A recent Cornell University study found that due to climate change, agricultural productivity has fallen by 21% since the 1960s.
Farmland affects biodiversity and the planet’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide, so it must become smarter, produce enough food for our planet’s population, and be more resilient to support the restoration of our ecosystem. It can optimize agriculture, sequester carbon and promote regenerative agriculture.
More importantly, by connecting linear and fragmented supply chains in a unified, collaborative and intelligent business network, we can transform the entire agricultural supply chain into a circular business model. Circular models can be combined with existing methods to make food production more sustainable and resistant to environmental changes.
Agricultural technology companies such as Syngenta and Indigo Ag have developed different types of seed technologies to make crops more resistant. Crops such as wheat, corn, and soybeans can grow under harsher conditions and use less water.
Therefore, agriculture’s dependence on irrigation is reduced, and it can even be restored to wasteland. At some point in the future, food may even be grown on Mars. At present, on the earth, farmers are beginning to use satellites and drones to monitor crop health and soil conditions.
They use sensor technology to measure humidity and temperature, and aerial images provide the latest information on crop growth. It is also becoming more and more common to see robots in field weeding and harvesting. In the eyes of consumers, the more concealed but hugely influential is the use of cloud platforms and services to aggregate and analyze data from the entire production process, such as data from soil sensors, crop growth captured by drones, and weather updates.
Farmers and distributors can use cloud-based technology to build smarter agricultural supply chains, enabling them to adapt more quickly to changing environments and consumer needs.
Let us not forget that agricultural products are very perishable. Before eating or storing, their shelf is very short. Matching agricultural production to consumer demand is very important for product quality and reducing food waste and carbon emissions. The United Nations estimates that 8% to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are related to uneaten food.
Zespri International, the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit, is an example of a smart company that uses technology to optimize production and distribution. The New Zealand company is using the cloud to more accurately plan its global supply chain and make decisions about transportation and market allocation. Jiapei has been able to reduce the loading time of kiwi fruit trays on ships in the port from 20 minutes to 30 seconds and deliver fresh produce to all parts of the world at the fastest speed.
By working with SAP, this grower-owned kiwi fruit marketer is transforming its entire global supply chain by standardizing and automating processes across the organization, improving efficiency, and providing a platform for growth and innovation. The possibilities for technological innovation are limitless, but our time is limited and we cannot reverse the effects of climate change.
By collaborating and using new technological methods for responsible design, procurement, production, consumption, recycling and reuse in all industries, we can pave the way for a more sustainable circular economy and restore our land. The next generation counts on us.