Technological innovation will help to feed our planet in future
But technology alone will not solve yield gaps, wastage or post-harvest losses
autonomous vehicles. Robots will in future perform more and more tasks previously reserved for human operators.
Nanotechnology is used to increase yields through optimised nutrient management and to minimise nutrient losses in fertilisation. Soil-enhancer products are available that enhance water distribution, storage and water saving.
After an outbreak in the Dominican Republic in 2015, the sterile insect technique (SIT) was applied to eradicate the Mediterranean fruit fly within two years. SIT is a ground-breaking technique in which male insects are sterilised in labs. When released, they mate with females but do not produce any offspring.
An AI platform by Agripredict enables a farmer to use a cellphone photo to identify pests or diseases. It can also forecast the probability of pest invasions and predict the possibility of adverse weather patterns, such as drought, floods and cold fronts.
The challenges presented by the current and future global food supply will continue to drive agriculture towards technological innovations. Technology can make a major difference, but technology alone will not solve yield gaps, wastage or post-harvest losses. Without electricity the most advanced technology in South Africa is worthless.
SOFTBANK’S IPO IS DISRUPTED
SOFTBANK Group’s mobile phone services were disrupted in some parts of Japan yesterday, ahead of an initial public offering (IPO) of its domestic telecoms unit later this month that will potentially raise $21 billion (R290.08bn). Shares of the group fell as much as 6 percent after the news, pressured also by a broader sell-off in stocks following the arrest of a senior executive at Huawei Technologies. The two companies have partnered on 5G trials. A SoftBank spokesperson said connection problems started around 4.39am. Other details, including when full service will be restored, are not yet known. Strong retail demand saw the SoftBank Group last week forgo a price range for the bumper IPO of its domestic telco, SoftBank Corporation, setting a single indicative rate of 1 500 yen (R183.27). SoftBank will set a final offering price on Monday, with shares set to begin trading on December 19. Shares of the group closed down 5 percent yesterday, in a broader market that skidded to a two-week low after Canada arrested Huawei’s global chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, at the request of the US, threatening a new spike in Sino-US tensions. I Reuters
A COMBINE harvester drives through a field of wheat during the summer harvest on a farm in this aerial photograph taken by a drone in Hungary.