By 2050, there will be about 2 billion more humansSource on Earth than there are today. Which will mean many more conversations about what to have for dinner.
The answers will have to come from the agriculture sector.
Feeding the world has changed radically since humans started farming thousands of years ago. After all, before agriculture, there were only an estimated 6 million people on the planet.Source
But it’s not just our growing population that poses challenges.
Land is a finite resource, and half the world’s habitable land is already used for agriculture.Source
Currently, agriculture makes up a 70% share of worldwide water consumption. That’s tricky, since nearly half the world’s population is expected to live in areas of high-water stress by 2030. Source Plus, food growers also need to account for climate change upending seasonal patterns.
Balancing this equation demands innovation and an ever-evolving partnership between agribusinesses and their IT teams.
IoT offers farmers a full and fertile picture
To see how smart tools are giving farmers a fuller picture of their turf, take a look at Yanmar, a Japanese engine manufacturing company. Yanmar’s GPS-linked equipment and IoT sensors work with Yanmar’s communications system, SmartAssist, which was developed using Lenovo workstations.
Yanmar’s sensors collect a slew of information on soil moisture levels, weather conditions, equipment usage and maintenance needs. Then the company turns this data into insight, so farmers can pick the prime times to fertilise, irrigate, repair equipment and more.
Big data, bigger discoveries
It’s not just farmers: Researchers at North Carolina State University’s Center for Geospatial Analytics are churning through mammoth geospatial datasets to uncover regional weather patterns and spot the best possible time to irrigate crops.
It wouldn’t be possible with traditional machine-learning algorithms. These powerful analyses depend on the team’s use of Lenovo AI resources, high-performance computing (HPC), and LiCO software, And by tapping the power of edge computing with Lenovo workstations, researchers can do their modeling in real time, in the field – literally.
Meanwhile, enabled by Lenovo's Genomics Optimization and Scalability Tool (GOAST), crop geneticists in India are cracking the code for plant health. Take mustard oilseed, one of India’s key sources of cooking oil and livestock feed. The University of Delhi’s Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants have bred mustard oilseeds to resist a fungus currently decimating them.
At the Plant Phenotyping and Imaging Research Centre at the University of Saskatchewan, Lenovo’s image-acquisition and graphic processing technologies reveal exactly how plants extract nutrients from the soil.
Flexible tools dig deep and go far
In a future of climate uncertainty, agility is key. Lenovo’s subscription-based models for devices and infrastructure can keep agribusinesses outfitted with the latest technology without the upfront cost, and with support at each step from procurement to software management to security.
One company making the most of this end-to-end service support is India’s Prompt Equipments, a dairy solutions provider. They turned to Lenovo’s robust mobility solutions to help monitor the purity of milk at every production stage. It’s no small job: India is the world’s leading producer of milk.
A full table of ideas to come
Innovation comes in many forms and is put to as many different uses. Who knows what the partnership between the agriculture sector and their IT teams will yield tomorrow? That said, one thing is certain: feeding tomorrow’s world will require digging deep and uncovering common ground where we can build a shared future to nourish us all.