technology can be implemented at food production facilities and necessary measures to reduce wastage can be taken. Qzense, a technology company, has been developing IoT solutions to gain insights on spoilage, shelf life, and ripeness. This would reduce spoilage as well as bring higher margins to farmers and manufacturers.
Possessing financial stability is one of the major requirements for farmers. So, gaining insights on crop health and steps to be taken regarding other farming activities is required to ensure financial gains and attain stability. SatSure, an Indian data analytics company utilizes IoT analytics with the help of satellite and weather data to assist farmers in achieving financial security and crop insurance. Smartphone applications made by the company offer insights on supply, crop stressing, and others. This, in turn, helps in taking decision regarding crops to be sowed, time of irrigation, addition of fertilizers, and preparations needed for harvesting. Many banking service providers and insurance companies have been leveraging solutions of the firm for providing loans and insurance schemes to farmers.
Greenhouse monitoring and control
Manual methods of controlling environment parameters in greenhouse can cause energy loss, production loss, and increase labor costs. However, if a greenhouse is designed with the help of IoT, it can monitor and control the climate inside to give the maximum yield. Different sensors can be utilized for controlling the temperature according to plant requirements. A cloud server can be used to access the system. This would eliminate the need for manual intervention. Illuminum Greenhouses utilizes drip installation and different modern technologies to offer services. By utilizing solar-powered IoT sensors, modern and cost-effective greenhouses are built. With the help of these sensors, the state of the greenhouse and consumption of water can be monitored through SMS alerts to the farmer. Then, an automated irrigation can be carried out in these greenhouses.