Industry 4.0 technologies have led to a paradigm shift in agricultural efficiency. Applications of the Internet of Things and connected devices on farms and across supply chains allow the collection of exponential amounts of data and enable meaningful analysis for productivity enhancement in agriculture. Precision agriculture encompasses such technological advances. It is broadly defined as scientific agriculture smartly controlled by data collected and computed via sensors. Digitized management is at the core of precision farming for optimal use of agricultural inputs and enhanced production capacity. Its operations require a certain level of IT infrastructure and capital investment, which could be an entry barrier to adopting Industry 4.0 for agricultural transformation. For example, online devices, gadgets, compatible software, and in/outdoor facilities that enable digital connections are necessary for operations. Despite the challenges, many countries are attempting to transform traditional agriculture into digital-based production.
Newer agricultural technologies are able to offset input costs while improving productivity and food security. This self-learning e-course will show how technological advances contribute to the sustainability and cost-effectiveness of agriculture through enhancing productivity and reducing waste. Considering the economic conditions of less developed countries, it will also introduce and review technologies applicable on a small-scale basis. Affordable, accessible, simple technologies that utilize existing infrastructure and resources will be discussed. For example, many reports cite mobile phones as efficient tools for information and knowledge sharing throughout agricultural supply chains. Sharing new production technologies such as improved seed varieties, nutrient management, and pest control methods can directly lead to productivity growth.
This course will introduce appropriate agricultural technologies that can contribute to long-term sustainability. It will also take a broad-based approach to the scope and definition of cost-effective technologies in response to the diverse needs of APO member countries.