The agriculture and food sector continues to face multiple challenges. With the global population projected to cross the 9.6 billion mark by 2050, the demand for food continues to defy gravity. However, at the same time, the availability of natural resources such as productive arable land and fresh water is becoming increasingly constrained.
Processes such as the rapid rate of urbanization, ongoing geopolitical tariff battles, evolving customer demands, and increasing regulatory mandates are also having a significant impact on the patterns of food production and consumption. Therefore, an urgent transformation of the existing agrifood system is necessary for productive, effective, sustainable, and resilient food systems. Digital transformation and the adoption of technologically-advanced tools and software may be part of the solution.
Impact of Digital Transformation on Food Production and Distribution
The global agriculture sector has historically undergone a series of transformations that have driven efficiency, yield, and productivity over previously unattainable levels. With the spread of mobile technologies, remote-sensing services, and distributed computing, agriculture is projected to undergo the newest shifts to meet the needs of the global population in the future.
Increasing Agricultural Efficiency
Digital agriculture has the potential to deliver economic benefits and streamline processes that improve efficiencies and save valuable resources. The rampant spread of COVID-19 had recently exposed the weakness in the global food system when stores were left with empty shelves while surplus food had to be destroyed on farms. Digital technologies in agriculture can help minimize such inefficiencies within the agricultural supply chain. Apart from advanced field monitoring and livestock management, digital technologies such as IoT and AI can help improve the tracking of produce from the farm to consumers, thus boosting food safety and nutritional value.
Boosting Agricultural Resilience
Climate change and a subsequent rise in the frequency of natural disasters create a more uncertain and volatile environment in the agriculture sector. ERP platforms for agriculture along with farm analytics and cloud solutions have been providing strong data processing power to agricultural companies. Effective analysis of changes in weather conditions, inventory levels, and pricing information can help achieve lower uncertainty and higher resiliency in the agriculture sector.
Improving Agricultural Sustainability
The agriculture sector remains one of the largest contributors to the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which come from agricultural soils, rice production, and livestock such as cows. Advanced telemetry systems that provide accurate asset management and usage information can help make sustainable decisions. Additionally, smart cattle farms are making headway in livestock management that can accurately monitor GHG emissions produced from farms and generate relevant carbon emission reports and insights.
Challenges for Digital Transformation in the Agriculture Sector
The use of digital technologies and subsequent digital transformation in the agriculture sector demands some basic necessities such as infrastructure, connectivity, internet access, and network coverage along with expertise, affordability, and institutional support. However, in key agricultural areas, especially in remote rural regions with large indigenous populations, there is often a lack of infrastructure, including basic IT infrastructure. Risks of data breach and security threats to proprietary systems due to limited quality education and digital illiteracy are also grave obstacles challenging the digital transformation of agribusinesses.
How ERP in Agriculture Drives Digital Transformation of Agribusinesses
An agricultural ERP software helps agribusinesses, enterprises as well as farmers run their operations seamlessly and streamline farm management through a central system with real-time data accessibility. ERP in agriculture can also be used to automate tasks, keep records, and manage supply chain operations to facilitate more informed decision-making.
High Integration Capabilities
Most agricultural vehicles today are equipped with advanced sensors that help collect real-time data from the fields. Additionally, agribots and drones are gaining momentum in the agriculture sector to enhance farm management in remote areas. Seamless integration of these sensors and modern vehicles with ERP software can provide agribusinesses with a single sign-on experience and can also improve operational visualization, thereby reducing manual errors.
Sensors and Satellite Imagery Analysis
ERP in agriculture can help store, monitor, and analyze data captured by sensors during ploughing, seeding, fertilizing, harvesting, and the overall field maintenance. This data can help agribusinesses take well-informed decisions pertaining to a specific area of the farmland to get high-quality crop yields. An agriculture ERP software also uses satellite imagery analysis to identify crop diseases, pest attacks, and nutrient deficiencies in particular areas of the farm. Furthermore, problems related to vegetation, moisture, abiotic stress, biotic stress, and micronutrient stress can also be detected effectively.
Resource and Yield Management with Advanced Technologies
An agriculture ERP software, equipped with a multitude of tools, dashboards, and advanced technologies can be used to monitor and track the quantities or types of resources including fertilizers, pesticides, machinery, assets, and any other equipment. Farm management through ERP also involves frequent quality testing of soil that helps identify necessary changes and assists in the creation of schedules for future testing. These measures help produce healthy crops and sufficient yields from various types of fields.
Ensuring Seamless Post-harvest Journey With Blockchain
The farm-to-fork journey of agriproducts is a crucial part of the agriculture industry and comes with a myriad of challenges. Most perishable agriproducts, especially fresh fruits, and vegetables need to be handled with extreme care when they are out for delivery. An agriculture ERP software backed by blockchain-based traceability capabilities can assist in the tracking of agriproducts through every stage of an agriproduct’s journey. With the use of QR codes and stickers, agriculture ERP software can help farmers track agriproducts based on their batch. This can be instrumental in encouraging smarter and well-informed decisions in case of recall events.
FarmERP is an effective agriculture ERP software platform that can assist your agribusiness with end-to-end farm management, giving effective analysis and solutions to manage operations, track inventory, forecast future yields, and make informed decisions. Contact us to know how FarmERP can be beneficial in enabling the digital transformation of your agribusiness.