The future of farming will be determined by the interaction between two factors: on the one hand pressure from increasing and changing consumer demand and environmental degradation, and, on the other, the opportunities offered by technology, the company says.
With pressure on land and food resources set to increase, the Internet of Things (IoT) will play an increasingly important role in helping the sustainable agriculture sector become more efficient and productive. In fact, within the agritech sector, spend on IoT development is set to rocket over the next five years, according to new independent research commissioned by global mobile satellite company Inmarsat.
The respondents from 100 large agritech companies across the world who responded for the report, The Future of IoT in Enterprise – 2017, indicated that the sector is rapidly taking to the development of IoT technology for sustainable agriculture: 62% had already fully or partially deployed IoT-based solutions, far outpacing the adoption levels seen in mining, transport and energy; a further 27% had plans to invest in IoT-based technology within the next six months.
Additionally, the amount of money agritech companies are spending on technology is increasing. Today, about 5% of agritech’s IT budgets are spent on the technology, a figure that is expected to more than double to around 12% by 2022, an indication of the importance of IoT for the sector going forward. Many of the locations that would benefit most from IoT technologies are remote and are situated where terrestrial networks do not reach, or do not work well.
Farmers need to get smarter, leaner and faster “from field to fork,” as population growth will put pressure on the availability of sustainable water sources, food production, and land. Using “the most efficient method to deliver the resources will increasingly feature on the global agenda,” says Inmarsat director of sector development agriculture Ayan Jobse-Alkemade, who added, “The only way to really do this is with the clever application of new technologies like IoT [which will] fuel a revolution in the farming sector and bring gains that completely eclipse those made in the first Green Revolution in the 1970s.”
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