July 16, 2022

Precision agriculture to tackle food insecurity and climate crisis

We are experiencing an unprecedented increase in food demand, as India is set to surpass China as the world’s most populous country [1]. With rising fertilizer costs and worsening climate conditions, farmers need to be smarter on how they use resources. 

Dr. Rassarin Chinnachodteeranun, ListenField’s CEO and Co-founder highlighted the importance of precision farming tools in the Global Summit of Women, held last June 2022. She believes precision agriculture tools enable us to produce more with less and shares her insights on how these technologies help address the food and climate crisis.. One example of precision agriculture is machine vision technologies (satellite imaging-based inspection of field conditions). It enables large-scale diagnostics and estimation of crop yields during early growth stages. Machine vision can thus effectively reduce crop loss and increase yield by monitoring every part of the field at all times and detecting problems much earlier than any human eye could do. 

Looking onto the very start of crop production - the seeds - advancements in biotechnology greatly increased the availability of genome data [2], enabling data-driven crop improvement. We can now breed higher quality and climate resilient crops, in a much shorter period of time [3].

ListenField has developed a precision agriculture platform that combines its patented AI model with machine vision and is gaining traction in Thailand and Japan. Fully operational since 2017, our FarmAI dashboard allows agri-food businesses to monitor and analyze crop growth accurately, cheaply, and in real-time. The platform takes it a step further by using growth data to create actionable insights, such as predicted crop yields, optimal harvesting times, and optimal fertilizer usage. These insights have been helping farmers and buyers in the province of Suphan Buri (Thailand)  to operate with less wastage and provide fresher produce, which is a win-win for everyone.

Another product in ListenField’s portfolio, the Data Driven Breeding Platform, helps breeders harness the power of genome data, save time, and make the best breeding decisions. Results from an ongoing project with the University of Tokyo and the Japanese Government revealed that improved citrus varieties can be produced in as fast as 6 years (compared with conventional methods which take up to 10 to 15 years). The platform does not use gene editing technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9. Our Data-Driven Breeding Platform is now being used as a support tool to develop disease-resistant and good-tasting rice varieties. ListenField and the University of Tokyo will conduct a workshop in Thailand, in February 2023, to encourage and help SMEs to adopt advanced data-driven breeding approaches. The workshop aims to equip SMEs with the right breeding tools so that they are not put at a disadvantage when competing with large corporations.

These precision farming technologies, Dr. Rassarin believes, are the keys to helping countries produce enough food and improve farmer livelihoods, while regenerating our planet. For more information on ListenField’s SaaS-based solutions, contact us via info@listenfield.com or message us directly on Facebook or LinkedIn. 

References:

  1. Reuters, S. B. (2022, July 12). India to surpass China as most populous country in 2023, UN report says. CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2022/07/11/india/india-surpassing-china-population-2023-un-intl-hnk/index.html
  2. Chen, F., Song, Y., Li, X., Chen, J., Mo, L., Zhang, X., Lin, Z., & Zhang, L. (2019). undefined. Horticulture Research, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41438-019-0195-6
  3. Iwata, H., Minamikawa, M. F., Kajiya-Kanegae, H., Ishimori, M., & Hayashi, T. (2016). Genomics-assisted breeding in fruit trees. Breeding Science, 66(1), 100-115. https://doi.org/10.1270/jsbbs.66.100  

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