What software solutions and modern digital technologies can be used in agribusiness to reduce production costs and improve environmental friendliness?
The main digital solutions for agricultural tasks can be divided into the following categories:
- Control (including automation) of agricultural machinery
- Field Monitoring
- Weather risk management
- Field Monitoring
- Operational communication with suppliers and customers (as well as innovative methods to find new sales channels and partners)
- Planning and reporting systems (including financial analysis)
Similar and other solutions may be combined into a single Farm Management System, or independent products connected to each other through APIs or other software interfaces.
Now about specific solutions, in this area. They can be conventionally divided into two categories:
The first category - traditional solutions of wide application. In some cases, you can use and quite effectively digital tools, which are available and distributed in other areas. For example, a CRM system. When working with suppliers and buyers, almost any CRM is applicable in the agricultural sector. It will help to automate interaction, accelerate work with the counterparty base and so on. Financial systems, warehouse software, accounting solutions can also be "borrowed" from other areas, you can use common software, such as SAP, 1C products and so on. Applications and services for video conferencing, such as Zoom with its innovative approach to communications, will help to facilitate remote interaction both within the enterprise and with external sources (for example, all with the same suppliers or partners). When it comes to finding new sales channels, state-of-the-art search and analysis techniques for online activities and social networks are also common across a range of business areas.
The second category - specific solutions for agribusiness. Such software (and sometimes hardware) products are customized for specific agricultural tasks. For example, Syngenta Global can offer Land.db - a complete farm management complex with many modules and automation capabilities. ANT can offer a management system in crop production. Orient Systems provides a variety of hardware and software solutions, including UAVs. Antelliq manufactures systems for the control and identification (including disease risks and health status) of cows, sheep, pets, fish and turtle migration and so on. Climate FieldView application will help with weather forecasting (project Climate Corporation), in the same direction will help the world high-resolution atmospheric forecast system GRAF from IBM. There are also technologically advanced trading solutions, such as Meicai - online platform from China, NinjaCart from India, GrubMarket from the United States and others. And some are designed exclusively for the B2B segment, others make the "connection" of the farmer and the end user easier and more transparent.
Creating a digital infrastructure for agribusiness, respectively, we either combine existing solutions from the first and second category, creating a heterogeneous (heterogeneous) ecosystem, or turn to an individual approach, creating personal solutions for a particular business.
Summing up, it should be noted that the sphere of digital solutions in agribusiness is in its infancy. Not many companies can offer complex solutions, and much has not yet been put "on stream". At the same time, the prospects and investments nowadays in digital agricultural technology are huge. This is a very promising area, where there is still a lot to do.
Author: Sergey Ulyashenkov