The challenging market trends are forcing farmers to look for new ways to increase their produce volumes and increase profitability. To survive in the export market, farmers must embrace different agri-tech solutions. From precision agriculture to harvesting robots to farm management systems, digital technology is transforming and enhancing today’s agriculture. Previously, cooperatives connected farmers to the market. They bought the produce from the farmers in bulk. Mergers, acquisitions, and poor management have contributed to the decline of cooperatives. The market for fruits such as hass avocados is growing rapidly. The demand for fruits in the local and export market is also increasing.
Agricultural technology aims at solving the key challenges that farmers and exporters face with:
Low market prices
Low and poor quality yields
Variable farm inputs with high prices
Lack of traceability
Poor farm management practices
Lack of an ideal place for farmers to collaborate and share ideas
Software and agricultural systems provide an ideal environment for farmers and exporters from different regions to share ideas and discuss how they can look for better markets. This can improve both the farmers’ and exporters’ efficiency.
Key values of Digital Tools in Agriculture
As more farmers get connected to the internet, more mobile apps, software, and systems are being developed. They are designed to serve different purposes. Some key values of digital tools include:
Creating a central platform for farmers to collaborate
When farmers and exporters use a central platform, they can easily track the daily activities, the performance of the crops, share market information, and analyze the market trends for various crops.
Simple communication between the farmers and exporters
Sharing important agricultural information and documents at different levels of production can help farmers devise better farm management practices.
Advisory based on big data and data analysis
Real-time data helps farmers to track the performance of their crops. The introduction of artificial intelligence and machine learning in agriculture has led to the introduction of sensors, drones, and robots to perform farm management tasks such as harvesting. Sensors, drones, and robots are connected to a system where they send the collected farm data for analysis. Sophisticated data analysis software is used to analyze real-time data and market trends.
Connecting farmers to potential customers
Marketing software and mobile apps can connect farmers to various customers looking for the same produce. Previously, markets for various crops were dominated by brokers who exploited farmers and bought the produce at low prices, especially macadamia nuts. With a large number of potential buyers at a central platform, farmers can sell their produce at the desire prices and get more profits
Tracking crop performance and productivity
Farm management practices are employed to determine the productivity of the crops. Not having an insight into what is required at different growth stages can ruin the entire fruit farming investment.
Farm management solutions provide farmers with full traceability of various agronomy practices that should be employed at different stages.
Having all information at a central platform can help farmers know the pests and diseases that can affect their crops, nutrients required at different growth stages, and how they can enhance their crop production and increase the yields.