Food Crisis within 30-40 years
Comparing the global population with Food crop production, the population got doubled in last 50 years and its going to get doubled within 45 years and per-capita cropland is falling every second. Other factors as irregular monsoon patterns, fresh water, quality soil, etc is influencing the existing quality food production.
Traditional farming needs to adopt new methods/processes and wear technology to go along with the 4th Industrial revolution. Urbanization is irreversible, alternatively innovative methods to meet current and future food demand is needed.
Hydroponics offers an advantage over the traditional growing methods. By careful replication and management of environment required for plants such as water, pH levels, light and nutrients will encourage plants to grow faster and give maximum yield than traditional process. This will result in the effective consumption of the resources, preservation of water and diminished use of pesticides, fertilizers and other harmful materials. Also vertical farming implementation is an added advantage with this technique.
Agile in Farming
Traditional farming follows the waterfall method, the end result and its quality is known only at the time of harvest. In case of unpredictable changes in the process, the yield goes for a total collapse. Implementing agile and technology in Hydroponics can constantly monitor and control the changes and rectify at any stage of farming. The continuous monitoring and analysis will keep the farming process active and induces maximal production of quality product.
Closed loop life cycle and Agile-savvy teams, can maintain a steady focus on instilling the values and principles across the organization. The tech team will automate the process to collect data continuously from sensors and devices. Data analytics analyse the growth, Predictive analytic algorithms give the projections for the final product. The science team will monitor and control the pH, temperature, light, EC, nutrient levels from the Application platform. The packaging and the logistic team takes the responsibility of maintaining the freshness of the product and timely delivery. Every team has their involvement in different stages of farming from Seeding, Germination, Growth and Harvest to Packing, Storage and Delivering the product to the customer. In this transformation, the line gets thinner between technology and science and disappears eventually with the continuous improvement in the process.
The entire Hydroponic farming can follow agile principles. In turn every stage of farming has agile in itself. For example in germination stage the seedlings should arrive within 1-2 weeks, if the required changes are not identified, system should align the schedule for seedling and also re-align the next effective stages till the delivery stage. In the growth stage, systems differentiate the growth rate and provide the projection on harvest, which schedules or reschedules the packaging, transportation and delivery. So there can be agile in and out of Hydroponic farming.
“Every Project is not same”, similarly every crop/plant is not same. Personalize the farming conditions and process accordingly. Be a better grower by customizing the growing environment of the plants with the right process. Segregate, Digitize and automate the farming environment to maintain the Quality of the product delivered to the customers.
Team should have strong sense of curiosity; they constantly acquire, analyse and evaluate the data to improve the methods and process of farming. Innovation can happen with a methodical process of constant checks with right direction.
To summarize, by following the principles of Agile, we can transform and digitize the future of farming and meet the demanding food needs of the future.