Agriculture is one of the oldest activities practised by man, but also one of the most exposed to the challenges of today. Climate change, population growth, resource scarcity, demand for food quality and safety are just some of the factors that urgently require a sustainable and innovative transformation of the agri-food sector.
In the age of the Internet and artificial intelligence (AI), agriculture 4.0 is therefore proposed as a solution capable of exploiting the potential offered by the most advanced technologies.
But what exactly does agriculture 4.0 mean and what applications does it have? Shortly, we will try to understand it, outlining the main features, advantages and trends of agritech.
Table of contents
Agriculture 4.0: what it is
Agriculture 4.0, often also called precision farming, is the latest stage in the evolution of agriculture. It is based on the use of advanced digital technologies in order to optimise agricultural processes, increase productivity and reduce environmental impact.
Through the use of sensors, drones, satellites, robotics and, of course, the ever-present artificial intelligence, Agriculture 4.0 makes it possible to closely monitor soil and crop conditions, predict the weather, optimise irrigation and fertilisation, and even prevent plant diseases.
The aim is to increase productivity and product quality, reducing costs, waste, energy, water and fertiliser consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and the use of pesticides, while improving the traceability, safety and sustainability of the entire production process.
Agritech and AI: applications
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the driving forces behind Agriculture 4.0. AI can analyse huge amounts of data, collected from field sensors, satellites and weather stations, and then provide accurate forecasts and practical advice to farmers.
Some of the most widespread and promising AI applications in the field of Agriculture 4.0 are as follows.
Farms monitoring and mapping
Artificial intelligence makes it possible to create detailed maps of farms, detecting the characteristics of the soil, plants, climate and any anomalies, such as diseases, pests, weeds, water or nutritional stress. This approach provides a complete and up-to-date view of the field situation and enables targeted and timely intervention.
Risk prediction and prevention
AI makes it possible to develop predictive models based on the analysis of historical and current data, to anticipate the occurrence of adverse climatic phenomena, diseases or pests, and to suggest the best crop management and defence practices, reducing damage and costs.
Optimisation of interventions
Thanks to AI, it is possible to calculate the water, nutritional and phytosanitary needs of crops and automatically or semi-automatically adjust the doses and timing of irrigation, fertilisation and treatment according to field conditions and weather forecasts, minimising waste and environmental impacts.
Automation and robotics
Artificial intelligence makes it possible to control and co-ordinate machines and robots, capable of carrying out certain agricultural operations, such as sowing, harvesting, pruning, weeding, sorting and packaging products, autonomously or with assistance, increasing the efficiency, precision and safety of work.
Traceability and transparency
AI makes it possible to collect and share data on all stages of the agri-food chain, from production to processing, distribution and consumption, guaranteeing product traceability, quality and safety and promoting consumer trust and satisfaction.
Precision agriculture benefits
Agriculture 4.0 or, indeed, precision farming offers numerous advantages for farmers, the agri-food chain and society in general. Among the main ones are:
Productivity and profitability
Agriculture 4.0 makes it possible to increase the yield and quality of agricultural products, reducing production costs, risks, losses and waste and improving the competitiveness and profitability of farms.
Agriculture 4.0 limits the consumption of natural resources, the use of chemicals, greenhouse gas emissions and the pollution of soil, water and air, and promotes the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems.
Agritech improves farmers’ working and living conditions, reducing fatigue, danger and stress; at the same time, it increases opportunities for training, employment and inclusion, especially for young people and women.
Food safety and quality
Agritech benefits above all the safety and quality of agri-food products, whose traceability and compliance with regulations is ensured. Agriculture 4.0 also guarantees the prevention of health risks, the reduction of waste and the valorisation of local and typical products.
Finally, Agriculture 4.0 makes it possible to respond to consumer needs and expectations by offering fresh, healthy, tasty, diversified and customised products that provide transparent and complete information on their origin, composition and production method.
Trends in agritech
Precision agriculture, or 4.0, is an ever-evolving sector that sees the emergence of new technologies, solutions and opportunities. Among the most relevant and interesting trends are:
Contact us to develop an agritech project or app
In conclusion, Agriculture 4.0, with the help of artificial intelligence, is revolutionising the agricultural sector. Moreover, with the use of other enabling technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and robotics, agriculture can become even more efficient, sustainable and productive.
If you would like to develop a project in the field of agriculture 4.0, please contact us by filling out the contact form below or call +390957463250.