Article originally written by Upama Adhikari..B.sc Ag ..IAAS,Paklihawa
Developed agriculture needs to find new ways to improve efficiency. One approach is to utilize available information technologies in the form of more intelligent machine to reduce and target energy inputs in more effective way than in the past. The advent of autonomous system architecture gives us the opportunity to develop a completely new range of agricultural equipment’s based on small smart machines that can do the right things, in right place, at the right time in the right way.
The future of agriculture lies with the increased mechanization and robotics. It has allowed greater efficiency and cost saving across the sector. Farmers from around the world are seriously making robots part of their business plan and daily operation.
What is expected to follow is a dramatic rise in agricultural production doubling to meet the coming demand. This need has caused farmers to turn to robotics as a solution for the coming future.
Farmers are turning to technology to address a number of problems such as the growing global shortage of labour and food. Artificial intelligence, field sensors and data analytics are some of the advanced system used in that endeavour. Agricultural robots, sometimes known as agribots are seen as one of the key trends that will deeply influence agriculture. The capabilities of this machines have a workload capacity similar to that of a many human workforces.
Several Agri companies are working on advanced technology that can perform tasks such as caring for and harvesting plants. Various machines have been developed to perform various task such as planting and fertilizing plant as well as weed control and scouting operations.
With the advance in technology and engineering, farmers can expect that additional robotics harvester designed to pick apples, strawberries and many others types of fruits and vegetables will be available for agriculture in 2019.
Farmers are increasing relying on robots to solve their labour shortage and meet growing demand for food. These advanced system enables labour and time saving as well as increased crop yields. Furthermore, farmers in developed countries rely on robots for data gathering and analysis to increase crop yield.
Robotics in agriculture are becoming an increasing part of this equation in the technologically advance part of the globe. By the year 2050, the human population will be increase to 10 billion, which means we need double the food we now produce. Efficiency in the production of food will need to increase by at least 25% in order to keep up with future demands.
Innovation in our modern agriculture includes;
- Autonomous picker: – This machine grabs strawberry as well other fruits twice as fast as human.
- Robotic weed or pest killer: – It can precisely remove weeds or shot them with the targeted spray of pesticides using 90% less chemical. For an organic farmer, they could remove the weeds with the laser. Between 20-40% global crops are destroyed by pests and diseases so, this robotic weed killer could cause huge beneficial impact on agriculture.
- Tiny sensor and camera: – It can monitor crop growth and farmer will observe it in the smart phone if there are any problems and when is the best time to harvest.
- Robotic soil sampler: – It can take the soil sample liquified it the analysed its pH and phosphorous level all in real time.
- Drone assisted crop monitoring device: – Different companies use software that analyses drone captured infrared images, dispart an healthy vegetation and affected area is identified through smart Phone. Machine learning system helps to differentiate varieties of crops
- Vertical farming: – It uses hydroponic system to grow green leafy vegetables. Optimal growing wavelength and light for photosynthesis is provided artificially and plants are grown I vertically stacked layers, vertically inclined surfaces or in the other structures like skyscraper, warehouse or shipping container. This method Inverses production efficiency by 4 -6 times depending on the crops.
Nepal & robotics in agriculture: –
Nepal is an agricultural country having 66.5% (census 2068) people directly engaged in farming. Farming is subsistent in nature and crop is mostly integrated with livestock. Still traditional method of farming is practiced in Nepal. Majority of farmers are not being able to utilize available technology in agriculture because of various socio- economics & political problems. Populations of Nepal is increasing day by day but there is no sufficient agricultural production to meet the demand of growing populations. According to FAO 2018 still 4.6 lakhs Nepalese people are facing the problem of food insecurity. In this context, if we became able to use available technology in Nepalese farming system then we can reduce the problem of food insecurity & at the same time we can save our time, labour & money .so, implementation of robotics farming system in Nepalese Agriculture is mandatory. Autonomous or robotic farming system planned to grow crops in hector of land without human. So, this robotic system will surely have great role in future of modern farming in Nepal as well as throughout the world.