Is ai for a more resilient food system?
In the wake of World Food Day on October 16, we envision a restructured agricultural system where we minimize the use of chemicals and water, free farmers from pest-related challenges, and optimize crop productivity. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence holds the potential to make this transformation a reality. Although the timeline for when AI will be used to establish a more resilient food system remains unclear, its numerous advantages point towards a promising future.
Zaheer Allam, a consultant in Sustainable Futures, asserts that AI is now deemed to be a necessity rather than a choice. The consultant stated, “Drones assessing soil and crop health, as well as algorithms predicting precisely when and where to irrigate to reduce water waste, are not science fiction; it is a reality within our reach.”
He is certain that AI can reduce dependence on expensive imports and contribute to development of a more robust food chain. However, he emphasized the importance of democratizing AI and integrating technology with strong public policy. “We require regulations that encourage innovation while safeguarding small farmers,” he added.
Zaheer Allam also stressed the importance of government involvement in order to transform it into an “investment in national resilience.”
Krit Beeharry, a member of the Planteur des Iles Association, shares a belief in the advantages of AI but expresses regret over the insufficient research at the university level to promote its development. He pointed out that scientists, programmers, and engineers need to work closely with the farming community to tailor solutions to their specific problems. He even criticized the education system for guiding young individuals exclusively towards particular careers and emphasized the necessity of rendering the agricultural sector more structured and lucrative to attract the youth. Furthermore, he asserts that AI in agriculture will require investments from corporations.
In conclusion, these experts see the potential for AI to revolutionize agriculture, from improving crop yields to optimizing resource usage. However, they emphasize the need for a comprehensive approach that includes education, training, and regulatory support to make AI benefits accessible to all, particularly small-scale farmers.