Role Of Technology And Innovation In Promoting Food Security Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Role of Technology and Innovation in Promoting Food Security.

Answer:

Introduction

Agriculture is an economic activity that is carried out globally. It employs a large number of people and acts as the chief source for food for the international community. Meaning, t have a healthy and prosperous society, agriculture sector should be able to produce enough food to sustain all the populations. Unfortunately, the world has of late become prone to hunger because of poor agricultural productivity, an undesirable development that caused by challenges like global warming or high population. Nevertheless, the agriculture sector can still be salvaged if deliberate measures are taken to eradicate global warming and improve the output. One way of accomplishing this goal is to embrace the use of modern technology in agricultural activities[1]. If a proper choice of technology and innovations are made, and effectively adopted, the society will be hunger-free. Meaning, there will be enough food to feed everyone. This can in turn be desirable because a hunger-free society is not only healthy, but productive as well.

Role of Technology and Innovation in Promoting Food Security

One of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was to fight world poverty. However, as it is today, hunger still remains one of the major challenges facing the global community especially in the developing nations. Unlike their developed counterparts, the developing countries are prone to serious problems such as climate change which negatively impacts on agricultural productivity. Therefore, to deal with the situation, feasible measures should be taken[2]. One of the ways through which the challenge of food insecurity can be ultimately resolved is the adoption of modern technologies in agriculture. The application of modern advancements in science, technology and innovations can greatly transform the global community. It can benefit the agriculture sector in many ways.

Improvement in the Yields and Nutritional Value of the Crops

The application of modern technological innovations can play an integral role in the production of adequate food to be consumed. Despite the rocketing population, improved technologies in animal and crop production can enable the society to get enough food for everyone. This can help in ultimately eradicating the challenge of food insecurity in the society. When applied in farming, modern technologies can enable the famers to use available resources to ensure that high yields are obtained at all times. Apart from helping to boost the yield, modern technologies can enable the modern day farmers to improve the quality of the produce. This can be a commendable accomplishment because quality production can help in ensuring that nutritious food is availed to the people[3]. Feeding on nutritious foods can help in the realization of a healthy and stronger society.

The goal of high food productivity can be attained by realized through the improved productivity of crops. Just like animals, human beings heavily rely on crops for the provision of nutritious food products such as fruits and vegetables which of course act as chief sources of vitamins, mineral salts, starch, proteins, and carbohydrates. Therefore, to produce high quality and quantity crop products, the famers should embrace modern crop production technologies such as Plant breeding, hybridization, molecular marker, agricultural biotechnology, and crop protection[4]. These strategies can help in producing high quality crop species that are tolerant to pesticides, but resistant to drought, diseases, and pests that might hinder quality production. Once a crop can resist all the environmental pressures, it cannot fail to produce satisfactory output as it ought to.

Plant breeding is a modern technology in which a crop’s genetic makeup is optimized. It can be done in different ways notably hybridization in which science is used to cross different crop species so as to generate a blend containing the traits of the parent breeds[5]. When different crop breeds are crossed together, a more desirable product is obtained. Such products are hybrid because they contain useful traits such as high productivity, disease and pest-resistance, as well as tolerance to harsh weather conditions. The same approach can be adopted when using molecular marker technologies to improve the quality of crop production[6]. These technologies are noble because they can transform crop husbandry. If properly utilized, the technologies can play a significant role in addressing the persistent problem of food insecurity that has been troubling the global community for quite a long time. It can give an answer to the problem of persistent poor quality that in mainly associated with adverse weather conditions, disease, and pest infection[7].

Since the realization of food security should not only be pegged on high crop productivity, it can be quite rewarding if similar efforts are made to transform animal husbandry. This is because human beings rely on animals for various food products such as milk, meat, blood, and other products. These are common food products that are popular with very many people especially in non-vegetarian societies in which people are free to feed on animal products[8]. Hybrid is one of the modern techniques that can help in improving the quality and yield of animal products. When different varieties or breeds of livestock are cross bred, a mode sophisticated breed is obtained. Such offspring are high yielding in terms of quality and quantity because of their ability to adapt to the environment no matter how adverse it might be. At the same time, more complex advanced technologies can be applied in the improvement of livestock production for example tissue culture[9]. When there is a need to improve animal production, cultural engineers can resort to what is known as cultured meat. As its name suggests, cultured meat is a type of meat that is made using a cell culture and availed for consumption. This can help in increasing the amount of food to deal with food insecurity especially at this time of high population and climate change.

