Can the Internet of Things save agriculture?
Updated: Nov 5, 2018
Our planet is home for over 7.8 billion humans that needs to be fed. By 2050 we should be 9 billion on planet earth. In parallel, we are getting more and more aware of the negative effects of the use of GMOs, pesticides, water waste, and so on. Agriculture is then facing a great challenge: feeding an ever growing mass of humans while reducing its environmental footprint. Farmers need to be more productive than ever with fewer resources and no chemicals to increase production. Bye bye glyphosate, hello organic food!
This paradox is very well stated in the 1st goal of the European Union Horizon 2020 for research in terms of Agriculture and rural development, which is the following:
Improve production efficiency, sustainability and resilience
Enhancing productivity as well as the capacity of plants, animals and production systems to adapt to a rapidly changing environment and climate with increasingly scarce natural resources. The resulting innovations will help to move towards a resource-efficient agriculture and food and feed supply chains which consume fewer resources.
Of course this is all for the best! But how do you reconcile an increase in productivity while cutting all the ingredients farmers were using to be more productive and facing issues such as climate change.
This is when the Internet of Things comes into play
In the light of this need for a change, the Internet of Things is here to lift up to the challenge!
The Internet of Things enables farmers to collect data regarding climate, light, soil humidity or temperature of their crops. Sensors buried under ground can sense information and collect data that were sometimes not possible to know before, or at least hard to get.
One famous IoT application is for precision farming, through the collect of data on crops, farmers can adapt the “treatment” of their crops and install automated watering systems to increase water use efficiency.
IoT can also be a solution for greenhouse monitoring. Internet of Things devices can provide information on greenhouse state and watering can be done automatically without human help.
Overall, IoT can reduce waste, lost and cost by optimising the level of moisture and temperature of crops. They can help maintain the ideal environment to get optimum growth of crops.
Wize as a solution
As explained above, IoT is a great solution for farmers to face today’s challenges. Nevertheless, not all IoT technologies are suited for agriculture. Agriculture has many constraints, as crops are sometimes spread out across hundreds of hectares and to sense soil moisture it’s better to bury the device.
The Wize technology suits perfectly agricultural applications. For having a deep radio penetration, you can place the device in hard to access places, such as under the earth. Furthermore, the Wize is long range wide area technology, meaning that you can place the device far away from the gateway, so you won’t need to cover your crops with many gateways to make sure that they are close enough to your devices.
AllWize for smart agriculture
At AllWize we are creating Internet Of Things Development Tools using Wize to easily create IoT applications. If you know a bit about electronics and Arduino you can already deploy your own network of devices. Also, if you want to create a business using IoT for smart agriculture you can skip the prototyping phase and concentrate on the best application you can offer by using our devices. Oh, and good news: AllWize has already created libraries for vineyards use case on Github 💪🏼