Agriculture is one of the most interesting sectors regarding digital transformation. Our perception, which proved to be wrong, is that digital technologies are disrupting many industries and main sectors like finance, media, retail, technology and more. One sector which until recently, was under our radar, is agriculture. The reality proves that this sector is using technology quite aggressively to optimize every known aspect of agriculture. AI, Drones, Big Data, IoT, Satelite data, GPS, precise weather forecasting models, and other technologies, are penetrating quickly into almost every aspect of the agriculture value chain and business models. And this is good news – the world needs more food and more effective ways to deal with the global population growth. By 2050 the world will need to produce 70% more food to the expected 9 billion population.
One of the latest terms, in this regard, is “Precision Agriculture,” a hot topic for over many years that started to deliver exciting results in recent years. Some of the published case studies are almost science fiction – drones patrolling over crop fields and monitor the crop conditions, photographing and analyzing soil conditions, identify issues and instantly deliver chemicals or fertilizers as require. Precision agriculture is using advanced machine learning algorithms that recommend the farmer when to harvest based on data received from many sensors and much more.
A fascinating case study is the Israeli start-up SeeTree which developed an end-to-end intelligence network that collects data from the many trees in the far. It makes use of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning combined with boots-on-the-ground, multi-dimensional sensing imaginary utilizing drones and specialized vehicles to collect precise data to provide farmers visibility and monitoring of their trees health, whiled recommending actions (e.g., alter irrigation parameters, etc.)
A recent Forbes article titled “How This Company is Transforming the AgriTech Industry by Blending AI, Drones” published on their website on January 16, 2019, is describing SeeTree and how they are transforming the farming and tree management by the use of advanced digital technologies.
In Chapter 2 of our e-book “Doing Digital” (Hebrew) Raz Heiferman and Prof. Yesha Sivan describe some of the exciting digital technologies which, they claim, are part of the Third Digital Age technologies. Some of these technologies are the ones that SeeTree is using to disrupt and transform tree management. In chapter 5, they extend the discussion and describe innovation. We provide some case studies of companies (e.g., John Deere) that used digital technologies to transform the company from a product-oriented company selling farming equipment, into a solution-oriented company that sells solutions for farm management.
Link to our e-book (Hebrew) on the e-Vrit application: https://bit.ly/2odl5th