Agriculture has changed and come a long way from its humble beginnings.
From manual operations on small-scale farms to large-scale, mechanized and enterprise farms, the transformation has been remarkable. Since the 1960s, while the cultivated area hasn’t grown much, it has managed to feed and support a population that has more than doubled. This is a result of improved productivity with the boom of mechanization, expansion of infrastructure, use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and development of high-yield varieties of cereals.
However, by 2050, the population is expected to grow to 9.6 billion, an increase of 33%. But agriculture output is required to grow by 100% to meet expected demand. And this is in the face of many challenges that include the growing scarcity of vital resources such as land and water, and urbanization, a shrinking workforce, climate change and limitations on indiscriminate use of fertilizer and pesticides due to human side effects. More important, with bio-fuels, food now has a strong competitor – energy.
So looking ahead, how do we overcome these challenges and catapult productivity? While biotechnology innovation and farming systems improvements are a definite source, we believe that information technology will have a major role to play. It will propel us to reach the levels of productivity needed for the growing population and can help us overcome some of the challenges that we face.
I am excited to share my vision for Hexagon Agriculture at HxGN LIVE, Hexagon’s annual international conference that brings together Hexagon’s global brands, customers and partners to exchange ideas and explore solutions. I will present during the Synergy track keynote on Tuesday, 2 June at 8:00 a.m. PDT. If you are at the conference, please join us in person or watch us online at HxGN TV. Also find us in The Zone – HxGN LIVE’s technology expo that has more than 50,000 square feet of forward-thinking technologies and revolutionary stories from Hexagon’s brands.
Challenging tradition to raise productivity in agriculture – that’s shaping smart change
Bernardo De Castro
Bernardo de Castro is president of Hexagon Agriculture and has more than 10 years of experience with technology companies. Bernardo has an automation engineering background and is a co-founder and former CEO of Arvus Tecnologia, a Brazil-based leader in precision agriculture software and hardware that was acquired by Hexagon in 2014.