Technology creates new opportunities for agriculture

Technological and specifically digital advances are revolutionizing industries, markets and societies. Today, digital technologies have become essential tools for the design, production and marketing of goods and services in various chains and sectors of the economy.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) reports that the adoption of these innovations in agriculture is associated with an increase in added value and productivity, which has an impact on wage and income levels.

But what does it consist of? In agricultural production processes, there are data that must be collected, such as location, climate, grower behavior, consumption and prices. This is where digitization plays its role in capturing, generating and managing information using smart devices. This data is used to interpret the past and predict the future behavior of the system in order to optimize its operation and achieve greater productivity, efficiency and sustainability.

The director of the Supérate Family Agriculture Program, Arturo Bisonó, explains that the adoption of technology in Dominican agriculture can reduce costs and improve product quality.

He explains that the world aims to capture and process large databases of information obtained from various sources to improve decision-making processes, both at the level of small, medium and large producers, investors and public policy makers.

The agronomist says that innovation and technology provide opportunities for young people from other fields, as programmers are needed in this sector to develop platforms that use programming languages.

A public official confirms that in the Dominican Republic this type of technology has already been applied to crops that have added value for export, such as sugar cane, cocoa and avocado. As for the latter, he says they are working on soil maps to be able to design automated irrigation systems. However, he understands that the percentage of what is being done is still minimal.

He adds that more funding is needed for farmers to access new technologies and for agronomists to acquire new skills. “Professionally, more research is needed, meaning that there are lines of research that will enable the technology to be validated in the agricultural world,” he says.

It suggests that public policies should come from databases of truthful sources and that the processing should enable better government policies. For example, in the event of a flood, it is possible through radar images to determine the total affected area in the country, to know which and how many farmers were affected, how many tasks were flooded, and thus be able to respond quickly to needs. that have. From what it understands, it is necessary to generate knowledge in or from the state in order to use all available tools.

In this sense, it suggests that one must have versatility to be able to translate the science and technology that is developed and translate it to make the farmer more efficient in his way of doing things. “Very complex information can be translated into simple decisions,” he says.

The report: “Digital Technologies for a New Future” by ECLAC suggests that the digital revolution is an opportunity to increase the productivity and sophistication of the agricultural sector. For example, by adding sensors to conventional farm machinery such as tractors, sprayers and combines, they can be turned into networks of smart devices with yield monitors, autopilot or sensors for seed distribution and spraying.

Bisonó mentions that agriculture is fundamental in the sense that it boils down to three or four questions: when? where? and because? It is a good time when plants need water. In this sense, he clarifies that all innovations such as satellite images, “machine learning”, artificial intelligence, humidity sensors, among others, are behind answering these questions, which are very simple from his point of view.

He states that it is necessary to create a georeferenced information base for farmers with data from the entire national production apparatus and with that information to support producers by improving their decision-making.

“We are considering carrying out an agricultural census, we have the possibility of financing it, it is important to give it priority,” he comments.

Adaptation

The On climate confirms that, although the Dominican Republic is one of the countries that suffers the most from its effects, it has the tools to fight them thanks to access to information and new technologies. However, it questions whether all resources are being used to fight it.

“It is a good question to ask at the country level. Are we fighting climate change with all the tools at our disposal? I think not, I understand that we lack the ability to understand what is happening in the world and what we can use to make the country less affected and most importantly we have adapted,” he says.

Leave a Comment