ALKESH SHARMA / Emirates Business
Amid climate uncertainties and an ecosystem where soil character changes after every 100-mile, agriculture systems need to adapt to deal with the significant shifts.
Here comes the role of GIS (geographic information system) technology that is contributing to enhance farming efficiency and raising yield. It is also helping agriculturists plan the right crops. GIS is integrating high-resolution graphics while providing regular field reviews, and real-time data inputs to deduce ways on how to make most out of the constrained means in the shortest possible time.
The concluding day of the Global Forum of Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) in Abu Dhabi saw a weighty contemplation on this high-tech concept and also on the pros and cons related to it.
“GIS is the key to boost agriculture. It is an analytical engine that is helping to reach on fruitful prescriptions and helping to apply those in the actual crop fields,” Susana Crespo, Agriculture Industry Manager, esri, US. Esri is pioneer in the use of GSI technology in agriculture.
“In this high-tech age, data is not just available in plenty but it is also accessible to all. Therefore, if used intelligently, GIS is helping to do away with traditional agriculture fears and is opening a new era of opportunities,” she pointed out.
At the same time, experts sounded a word of caution.
Andre Laperriere, Executive Director, Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), said, “Sometimes the situation could be very challenging. Too much of information and big data is floating around. And in many cases, it reaches the end user (farmers) in raw form. This can create confusion instead of offering any help. So it is utmost importance to deliver data to users with detailed interpretations. We need to be very product-specific in many cases.”
GFIA concluded on Wednesday with focussed sessions on safe animal production, renewable energy solutions in horticulture, as well as alternative approaches to sustainable aquaculture feed led by experts from 17 countries.
“GFIA has been an excellent opportunity to get people from different parts of the world along. These two days have seen sharing of success stories, innovations and discussions on perceptions how we look at agriculture future,” Alla NA Jomah, Technical Services Director at Abu Dhabi Farmers’ Services Centre, told Emirates Business.
Self-sufficiency and sustainability in farming, and progressing environmental threats were two core themes underlined throughout the two-day conference, under the theme, ‘Rethinking Global Food Security’.