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Embracing technology is necessary to nurture the next generation of farmers

Kareyst Lin | Nov. 3, 2016
Emerging technology like robotics and IoT make agriculture interesting for the young

Embracing technology is necessary to nurture the next generation of farmers.

Emerging technology like robotics, sensors, closed-loop agriculture systems and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) make the agriculture sector interesting and exciting for the millennials.

The new generation can help to transform farming into a high-tech profession that requires skillsets like engineering, computing and data analytics, said Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance. He was speaking at the 27th Commonwealth Agriculture Conference on 2 November 2016.

Wong asserted that it is important for farmers to adopt technology because of its ability to help turn out more reliable and high-quality good products.

In a modern farm, there are sensors to monitor everything from temperature to humidity and illumination. Data is collected in real-time and information is analysed to work out the best regimes for future crops.

Developments in environmental control systems enable us to work out the best lighting, heat and humidity for optimal growth, Wong said.

This has resulted in the emergence of commercial-scale indoor farming, which protects crops from environmental impact. At the same time, it allows for vertical scaling, intensification and optimisation of agriculture land.

Even robots are being deployed on the ground to take over back-breaking work in the farms. These robots can identify weeds in fields of vegetables and zap the weeds individually. They can also recognise and pick fruits which are ripe for plucking.

These new advances will increase yield and reduce the resources required for crop production, Wong urged. 


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