The farm to table (or farm to fork) movement is gaining momentum around the world, with more and more consumers wanting to know where their food comes from and how it is grown or raised. Smart farming is a relatively new farm management concept that is disrupting the world of agriculture. Combined with the Internet of Things (IoT) enabled sensors and trackers, smart farming can empower farmers to be part of the farm to table movement with minimal effort from their side.
While smart farming is a relatively new farm management concept, it is capable of driving significant changes in farm productions and management. Smart farming based on IoT solutions allows farmers to improve productivity and reduce waste by providing detailed data on a range of factors, including soil moisture levels, crop health, and soil nutrients. Farmers can then use this data to make informed decisions regarding irrigation and fertilisation, saving time and money on unnecessary actions. IoT trackers enable farmers to monitor the movements of livestock and gather data on their health. This data can be used to prevent the spread of diseases, lower labour costs, and prove that livestock is free range.
Discussing the disruptive effect IoT solutions have had on farming, globalCom Africa Director David Lipton explains: “Farming methods and food demands from consumers have changed drastically over the years, requiring farmers to adapt their farming methods accordingly. IoT solutions play a key role in advancing farming methods, empowering smart farming applications that provide farmers with detailed data that drives productivity and profitability while addressing consumer’s concerns around the environment and food sourcing.”
One such IoT solution is the Agri SolarTracker, a rugged solar powered tracker that is small enough to be used as a tracker for livestock yet powerful enough to provide high quality data on the movements of livestock. The Agri SolarTracker is satellite enabled, meaning it is well suited to monitor remote grazing herds. On top of that it is solar powered, requiring no battery changes, saving farmers time and money.
The Agri SolarTracker is an affordable option for farmers as it comes with a three-year airtime plan that includes software licensing. Paired with it solar power capabilities the Agri SolarTracker is a long-term tracking solution for farmers that is competitively priced and requires minimal maintenance.
Tracing the supply chain
Farm to table relies on a transparent supply chain, proving to consumers that the food they are eating is locally sourced, and in the case of livestock, free range. IoT sensors and trackers can monitor the conditions crops are grown in and how livestock live, and this information can then be shared with distributors and consumers through blockchain based applications. The data collected on crops and livestock is immutable ensuring farmers, distributors, and consumers are confident in the knowledge that their food is organic, free range, and so on.
In this way IoT solutions not only empower farmers to improve productivity while cutting costs, but it also provides them access to new markets and consumers who are asking for more detailed information on the food they eat.
Since 2008, globalCom has designed and managed the business continuity plan of one of Africa’s largest mining consortiums. This comprehensive contingency strategy uses satellite to safeguard the company’s personnel, assets, and operations in case of disaster, regime change, electrical collapse, and so on. Satellite functions independently of these geopolitical risks, ensuring reliable communication that could save the lives of the thousands of miners underground and protect the company’s invaluable resources.
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