Could Social and Tech Solutions Feed the World of the Future?

"8 per cent of the world's population (or 650 million) will still be undernourished by 2030. Four ma...

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Posted by Dave Food on Feb 18, 2019 4:30:45 PM
Dave Food

"8 per cent of the world's population (or 650 million) will still be undernourished by 2030. Four main developments are placing pressure on the legacy agriculture model in meeting the demands of the future: demographics, scarcity of natural resources, climate change, and food waste are all intensifying the hunger and food scarcity problem." The World Government Summit 2018.

Land, water, and energy deteriorated by climate change, and the flow of people moving to urban neighbourhoods, where better connections, extensive networks, and services will concentrate, represent a thread for the feeding of hundreds mainly found in undeveloped countries. 

No one can accomplish it alone

Next generations need to focus on how the collaboration of governments, technology, and innovation operate as a governance platform and networking centre for politicians, experts, and enterprises concerned in human development.  Governments must ensure food provision and reduce dependency on imports. 

Social solutions to poverty

Education is the best defence against poverty and hunger, especially in underdeveloped countries, as it assures an opportunity to get a job, an income, and at the end, to get a regular supply of food. Some countries have food-for-education programs where students are granted free food as long as they come to school. Many organisation are donating computers to keep towns connected and people capable of getting a job.

There are some associations that aid funding projects beneficial to many poor towns so that people can sustainably afford food for their families, and gradually find their way out to be self-sufficient. Others are helping people in developing countries to access credits and put these into operation, rapidly; they have given rise to many industries, such as farms sustainable enough as to provide for people, enhancing the economy of their nation.

How can it be technically done?

It is the time for the Agriculture 4.0 Revolution achieved by disrupting the whole agricultural and worldwide food production system. With the help of advanced technology, such as autonomous machines, information technology like GPS, robots, temperature/moisture sensors, aerial images, and so on, farmers will minimise the amounts of resources currently required. It will allow farms to be more money-making, competent, safer, not wasteful, and ecologically friendly, making use of clean resources, like the sun and seawater.

A greater-integrated-collaborative economy will be connected with digital platforms, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) empowered by Artificial Intelligence (AI).  The management of resources and people will more efficiently connect the relationship among water, energy, food, human health, and nutrition.

It will benefit the development of Circular Economy (CE), a regenerative technique in which resources, waste, emissions, and energy leaks are reduced by slowing down, closing, or limiting energy and material losses. CE will transform urban food ecosystems, enhancing the efficient distribution of products. Strong-Sustainable food ecosystems which link communities, boosting closer connection with rural farmers, producers and consumers to improve the whole food production, whilst creating new businesses and opening new jobs.

Technology to support this Revolution:

1.      Worldwide Connectivity – Internet integrated to smartphones and Cloud services are providing platforms to make it possible the development of the Agricultural Revolution 4.0.  They link food producers to consumers with just-in-time data, enhanced good agricultural practices, make possible mobile money and credit, provides market information, and better transparency and traceability of goods and services.

2.      The Internet of Things (IoT) technologies can help eliminate critical causes of food waste, provides a database to analyse efforts, and support future investment and policy decisions; It improves harvesting and storage of crops.  It can give the farmers cost-effective monitoring skill, best methods to improve the current distribution network, access to real-time data for decision-making, monitoring perishable and sensitive food, enhances product quality, ensures the safety of contaminated food, and extends the shelf life of food by detection-sensors.

3.      Vertical Farms or Aero Farms are designed to produce food in urban centres.  They are controlled-environment agricultural systems; it involves low-cost greenhouses, roof-top and sack/container gardens in buildings, using artificial lighting enabling year-round production of crops, despite the weather, avoiding the erosion of soil conditions that spoil crop quality and productivity.  Almost one-quarter of starving people live in an urban location; thus, urban farming needs a big push, as it empowers families to gain control over their food source.

4.      The 3D-printed food offers an automated-faster way of cooking and mass manufacturing, not only at home but at restaurants and commercial enterprises, providing a significant push to young entrepreneurs who have no resources to start a new business.

5.      Yearly beef ingestion in the world is of 26 billion pounds, demanding a massive-industrialised-livestock system; as a result, cattle raised for beef and milk, feed production and processing are the leading causes of emissions. Acting in response, scientists are growing lab-meat from cells. The clean-sustainable meat era is around the corner, valuable for the conservation of our planet.

6.      Uberised facilitation of production and distribution of food will reduce traffic jam and provide new business opportunities and jobs, those with motorbikes and cell phones become entrepreneurs delivering meals to urban customers.

7.      It is done via a platform model, using digital tools to coordinate people and activity at the same time; it links up users and service providers and could involve on-demand use of high-priced farm equipment, such as planting and harvesting tools, transportation, refrigeration services for storage of perishable product; or like “Cloud kitchens” that produce fresh meals to delivered to urban customers.

8.      Marketing and distributing imperfect foodstuffs.  The world's wastage of food is , enough to feed two billion people; when offered to consumers, they get cheaper, nutritious, healthy fruits and vegetables usually discarded due to imperfections.

9.      The Blockchain is the technology backing digital currencies; it enables a secure-record-keeping system and financial-credit transactions to allow urban-food actors in the developing world to run business and trade, reduces complexity creating payment platforms to link small farmers with customers, suppliers, banks, and mobile money providers. It’s traceability and transparency help to meet food regulatory and consumer requirement during the production, post-harvest, shipping, processing and distribution to consumers.

10.   Precision Agriculture is the adoption of more-accurate-control practices for farming when growing crops. It uses information technology, such as GPS guidance, control systems, sensors, robotics, drones, self-driving vehicle systems, variability technology, GPS-based soil sampling, automated hardware, telematics, and software. Growers need support to implement new technologies to both, guarantee success and manage cost. 

11.   Biotechnology and Nanotechnology for Sustainable Agriculture are both used to enhance crop productivity, accelerate traditional breeding developing new climate and disease-resistant, higher nutritious crops and animals.  Nanotechnology decreases waste, extend shelf-life and improves transportation of food, and radically reduce post-harvest crop loss in developing countries that lack adequate refrigeration.

Summing up: The way out to hunger and poverty have to be both Social and technological answers. Farming technology, urban food ecosystems, social-government policies, donation and self-sufficient approaches will enhance closer connections with rural farmers. Wastage sources like restaurants, hotel or stores have to stop discarding food; instead, the donation of leftovers to local charities or distribution programs is considerably better than throwing it away!

"Solving world hunger is not only an ethical or humanitarian issue. It is greatly concurrent with global growth and prosperity. Using fast-maturing IoT technologies can speed up the end of one of humanity’s most tragic problems” (the World Economic Forum.)

 

Dave Food

Prophetic Technology


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