Eden Jeong, a 35-year-old tech-savvy farmer
Recently returned to the farming community of his hometown after 10 years of working as a computer engineer at a Fortune 500 company. He saw the potential modern farming could provide for the community and now stands by the belief that agriculture can do a lot better.
Aging farmers, how long can they farm?
95% of farmers in the community are 60 years old or older. Local service providers send farm workers and framing equipment on an on-call basis. The local Agriculture Cooperative Agency supports the farmers with agricultural incentives, financing, supplies, and markets.
Farmers plant the same crops, rice on wetland and yellow onions on dry land, year after year, depleting soil nutrients. Moreover, overuse of fertilizers and chemicals has hardened soil and decreased soil fertility. Having a longer dry season than it used to be before, about the time water sources for farming near dry up, finally, rainy season arrives, but now with too much rain, damaging crops and bringing crop diseases.
Farming is the primary, if not only, income source for the farmers. Market price determines the harvest and returns to farmers. If there are too many products either domestically harvested or imported into the market, farmers give up harvesting, consequently, affecting their income and financial ability to self-fund for the next season.
Smart agriculture should be a way to rehabilitate the economy in the community.
Eden has adopted smart hardware solutions that come together with sensors and GPS, and software solutions that provide decision support for site-specific fertilizer and irrigation scheduling applications. He uses his mobile devices to monitor and control the field in real-time remotely. What makes him most fascinated about the smart solutions is that it eliminates the need for an adept understanding of agronomy.
The sensors installed at critical places in the farm collect and transmit data about soil, air, plant, etc. Then, the system analyses the collected data and provides reports about the status of the object or process monitored including potential problems. Based on the reports, the software solutions indicate actions that need to be taken. This process runs automatically with high precision and 24/7 control, eventually resulting in considerable savings in all key resources used – water, energy, fertilizers, time, and labor.
Traditional farming heavily relies upon soil and climate conditions. Eden looks into indoor vertical farming that eliminates dependency on nature and instead grows plants in soilless mediums in a controlled environment.
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