The field of agriculture has attracted a lot of attention in recent times, many startups are emerging and presenting advanced solutions to improve yield, quality, productivity and efficiency, while protecting the environment through more sustainable activity. Let's take a look at some of the advanced solutions and the people behind them.
There are many advanced agricultural technologies that are being developed and already being implemented to improve crop yields, reduce environmental impacts and increase sustainability. Here are some examples of new and advanced technologies that have been implemented in agriculture in recent years:
1. Precision agriculture
Precision agriculture is an advanced agricultural technology that involves the use of precision sensors, GPS mapping and data analysis to optimize crop yield and minimize resource waste, thus saving costs. This technology allows farmers to collect data about their crops, soil and environment in real time, enabling them to make more informed decisions about how to manage their land.
Precision agriculture can help farmers improve crop yields, reduce water consumption, and minimize fertilizer and pesticide use. By analyzing data on soil composition, moisture levels, and nutrient content, farmers can apply the right amount more accurately. Technology also allows them to know how to pay attention to the required areas of their fields, in real time, which helps minimize waste and reduce costs.
1. Variable rate application technology: One example of precision farming technology is the Variable Rate Application (VRA), which involves usingGPS mappingto determine the optimal amount of fertilizers and other requirements for application on different parts of the field. This method allows farmers to more easily adapt their requirements (actions required to maintain their agricultural field) to the specific needs of their crops, thereby maximizing productivity and minimizing waste.
2. Remote sensing technology: Another example is remote sensing, which involves the use of drones or satellites to collect data on crop health, soil moisture and other factors affecting crop growth. This data can be analyzed to identify potential problems before they become a more serious problem, allowing farmers to take preventive and corrective action before crops are damaged.
Overall, precision farming technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we grow crops, improve efficiency, reduce waste and increase sustainability.
2. Biotechnology in agriculture
Biotechnology involves using genetic engineering and other molecular biology techniques to modify crops. This method is used, among other things, to improve crop quality, increase yield, add resistance to disease and other desirable traits. This technology has led to the development of crops that require less water, are more resistant to pests and diseases, and have a longer shelf life.
1. Genetically modified (GM) crop technology: One example of biotechnology in agriculture is the development of genetically modified (GM) crops. These crops have been modified to contain genes from other organisms, giving them new traits such as resistance to pests or tolerance to herbicides. GM crops have been widely adopted around the world, especially in the United States, where they are used to produce crops such as soybeans, corn and cotton.
2.Gene editing technology: Another example of biotechnology in agriculture isthe gene editing method (changing the structure of DNA). Gene editing involves using molecular biology techniques such asCRISPR-Cas9to modify crop DNA in a precise, targeted manner—for specific purposes. This technology has the potential to revolutionize crop cultivation, allowing scientists to develop new crop varieties more quickly and efficiently.
Biotechnology has also been used to develop crops that can grow in harsh environments, such as drought-resistant crops and salt-resistant crops. These crops have the potential to improve food security in areas with little water or poor soil.
Risks of the Application of Biotechnology in Agriculture
However, biotechnology in agriculture also raises concerns about the safety of genetically modified crops and the potential for undesirable consequences. It is important to carefully assess the risks and potential benefits of biotechnology in agriculture to ensure responsible and sustainable use.
What are the "unexpected effects" and new health risks of GMOs?
1. Toxicity. Genetically Modified Foods Are Inherently Unstable
2. Allergic reactions
3. Antibiotic resistance
4. Suppression of the immune system
6. Loss of nutritional values
Genetic engineering of crops has so far been controversial, as the consequences are unknown and people looking for a natural substitute will avoid dietary supplements containing genetically modified plant material. The main argument is that there is no need to change nature and the way it is built, it is already perfect and genetic changes in it may cause unknown effects on the human body and human genetics.
And the question that arises is how the consumption of genetically processed foods will affect future generations health-wise. For example, it has been suggested that consuming genetically processed foods increases the risk of developing various types of cancer.
3. Vertical farming
Vertical farmingis an innovative agricultural technique that involves the use of stacked layers of crops in a controlled environment, often usingLED lightingand hydroponic systems. This technology enables year-round crop production in urban areas, while reducing transportation costs and minimizing pesticide use.
Vertical farming can provide several advantages compared to traditional farming. By growing crops in a controlled environment, farmers can minimize the impact of weather and pests on crop yields. In addition, vertical farming uses significantly less water than traditional farming, making it more sustainable and environmentally friendly. The use of LED lighting allows farmers to optimize the amount and spectrum of light received by crops, which can improve productivity and reduce energy costs.
Vertical agriculture also has the potential to improve "food security" in urban areas (i.e., prevent food shortages in a particular area). By producing local fresh produce, vertical farming can reduce transportation costs and provide fresh food to communities that may not have easy access to fresh, healthy, and diverse food choices in their area.
However, vertical farming also has some limitations and challenges. For example, the capital and high operating costs of vertical agricultural systems can make it difficult for small farmers to adopt this technology. In addition, the energy-intensive nature of vertical farming may make it difficult to achieve a positive environmental impact if renewable energy sources are not used.
Despite these challenges, vertical farming is an exciting and fast-growing field of agriculture, with the potential to revolutionize the way we grow and distribute food.
Why vertical farming has been gaining popularity lately
In recent years, vertical farming is becoming increasingly popular. Vertical farming is a method of growing crops in stacked layers vertically, using artificial lighting and a controlled environment. This method has several advantages such as maximizing space utilization, reducing water consumption and minimizing pesticide use.
