The biggest global food crisis in modern history is unfolding, driven by conflict, environmental shocks, and the approaching prospect of a global recession. Hundreds of millions of people are at risk of becoming hungry. Acute food insecurity is on the rise, with at least 222 million people in 53 countries estimated to endure acute food insecurity and require immediate help by the end of 2022 (Humanitarian Action, 2022).
The duration of the growing season has already been impacted by warmer air temperatures. For cereal crops, flowering and harvest dates are increasingly occurring several days earlier in the season. In many areas, these shifts are expected to continue (European Environment Agency, 2015). Additionally, slow-onset stressors like drought, soil salinization, and biodiversity loss are prone to the consequences of climate change, as well as catastrophic weather events like forest fires (FAO, 2021c). Furthermore, climate change is endangering the availability of resources such as fertile land and irrigation water, placing pressure on the agriculture industry to do more with less. All of these difficulties appear to be complex, yet they may be readily resolved via precision agriculture, adaptability, and technological innovations (Green Technology Book, 2022). The accurate distribution of water and fertilizer is made possible by technologies like sensors and GPS, which are based on a thorough knowledge of things like crop status, animal health, environmental conditions, and soil conditions. Other advances include the analysis of soil pH and nutrients using infrared light and soil spectroscopy, information that might assist safeguard the soil and target inputs. Additionally, robots and automation can be used to maximize agricultural output while also reducing their negative effects on the environment. Small-scale farms in resource-constrained nations save significant amounts of fertilizer by applying fertilizer directly to seeds while planting, a practice known as micro-dosing. This conserves resources while increasing drought resilience. Many market-available technologies use aerial photography from satellites and drones, as well as data from linked sensors, enabling real-time monitoring and yield projections. Crop data is also being digitized by certain farmers. Farmers may keep digital records of their production cycles and receive instructions from mobile applications and software on when to sow, rotate their crops, and harvest. Despite gradual and incremental acceptance, there is already discussion of a fourth agricultural revolution. One in which greater resource efficiency is anticipated to be made possible by the deployment of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, gene editing, the internet of things (IoT), robots, and sensors. Along with technological innovations, increased farmer awareness and the necessary policy support will be essential to achieving the objectives.
Tasnin Khan Eusufzai
ASRBC, ACI Seed
European Environment Agency: Agriculture and climate change, 2015.
FAO (2021c). The state of food and agriculture 2021. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).