Digital Farming in Middle East Path to Agriculture 4.0 and Food Safety

By Vijay J. | 26 February 2020



Despite the adverse environmental conditions, the Middle Eastern governing bodies are making continual efforts in order to mitigate vulnerability of the agriculture industry in the area. As we enter the fourth industrial revolution across all the other industrial areas, the agriculture industry in the Middle East is also embracing itself to move towards undergoing technological transformation. In the coming years, as the demand for food is likely to nearly double, food security will emerge as a prominent challenge for stakeholders in the Middle East’s agriculture industry. Agriculture technology will only enable farming companies to fortify their businesses using high-tech features of farm management systems through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

The Middle Eastern agriculture space has always been grappling with the challenges triggered by magnifying food demand and declining availability of water and other natural resources. Despite advancements in farming methods, the agriculture production is likely to witness sluggish growth at about 1.5% per annum, as projected by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Nearly 65% of the cropland in the region is planted with grains and cereals that are water-thirsty cereals, especially wheat, and these cereals mainly hold a large share of calorie intake among consumers. Furthermore, in the coming years, the Middle East is expected to witness a dramatic rise in consumption of these cereals and sugar along with a slight decline in protein intake sourced from animals, according to a report published by the FAO.

As this remains the ground reality in the Middle East’s agriculture landscape, farming companies are struggling to deal with roadblocks in the future of food security. In recent years, leading farming companies have commenced to combine their advanced farming strategies with their effort of integrating tech-driven tools to amplify their productivity. Advancements in farming methods are being supported with state-of-the-art farm management systems in the Middle East, which is expected to mark the rise of new trends that may lead the industry not only towards a better food security but also the fourth global industrial revolution.


1. Implement Precision Farming without Large and Expensive Machinery

Farming companies in the region are spurning bulky and expensive agricultural machineries and limiting their dependence on high-cost assets. With the convergence of technologies with the agriculture industry is expected to empower stakeholders to implement precision farming in the region. In the coming years, the adoption of next-generation farm management systems is poised to emerge as a popular trend in the Middle East’s agriculture industry and a key for stakeholders to enhance their business profitability.


2. Powering Digital Agriculture through Remote Monitoring Technology

In the Middle East, the number of stakeholders investing in remote farms is multiplying at a rapid pace, attributing to the aggravating scarcity of natural resources in the region. A mounting number of such companies are also investing heavily in IoT-enabled farm management systems to improve their business profitability through advanced remote monitoring technology. This can also enable them to ensure a substantial increase in produce and a balance between supply and demand in the region’s agriculture industry.


3. Ensuring Efficient Water Usage through Next-generation Farm Management Systems

Nearly 70% of the gross domestic product of the Middle East and North America is affected by high or very-high water stress in the region. Thereby, agribusinesses in the region are concentrating all their efforts of mitigating their dependency on rough estimates on soil humidity levels. With the use of advanced farm management systems, farmers and other stakeholders are leveraging smart sensing technologies and control their water consumption. This is expected to result in achieving more accuracy and efficiency in terms of water usage and eliminating water wastage in agricultural practices in the region.