Smart Farming is a farming management concept that incorporates trendy technology to extend the number and quality of agricultural merchandise. Farmers in the 21st century have access to GPS, soil scanning, knowledge management, and other advanced technologies.
The smart agriculture market is estimated to be worth USD 7.53 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 13.50 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 12.39% for the next five years. Main reasons contributing to the growth of the smart agriculture market include the increasing adoption of advanced technologies in various agriculture applications such as precision farming, smart greenhouse, livestock monitoring, and fish farm monitoring. Changing weather patterns due to increasing global warming have impelled the adoption of advanced farming technologies to enhance farm productivity and crop yield. Farmers or growers across the globe are increasingly adopting advanced farming devices and equipment such as steering and guidance, sensors, yield monitors, display devices, and farm management software.
The smart agriculture market has been segmented on the basis of the offering, type, application, and region. On the basis of the offering, the smart agriculture market has been classified into hardware, software, and services. Hardware held the largest market share in 2017 owing to the high adoption of automation and control devices, such as drones/UAVs, GPS/GNSS, irrigation controllers, guidance and steering systems, yield monitors, and sensors. In the yield monitoring process, sensors and GPS devices play a vital role in measuring various yield parameters. It also uses GPS-based auto-guidance technology in agricultural vehicles to reduce the overlapping of equipment and tractor passes, thus saving fuel, labor, time, and soil compaction. Increasing demand for automation and control devices, and monitoring and sensing devices is the major factor that is likely to contribute to the growth of the smart agriculture market for hardware.
On the basis of type, the smart agriculture market has been segmented into precision farming, livestock monitoring, fish farm monitoring, smart greenhouse, and others. Precision farming held the largest market size in 2017. The high adoption of precision farming technologies such as positioning systems, remote sensing, guidance system, and variable rate technology by farmers across the globe are the main reason for a larger market size of precision farming agriculture type. Increasing demand for these technologies is driving the growth of the market for precision farming. Precision farming can be used in a wide range of applications, from a single GPS-enabled guidance system for a piece of farm equipment to a more complex function such as the remote monitoring and controlling of multiple in-field devices using an integrated software platform.
Various applications pertaining to smart agriculture market include yield monitoring, field mapping, weather tracking and forecasting, feeding management, milk harvesting, fish tracking, and HVAC management. Yield monitoring is the most widely used application; as a result, this segment held the largest market size in 2017. Yield monitors can be a combination of various components such as mass flow sensors, moisture sensors, ground speed sensors, GPS receivers, and a task computer located nearby, which controls the integration and interaction of these components
Major factors influencing the market
Major factors restraining the growth of the smart agriculture market are high cost and limited technical knowledge and skills of farmers. Smart agriculture requires high initial investment, efficient farming tools, and skilled and knowledgeable farmers or growers, among others.
Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) are helping farmers and growers to optimize their crop yields and promote livestock health through remote monitoring and data-driven decision-making. Technologies such as machine learning, satellite imagery, variable rate technology, and advanced analytics are empowering small-holder farmers to increase their income through higher crop yield and greater price control, and focus on livestock monitoring and disease detection to improve the efficiency of farming.
With the increasing global population, demand for meat is also increasing. According to CEMA, the global demand for meat is expected to rise by 40% over the next 15 years, owing to the growing population and increasing consumption of protein-rich diets. According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), technology solutions in agricultural and livestock production systems would play a key role to ensure an adequate food supply for an expected population of 9.7 billion by 2050.
Advent of big data in agriculture farm
Big data is expected to have a large impact on smart farming and involves in every stage of the food supply chain. Smart devices such as sensors, and GPS/GNSS produces a large amount of data with unprecedented decision-making capabilities. As more and more smart devices and sensors are installed on the farms, agriculture practices will become increasingly data-driven. Big data is expected to cause major shifts in transforming agriculture industry. New technologies such as the internet of things and cloud computing are expected to leverage this development and introduce more robots and artificial intelligence in farming.
Integration of smartphones with hardware devices and software applications
The smartphone is the new agriculture tool. In the developing and developed countries, smartphones incorporated with multiple user-friendly applications related to agriculture are becoming popular among farmers. The agriculture-specific applications in smartphones provide all farming-related information to farmers, thereby helping them effectively use the information to make better decisions. The mobile applications cost lesser than the applications incorporated in devices such as laptops or computers.