Meeting Asia’s food demand will be challenging due to slowing gains in agricultural productivity, overexploitation of natural resources and increasing water scarcity. As the region becomes more urban and prosperous, food prices will continue to increase unless supply can keep up with demand. To feed Asia’s growing population more sustainably and efficiently, the way food is produced must change.
Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), sensors and drones can help increase agricultural productivity, food safety and agri-food system sustainability. From the soil – where better farming practices can mitigate climate change – to the shelf – where customers look for products with minimal carbon footprint – Asia’s agriculture and food value chain is primed for innovation.Microsoft recently announced Microsoft Azure Data Manager for Agriculture in preview. What began with Project FarmBeats, an ambitious research initiative to collect and transform agricultural data, has now evolved into a timely commercial solution. Along with Project FarmBeats, we released FarmVibes.AI – a suite of tools aimed at guiding decisions at every phase of farming.
Data-driven agriculture is also a foundational component of Land O’Lakes’s digital offerings, including the Truterra sustainability tool. This innovative digital service provides farmers with insight into how different agricultural practices impact water, nitrogen and carbon on a farm, enabling them to track their soil’s carbon sequestration, among other applications.
Meanwhile, BharatAgri, an Indian agricultural start-up, leverages data from satellite imagery to monitor crop health and analyze farms as small as 1/40 of an acre. This year alone, more than 50,000 farmers are expected to receive satellite images of their farms from BharatAgri, which will help reduce crop losses on over 100,000 acres of farmland.