Farming is perhaps facing its biggest challenges ever, although it is also one of the causes of these challenges.
Problems that directly and indirectly affect agricultural production include any sudden increase in population, climate change, air pollution and soil pollution due to excessive exploitation. As far as crop protection is concerned, we are faced with a number of problems such as the resistance of pests to pesticides, resulting in too much pesticide use, and ultimately the inability to achieve that replenishment necessary for our planet.
The earth needs sustainable development because we have to take into account that agriculture is one of its biggest polluters. Experts have proven that bio pesticides and various biological applications are not efficient enough in commercial agricultural production and therefore we cannot rely on them.
In order to enable sufficient food production while maintaining sustainable development of agriculture, my idea is to start considering “Smart Farming” as an alternative.
This is not a new concept or innovation, but it will enable us to achieve the desired goal of sustainable crop protection.
What does Smart Farming mean in today’s world?
Smart Farming is based on the use of all available technologies and combinations of different agricultural productions. It also encourages the development of new technologies that will boost crop production and protection with a view to sustainable development of agriculture and crops.
So how can we carry out Smart Farming?
Under this concept, farmers are encouraged to develop and steadily learn in a manner that enables those among them, who possess a passion for agriculture, to become legal experts. Hence, they will be able to find their way through a growing maze of regulations. They also become data analysts, economists and accountants who can earn a living from the sale of agricultural products via having a good grasp on bookkeeping skills, thorough knowledge of market chains and of price volatility.
By combining integrated crop protection, organic plant protection, Nano and biotechnology, chemical crop protection, precision farming, satellite use, unmanned aerial vehicles and other available technologies, it will be possible to fully achieve the desired yield while causing no, or minimal, dire effects on land, in particular, and the environment as a whole.
Is it a viable methodology?
Of course, it is! The goal is prevention from soil preparation itself, sowing, tillage and crop harvesting. Utilizing good agrotehnics, farmers will prevent significant weed from developing.
Thanks to the technology available nowadays, we can monitor all parameters while growing crops. Technology allows us to follow any changes that would harm our crops and to selectively apply pesticides at the source site of an infection, whether it is weed or some insect larvae and similar parasites. This will reduce the use of pesticides to the minimum, and in turn yield the right quality of food and, most importantly, sustain healthy soil necessary for the future of agriculture. This is just one of the opportunities available to us with today’s technology, and we need to apply its use to the maximum extent possible so as to as strive towards creating new and more targeted technologies.
The future in crop protection is to get chemistry, biology and IT sectors to work together and in harmony with one another. Key participants in this model would be large companies from various fields of science, supported by the state and, of course, the will of farmers. By combining these, we will succeed in maintaining this model and our intended goal.
Short-term results will be visible immediately after the first year of crop protection, and long-term ones will feed the coming generations by leaving them knowledge and experience on good crop protection trends.
This model is beneficial to the wider population because it will generate a large number of scientific disciplines harnessed into one common goal; namely, sustainable crop protection and sustainable agriculture. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that consumers will see how much effort and knowledge is needed for one farmer to lead a successful agricultural production. This will raise their awareness on the importance of not throwing away food because by doing so, they are throwing away work and effort.
This idea motivated me because time is running out on our planet, due to the unsafe practices of traditional farming exploitation of the land, and we need to act as soon as humanly possible. We need to spread knowledge and awareness on the consequences of inadequate crop protection, especially in underdeveloped countries where farmers for greater financial gain are not thinking of the consequences their practices cause.
The Future of Healthy Farming is Now!
Emir Šahinović, Bosnia and Herzegovina