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Artificial Intelligence involves the science and engineering of developing intelligent machines
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Niche Solutions to Gain Traction over the Medium Term. Integrated Platforms are the Long-term Opportunity
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Transforming from traditional farming techniques to adopting precision agriculture solutions requires substantial capital investment. This investment decreases on a year-over-year basis and at the same time, the savings per unit of production increases exponentially. Farmers adapting to modern agriculture techniques have been able to carry out farming in a more efficient way, while reducing waste. For example, a GPS-based (Global Positioning Satellite) navigation system for a tractor provides highly accurate plowing, seeding, and harvesting.For long, farmers have used their experience and knowledge to judge the health of crops. One major drawback of this, is that the accuracy of detection is not high, which leads to losses and sub-standard products being harvested. With the advent of low-cost sensing techniques, farmers can now accurately judge the health of crops and take necessary steps based on readings. Crop sensors measure various parameters that can determine the ripeness and quality of individual plants.The significant fall in sensor hardware costs has helped improve affordability of agritech solutions and spur uptake. Over a period of time, there has been a migration from simple to smart sensors to meet diverse agricultural application needs. In 2016, Australia’s own agtech community emerged. The National Farmers’ Federation teamed up with Findex to establish SproutX, a $10 million agtech fund and Australia’s first agtech incubator, and put 100 people from diverse backgrounds through a pre-accelerator course. In 2017, the government announced funding of $50 million over ten years for the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) to accelerate research and commercialisation in the agtech sector.
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Author: Ivan Fernandez
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