Digitalization of the primary sector

Date 5/03/2021
Category IoT

Industries have the possibility, thanks to technological breakthroughs, of incorporating improvements and new developments in their processes to maximize their benefits and become more efficient.

Making the right step towards digitalization has been quite difficult for the primariy sector, even though this could bring many advantages. The implementation of new technologies in agriculture and livestock directly affects the way of producing food, controlling animals, distributing products, establishing relations with the final customer, etc. Obtaining the maximum information available from the activity is the main goal of digitalizing the primary sector.

Technology can help detect how much water our crops need through sensors, control our livestock with GPS collars, take care of the environment by reducing the packages and food waste, understand the market and make ourselves known inside it. Primary sector tasks become easier while also changing the traditional work method substantially.

As previously stated, the key of agri-food digitalization is information we can use to obtain any of the benefits hereunder.

What benefits does digitalization bring?

  • Error detection: Internet of Things (IoT) makes it possible to obtain new information coming from all around the globe using smart devices, which allows analysing and assessing business decisions in a better way. We can get ahead of the problems earlier this way since it helps detect any error in the processes.
  • Simplification and cost saving: Simplifying work and reducing costs is also possible thanks to process automation and technology implementation. In order to get greater quality production, for example, we can know the exact quantity of water or fertilizer our crops need and not waste these supplies.
  • Production increase: By 2050, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) expects a global population growth that surpasses the 9 billion mark, affecting food demand directly, which is expected to increase by 70%. We can detect, by observing the elements that affect production, the wrong practices or the improvements needed for production to increase and be of better quality.
  • Monitoring increase: Gathering information about what is happening at any time is easier thanks to the monitoring of some or all of the processes, giving us a real vision of the activity.
  • Better decision-making: Getting a 360º vision of anything happening at any time is very positive for the decision-making process of the farmers, since they can take into account any factor, not just the ones visible to the naked eye.
  • Respecting the environment and being more sustainable: Reducing the waste and packages used for transport and product commercialization.

Why is the primary sector a concern?

Despite all the benefits digitalization brings, people that work in the primary sector still have some concerns:

  • The great difference between those who can adapt to the change and those who cannot.
  • The security of the information obtained by the devices.
  • The scepticism for the unknown.

In brief, the implementation of technological solutions is going to change business management. To a greater or lesser extent, every sector is in the process of digitalization, will you join the challenge?