While the future brings a mechanized world, the agricultural sector is keeping up with this transformation. Autonomous tractors will be made like the autonomous vehicles that are gradually started to be used today.
Robots will do crop sowing, spraying and harvesting. While the farmer is asleep in his bed, a drone will scan the whole field. It will determine if the field needs fertilizer, water or spraying.
Experts and entrepreneurs describe this new understanding of agriculture:
Digital agriculture will become widespread
The first condition to be an agricultural country is having sufficient information and technology. Underlining Turkey’s need for a comprehensive agricultural R & D strategy to ensure that, Prof. Dr. Gökhan Özertan of Boğaziçi University’s Department of Economics said, “Agriculture 5.0 is an immature concept even for the most developed agricultural economies. Turkey first needs to create its agricultural tech strategies, followed by the popularization of Agriculture 3.0 and Agriculture 4.0 models according to this strategy. Nowhere in the world are there as high input costs as we do. Thus, problems still exist when dealing with different issues in the transition to the mechanization of the agricultural sector in Turkey. How to raise awareness of the producer? How can technology be used for sustainable agriculture? Questions like those are becoming more important than ever today. Agriculture 5.0 will be shaped as a more inclusive model for social innovations, where mechanization and digitalization become more integrated, especially with agricultural production processes, and digitalization (for example blockchain, cryptocurrency) is spreading across the agricultural value chain.”
The age of extensive space agriculture
Emphasizing that conventional methods are not sustainable with the available resources in the agricultural sector, Triodor R & D Director Gönenç Seçil Tarakçıoğlu made the following comment: “The agricultural sector is undergoing an evolution that prioritizes environmental sensitivity, quality, and productivity. In this evolutionary process, which is called sensitive agriculture, the use of information and control systems, and perhaps most importantly, data is increasing. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on such innovative projects in the world. The Netherlands and Israel are arguably the two most successful countries in the world to transform both agricultural products and technologies into economic value.” Tarakçıoğlu pointed out that in the near future, digital and robotic technologies will enter every point of agriculture and stock-breeding. She said, “Genetic improvements and studies on artificial foods will accelerate. Extensive space agriculture is no longer science fiction. There were great expectations of vertical agriculture. Recently, this trend has been weakening. The next century will probably be an African era. Another expectation is the development of business models that will completely eliminate the intermediaries between producers and consumers.”
Cereal fields will be processed by robots
Expressing that 80% of agricultural production is still carried out by small and medium-sized farmers, Founding Partner of Doktar Dr. Selim Uçer says that the digital transformation of the agricultural sector will continue for at least 10-15 more years. Saying that robotization is the next logical step in digital technologies, Uçer said, “We believe that the most suitable product group for this is cereals covering more than half of the cultivated areas in the world. Within 5 years, we will see the cereal fields that are completely processed by robots from harvest to sowing. On the other hand, what really excites us is the innovations that will radically change our perception of agriculture.That is, agriculture in a controlled environment. Again in 10 years, we will witness that greens such as lettuce and arugula are grown in vertical agricultural gardens in cities and that animal protein is produced in the laboratory. Agricultural technology is a newly developing field with many young companies in every country, yet no global player. The services mainly focus on image processing and machine learning. In addition to American initiatives in these areas, it is possible to see initiatives from South America and Eastern Europe.”