World Food Day on October 16 this year presents an urgent roll-up-your-sleeves challenge as we face a global food crisis as never before. The United Nations estimates there will be 9.8 billion people on this planet by 2050. Meantime crop yields have plummeted to record lows and food prices are hitting record highs, while fallout from the pandemic, extreme weather, and geopolitical conflicts continue disrupting supply chains worldwide. Nevertheless, a committed nucleus of agribusiness startups and established leaders are innovating to feed the planet’s growing population in a healthy, sustainable manner.
Data intelligence is rock against food insecurity
Companies across the value chain in the agricultural industry are turning to data in their quest for predictability. Some food processing companies are working closely with farmers to improve operations that meet regulatory emission targets and corporate sustainability KPIs, while gaining efficiencies and increasing crop yields. Climate change imperatives are only increasing the urgency to take action.
“Traditional, experienced-based farming is not viable in today’s highly dynamic world,” said Andreas Heckmann, executive vice president and head of customer solution support and innovation at SAP. “Food processing organizations need intelligence from integrated data to increase farming efficiencies. One example is SAP Intelligent Agriculture, where agribusiness organizations including farmers and other partners, share and interpret real-time data from sensors, weather stations, and satellite imagery to better understand when to plant, irrigate, grow, and harvest crops for higher yields, cost-savings, and sustainability.”
Climate intelligence boost crop yields
Real and near real-time intelligence is fast becoming a bulwark against climate change threats. One SAP partner, a Chilean-based startup called Agranimo, collects and analyzes data from climate and soil sensors and satellite images. This intelligence is designed to help growers better forecast and increase farm yields, reduce water and fertilizer consumption, and assess climate risks. With consolidated climate and soil information, growers can improve crop management strategies, including pest and disease management, for more accurate yield forecasts, as well as environmental sustainability. For example, commercial farmers can adapt irrigation to plant needs and use less water, or act quickly to protect plants from extreme weather. Agranimo participated in the Industry 4.0 cohort of SAP.iO Foundry Berlin, the company’s global B2B accelerator.