Farmers have been urged to embrace digital farming as a way of helping drive sustainable agricultural productivity. Tobias Menne, Bayer AG Global Head of digital farming says digital farming will pave way for a new agricultural revolution, which will make farming smarter, more efficient and sustainable.
“Through digital platforms such as mobile applications, farmers can be supported to make better decisions based on data, which may not have previously been available to them. This saves on time, lowering their costs and increasing their profits,” he said.
He added that small-scale farmers in extremely rural areas, especially in developing countries, are the ones who will profit. In many cases, such farmers have less than ideal access to agricultural inputs, finance and credits, storage and professional advice and are, therefore, the furthest away from an optimal agricultural management.
“Digital approach is 10 times more cost-effective than traditional extension services. Farmers trust other farmers more given they can better relate to someone who is building a livelihood under similar circumstances,” he said.
He added that when available data is combined with a farmer‘s experience, the options for action improves. The resulting optimisation of the decision-making process in the agricultural sector will not only preserve the environment, but also stimulate economic growth by increasing the sector’s competitiveness through gains in productivity and cutting costs.
“We need to move with a sense of urgency to apply these new tools to accelerate the pace of agriculture development to facilitate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals before 2030,” Menne said.
He said digital agriculture will also help countries achieve food security in the most efficient, effective and equitable manner to ensure all have access to safe, nutritious and affordable food.