The human population is rising yearly, causing the demand for food to increase worldwide. It has, of course, worsened the strain that already exists upon our planet’s natural resources.
Humanity is at the precipice of the next industrial revolution. Still, the choices we make as a collective, global community will determine the fate of our society for centuries to come.
Will we finally understand the severity of the global climate crisis as it worsens year by year and starts making a focused effort toward preserving and restoring our planet’s natural ecosystem?
Or will our lust for innovation and corporate greed prove to be the downfall of modern civilization? Luckily, there are still those that aim to drive technological innovation in a direction that will benefit our environment in the long run.
In recent years, climate experts have warned about the extinction of bees and the drastic effect this could have on our planet’s ecosystem. After all, bees play a vital role in pollination. Organizations such as the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan and Harvard University in America have been working to produce tiny drones to assist dwindling bee populations with the pollination process. Still, more research and development need to happen before such technology is practically usable on agricultural land worldwide.
The Driverless Tractor
You’ve probably already heard of self-driving cars from Tesla, BMW, and Audi. Now a company called Smart Ag hopes to produce the first driverless tractor. The ‘AutoCart,’ as they call it, will function using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence. Smart Ag hopes that this technology will help farms maximize the efficiency of production to save money and resources in the long run.
When most people hear the phrase ‘blockchain technology,’ they think of cryptocurrency, but the blockchain is found in the agricultural sector. Blockchain technology allows large agricultural corporations to track and record their supply inventories more accurately and securely than ever before. Blockchain helps such organizations ensure that none of their products go missing between the point of harvesting to delivery. Blockchain also helps to keep track of a company’s machinery, finances, and other capital.
Urban Agriculture & Vertical Farming
Rising populations and urbanization of our planet’s limited natural land have led many to embrace the innovation of vertical farming, a method of farming and agriculture that requires minimal land and physical space. Vertical farming uses modern techniques made possible thanks to modern innovations, namely hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics. By making the most of what little land is available, vertical farmers have found new ways to increase output while decreasing waste.
It’s a well-known fact that cow farms are some of the largest producers of methane gas in the ozone layer. Many experts have warned that cattle farming is destroying our planet’s ecosystem faster and faster every year. Yet, demand for meat, dairy, leather, and other products harvested from cattle continues to rise.
Scientists are implementing genetic engineering to reduce the methane gas cows produce while producing more meat per cow. This way, cattle farming will see reduced methane emissions and increased efficiency and profitability.
It’s not just the cattle that are being genetically modified. Scientists have also been able to produce crops that produce more food but require less hydration to grow. This way, new agricultural practices will be able to preserve one of our planet’s most precious resources, water.