Could Adoption of AgTech for Rural Farms Solve the World Hunger Crisis?
In the face of so many critical global challenges, what is the responsibility of the tech industry? As Silicon Valley titans race to become the primary architects of the metaverse, the physical realities of hunger and climate change continue to linger, a dissonant reminder of technological disparity. Left unaddressed, these issues may start to seem inevitable, but make no mistake — the world hunger crisis is a solvable problem.
Global food scarcity is driven by two primary factors: regional underproduction of food and unequal distribution of resources. Both of these issues are influenced by human institutions and can be improved with appropriate intervention. The AgTech industry is uniquely positioned to address food insecurity by giving rural farmers more equitable access to technologies proven to increase yield and mitigate foreseeable risks.
By encouraging digital adoption of AgTech in rural farms, Dimitra is helping to create a well-fed future through sustainable farm growth. Keep reading to learn how our most pressing global crises are connected and why we must work together to solve them.
Interwoven Crises: Food, Farm and Planet
Food supply, agriculture and environment are intertwined issues, and each affects the others. Unsustainable farming practices increase CO2 emissions, which causes climate change; climate change fuels weather disasters, displacing farmers and creating refugees. Migration creates conflict, deepening resource inequity, including access to food, and so on and so on. These issues are so inseparable that any viable solution must address all three.
Global Food Insecurity
When discussing the drivers of global food insecurity, it can be helpful to categorize them as external or internal contributors. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), external drivers include conflict, migration and climate shocks. Internal factors include low food production, supply chain issues and food waste.
Poor crop management, through insufficient data collection, unsustainable farming practices and more, inhibits food production in rural areas. Food waste resulting from poor storage techniques, losses during transportation and supply chain issues also contributes to food insecurity. Digital adoption of AgTech can provide the resources, education and data needed to produce sustainable crop yields and reduce post-harvest waste.
Unsustainable Farming Practices
Unsustainable farming is another internal driver in low food production, as well as a contributor to external drivers like climate change and conflict. Without the necessary resources to engage in sustainable farming practices, many rural farmers are left to face these compounded crises with little or no recourse.
About 84% of the world’s 570 million farms are smallholdings (farms less than two hectares or five acres). Smallholder farmers produce about a third of the global food supply, yet are among the poorest people in the world. In response to greater competition for resources, changing markets, rising fuel prices and climate change, many smallholders have adopted unsustainable farming practices to the following effects:
- Land degradation, caused by over clearing, poor irrigation, monoculture crop strategies, topsoil erosion
- Groundwater depletion, caused by inefficient irrigation systems
- Soil and water contamination, caused by fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals
- Loss of ecosystem, caused by human encroachment, deforestation and toxic runoff
Unsustainable farming practices further degrade the environment, but many smallholders can’t access the resources needed to adapt. As a result, they are increasingly vulnerable to climate change and its cyclical effects: resource scarcity, conflict, migration, poverty and hunger.
In 2018, agriculture accounted for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This number does not factor in agriculture-related deforestation that limits the planet’s ability to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, so the true injury is probably more severe. Agriculture pollution contributes to climate change, which damages production in the following ways:
- Water shortages, droughts and floods
- Shifts in planting and harvesting seasons
- Pest- and disease-related crop losses
- Unpredictable weather and extreme temperatures
- Reduced nutritional value (due to higher CO2 levels)
Digital adoption of AgTech in rural areas not only addresses the internal factors that contribute to low crop yields (such as poor crop management, farming and selling practices), but also inevitably impacts external contributors, including climate change. That’s why providing farmers with equitable access to AgTag software is our best chance for ending world hunger and preventing climate catastrophe.
Bridging the Digital Divide in AgTech
Smallholder farming isn’t just another job — it’s one of the most important roles a person can fill. Farmers feed our world, and every smallholder, regardless of economic standing, deserves access to intuitive technologies. At Dimitra, we know that vital AgTech solutions are inaccessible to the majority of rural farmers. We’re going to change that.
With smartphones, farmers are more capable than ever before of learning new farming techniques, recording progress and communicating with agricultural experts. However, most smallholder farmers cannot afford expensive agriculture software. Economic barriers in AgTech endanger not only small farmers, but the future of the planet.
To improve accessibility, Dimitra is actively working with governments and non-governmental organizations to make the Connected Farmer platform free of charge to smallholder farmers in developing nations. Access to this technology will help farmers break the cycle of poverty, increase crop yields and establish sustainable practices for future generations.
To further improve accessibility, Dimitra is implementing its technologies in a variety of languages, including English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Swahili and Somali. For governments looking to partner with Dimitra technologies, we can easily localize the platform with your flag, logo, language and connections to your local systems.
Dimitra AgTech Solutions for Small Farms
Ready to explore Dimitra’s software offerings? Start with their base platform, Connected Farmer, to revolutionize your crop, livestock or aquaculture management. Highly functional, the Connected Farmer app allows users to scale for complexity based on their operational needs. It is an ideal solution for farmers seeking data and reporting tools, as well as for smallholders seeking advanced farming and operational modules.
Dimitra Connected Farmer Platform
Dimitra’s Connected Farmer platform is available in Android, iOS and Web versions. It enables smallholder farmers to record their activities, receive reports and recommendations, research best practices and much, much more. Each module is designed with a simple goal in mind: increase yield, reduce cost and mitigate risk.
Within the Connected Farmer app, users can access the following modules:
- My Farm. Complete farm registration, set goals, establish geofences, order supplies, create a schedule and manage invoices, inventory, workers, maintenance and equipment.
- My Crop. Manage critical aspects of crop cycles, including soil preparation, planting, irrigation, pest management, harvest and storage.
- My Livestock. Register livestock, make observations, sell or trade, audit performance and take pictures and videos.
- My Documents. Keep track of essential documents, including permits, licenses, chemical safety information, inspections and contracts.
- Knowledge Garden. Research a growing repository of best practices on how to manage all of the elements of a farm. Improve crop knowledge, livestock information, soil preparation practices, pest management and more.
Advanced Farming Modules
Struggling to gather applicable insights from your sensor configuration? Ready to utilize DNA analysis to help manage your breeding programs? Dimitra has advanced farming modules to assist with all of your management and operational needs, from accessing satellite imagery to exporting documentation to listing products in the online marketplace.
Farmers who need help communicating with government agencies, banks and insurance companies can find assistance through our various financial modules. Whether you need help applying for a bank loan, insurance or permit, protecting your livestock and crops from security threats or monitoring nearby deforestation, Dimitra has a module to simplify the process.
Improving Our Food Futures with AgTech
Placing AgTech solutions in the hands of smallholder farmers does more than feed communities — it reminds us of the future we could have if we worked together. When we promote equitable access to technology, resources and information, we affirm our connection and commitment to one another, and to ourselves.
There is no escaping climate change, even for people in the richest nations in the world. To combat climate change and its agricultural impacts, we have to make technological tools and insights available to farmers around the globe, regardless of economic standing. Join us in this mission by participating in the Dimitra Ecosystem and investing in the DMTR token.