Efficiency in Farm Management, Resource Utilization and Increased Profitability

Modern technological innovations should be extensively used in agriculture because it has a potential of enhancing efficient agricultural productivity as well as promoting a cost-effective agricultural production. As an investment, agriculture should not be viable. Meaning, it should be able to be organized in a manner that can enable the farmer to get a rewarding returns from it. Meaning, the output should be higher than the input. This goal can indeed be achieved if the farmers embrace the use of modern technologies and innovations[10].

The adoption of the use or modern irrigation techniques to irrigate the land can be quite efficient to the farmer. Instead of relying on manual labor, the farmer can mechanize all the activities. This can help the farmer to effectively carry out all the activities and save on time resources. The same goal can be realized when the farmer uses machines like helicopters to spray chemicals; combined harvesters for harvesting the produce; and tractors to till, plough, and weed the farm[11]. Mechanization is much better than manual labor because it requires little energy and time to perform. A mechanized farm is quite efficient to manage than a manual one because it can give a farmer an opportunity to rely on modern innovations to carry out each activity. After all, each agricultural activity has its own machines that can be applied whenever necessary[12].

Mechanization of farming activities can be less costly in the long run since the volume of productivity is much higher than manual production. Meaning, it can enable the farmer to turn farming into a profitable activity. For example, instead of hiring laborers to till a large plantation, he farmer can resort to the use of tractors. This can help in minimizing the costs of production because of the large volume of work to be carried out. It should therefore be incumbent upon a modern farmer to embrace the use of latest technologies in farming activities[13]. Once the costs of operations are minimized, the farmer can be assured of maximizing profitability since that is the main goal of engaging in agricultural activities.

Protection of the Environment

As already hinted, one of the major challenges facing the agriculture sector is global warming. The problem of climate change which has been mainly attributed to the rampancy of pollution can be addressed if different aspects of modern technological innovations are applied in agriculture. For example, the pollution of soil can be tackled if adequate research s carried out to come up with environmental-friendly pesticides, fertilizers, and other agro chemicals usually applied in farming activities. Over the years, farmland and nearby environment have been at a threat of pollution from such chemicals, since they have not been properly applied by farmers.

However, to address the challenge of agrochemical-related environmental degradation, modern farmers should not shy away from embracing latest technological innovations in farming. For example, when it comes to the use of fertilizers, the farmers should take the necessary measures to ensure that a proper choice of fertilizers is made[14]. To do so, a thorough research should be carried out to ascertain the soil qualities and nutritional requirements at any given time. This can help in ensuring that a right type and quality of fertilizer is applied in the farm. Should that be the case, the environment cannot be polluted at all[15]. Practices such as soil testing can be a remedial measure to environmental degradation that has been linked to the wrong use of fertilizers and other types of agrochemicals used by farmers.

Sustainable agricultural production cannot be divorced from environmental conservation. So, any farmer who is interested in enjoying the fruits of agricultural activities should be concerned about the environment in which they operate. Farming is a long-term project that can only be beneficial if done in a safe environment. If the environment is protected from degradation, it can end up benefiting the farmers[16]. Therefore, to achieve this goal, the farmer should always be aware of the latest developments and get familiar with all the useful fertilizers and other agrochemicals that can add value to the soil. At the same time, it should be upon the experts to constantly carry out a research and generate the most environmental-friendly agrochemicals and avail it for use to the farmers[17].

The most important strategy to adopt while tackling the problem of food insecurity is the active involvement of the government in agricultural matters. To do so, the government should collaborate with the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), global community, and individual farmers. So, enough resources should be set aside and used in supporting agricultural activities. Such resources should be used in supporting agricultural research so as to help in addressing the problem of low crop and animal productivity. When properly done, research can be relied upon to generate new and improved livestock and crop breeds that are adaptable because of the ability to resist pests, diseases and unfavorable weather conditions[18]. At the same time, adequate resources should be set aside to provide extension services to the farmers as well as avail credit facilities to the farmers. With accessibility to finances, farmers can be empowered to acquire modern agricultural technologies such as tractors, fertilizers, pesticides, and other agro chemicals that are relied upon to improve the yield and quality of crops and livestock products.

Conclusion

Hunger is a serious challenge that should not be taken lightly. It should be upon the farmers to come up and fully embrace the use of modern technologies. If deliberate efforts are taken to improve crop and animal production, world hunger can be a thing of the past. However, to achieve this goal, it should be upon the concerned stakeholders to come up and take the necessary measures to ensure that modern technology is fully adopted by all the farmers across the world.

References

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Li, Juntao, Weihua Gu, and Hang Yuan. "Research on IOT Technology Applied to Intelligent Agriculture." In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Electrical Engineering and Automatic Control, pp. 1217-1224. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2016.

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