1. Meeting local demand: One of the reasons for the growing popularity of vertical agriculture is the growing demand for fresh, locally grown produce. Vertical farming allows year-round production in urban areas where traditional farming may not be possible. This reduces transportation costs and the carbon "footprint" associated with food production.
2. Saving and upgrading efficiency: Moreover, advances in technology have made vertical agriculture more efficient and economical. The use of LED lights and automated systems has helped reduce energy costs and reduce work requirements.
Israeli Startups in the Field of Vertical Agriculture
Several large companies and startups, including quite a few Israelis, have invested in vertical agriculture, and the vertical agriculture market is expected to continue growing in the coming years. Israel is at the forefront of innovation in agriculture, and there are several Israeli startups specializing in vertical agriculture technology. Here are some examples:
1. Vertical Field – Vertical Field develops vertical farming systems for use in urban environments. Their systems use a combination of hydroponics and aeroponics to grow a variety of crops, including: foliage, herbs, herbs and strawberries. Their technology is designed to be space-efficient, energy-efficient and sustainable.
Vertical Field's innovative vertical farming systems have been developed to address global issues around food security and well-being due to rapid urbanization .
The company strives to be at the forefront of the modern urban revolution, providing holistic and innovative solutions that improve access to healthy, fresh and consistent food delivery in city centers around the world.
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Originally founded in 2006, the company has designed integrated vertical platforms for the indoor and outdoor smart gardening sector, and has rapidly grown to international success with over 500 projects worldwide.
"Today we bring together the best experts under one roof, developing holistic vertical solutions for urban agriculture. The company aims to transform the urban ecosystem into a space of health, sustainability and food security."
2.Root AI–Root AI developsAI-drivenrobots for use in vertical farms. Their robots are designed toautomatetasks like planting, pruning and harvesting, making vertical farming more efficient and cost-effective.
The company develops robotics and advanced artificial intelligence solutions for agriculture. The company was founded in 2018 and is headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts.
Root AI'sflagship product is called "Virgo," which is an autonomous robot designed to harvest tomatoes. Virgo uses advanced sensors and computer vision technology to identify and harvest ripe tomatoes, minimizing waste and reducing labor costs for farmers. The robot can operate 24/7, allowing for more efficient and timely harvesting.
In addition to Virgo, Root AI is also developing other robotic solutions for agriculture, including robots that can identify and remove weeds and robots that can plant and monitor crops. The company's solutions are designed to be scalable and adaptable to various crops and agricultural environments.
Thank you to @AbateDeMey at @Robohub for a great podcast on Root AI and its approach to deliver value to growers by leveraging the latest in #Robotics and #AI technologyhttps://t.co/I0GBzsmJMe pic.twitter.com/fuStwMyRDq
— Root AI (@RootRobots) October 21, 2020
Root AI technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we grow and harvest crops, improving efficiencyand reducing manual labor. By automating repetitive and physically demanding tasks, Root AI solutions can also improve the working conditions of farm workers.
Overall, Root AI is an exciting example of how advanced technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence can be applied to agriculture to improve efficiency, sustainability, and working conditions.
Agritask–Agritask provides a cloud-based software platform for managing vertical farms. Their platform helps farmers monitor plant health, track crop yields, and optimize resource usage.
Agritask is an agricultural technology company that provides a comprehensive farm management software platform. The company was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel.
The Agritask platform combines data from various sources, such as weather sensors, satellite imagery, and crop sensors, to provide farmers with real-time insights into their operations. The platform uses advanced analytical algorithms and machine learning to help farmers optimize crop yields, reduce costs and minimize risks.
Some of the key features of the Agritask platform include crop and field management, financial management, and supply chain management. The platform allows farmers to track their crops and soil health, manage irrigation and fertilization, and monitor weather patterns and other environmental factors that may affect crop growth.
Agritask platform's financial management features help farmers track expenses and revenues, manage budgets, and generate financial statements. Supply chain management features allow farmers to track crop movement from farm to market, ensuring crops are delivered on time and in good condition.
Agritask's technology has the potential to revolutionize the way farmers run their operations, improving efficiency, reducing waste and increasing sustainability. By providing real-time data and insights to farmers, the Agritask platform can help farmers make more informed decisions about how to manage their land and crop, ultimately leading to better outcomes for both farmers and consumers.
4. Infarm – Infarm manufactures vertical farming systems designed for use in supermarkets and restaurants. Their systems can be installed directly in the store, providing fresh produce to customers on demand.
"Our plants don't travel far to get to your plate. And because they are given the optimal conditions to thrive, our crops are ultra-nutritious, super tasty and free of chemical pesticides." —From the Infarm website
These are just a few examples out of many Israeli startups working to advance vertical agriculture technology.
Drones can be used for a variety of agricultural purposes, including crop mapping, crop health monitoring, and pesticide spraying. This technology enables farmers to identify and address problems quickly and efficiently, reducing the need for manual labor and minimizing the use of chemicals.
Robotics technology is being developed for use in agriculture to automate tasks like planting, pruning and harvesting. This technology can increase efficiency and reduce labor costs, while also reducing the polluting environmental impact of agriculture.
These are just a few examples of many advanced agricultural technologies that are being developed and deployed around the world to improve crop yield, quality, reduce polluting environmental impact, and increase sustainability.