How agriculture is reinventing itself through data and biotechnologies
Agriculture is facing many challenges ranging from environmental footprint to population growth and search for transparency from the consumers’ perspective. Today, it is transforming thanks to data analytic tools and progress made in biotechnologies.
We will be 9.7 billion by 2050. The increase in population focusing on cities are driving us to rethink the agricultural and food industry as a whole, starting with the very first link in the chain: the agricultural production.
In the meantime, agriculture faces major environmental challenges. According to the FAO, global livestock amounts to 14.5 % of greenhouse gas emissions. In the US alone, the CO2 emissions have experienced a 11 % increase since 1990. Moreover, the US agriculture is accounting for 80 % of the Nations’ water consumption (ground and surface water). According to NGO Global Footprint, we would need 2 planet Earths by 2030 in order to maintain our consumption habit. Thus, given agriculture’s current environmental footprint and restriction of resources, the sector needs to reinvent itself.
Whether animal related or crop related, the pressure on food production is paving the way for the rise of alternatives. AgTech, which relates to all innovations occurring within agriculture, and especially data driven farming, can help optimize production processes and offers the potential to empower farmers. Today, drones are a very good tool for data collection, first step leading to data analysis.
In addition, urban agriculture – indoor and outdoor farming – is coming up with a new way to supply smart cities with food products. Indeed, as it can be fully integrated to the urban landscape, it allows a local consumption of products.
Finally, a new type of agriculture is emerging in California. Based on recent progress made in tissue engineering and synthetic biology, cellular agriculture makes it possible to produce meat, eggs, dairy products but also leather and potentially all kinds of animal products from cell cultures without intensive crop and animal farming.
With this wrap-up, L’Atelier intends on showing how agriculture is reinventing itself today thanks to the data and biotechnologies tackling its current and future challenges.
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