By 2050, the US population is estimated to grow to 400 million and the world population to 9.7 billion. Current agricultural practices account for 70% of global water use, energy use is one of the largest costs on a farm, and inefficient use of agrochemicals is altering Earth’s ecosystems. With finite arable land, water, and energy resources, ensuring food, energy, and water security will require new technologies to improve the efficiency of food production, create sustainable approaches to supply energy, and prevent water scarcity.
The opportunity for technological innovation to impact agricultural crop practices and production and thus to ensure a food, energy, and water secure future and the health and prosperity of humanity is highlighted in recent reports.
United States Department of Agriculture (2017): “… it is critical that productivity growth not rely on more cultivated land, water, or energy, but instead harness the power of innovation and technology.”
World Bank Group (2019): “Digital technologies have the potential to improve efficiency, equity, nutrition and health, and sustainability in the food system.”
United States Department of Agriculture (2019): The total value of US crop production exceeds $140 billion/year. Precision agriculture is projected to increase the value of US crop production by an added $47 billion/year.