28

Feb

Forefront of Digital Transformation, Smart Agriculture

The innovative changes that new technologies bring to agriculture The shadow of decline creeping into agriculture Did you know that a piece of land that can supply three months of rice to about 13 million people in Tokyo is lying unused? This is just one of the problems with agriculture. Although the global economy and other industries are affected by the current COVID-19 crisis and warm winter this year, agriculture is an industry that is highly susceptible to seasonal environmental changes, which cause the proliferation of fungi and pests and decimate food crops. Such crops are also essential sources of raw materials for clothing, food, and shelter. However, the Japanese domestic farming population is currently declining, and abandoned arable land is increasing year by year. In addition, fake food products are being disguised and replaced in food supply chains because of the holes in risk management systems. How can digital transformation (DX) solve such a wide variety of agricultural issues? Agriculture now and in the future By 1985, when the Japanese bubble economy began, the population of domestic farmers had reached 5.43 million. After three decades, the number of farmers in 2019 will be about 1.68 million, a decrease of 70% from the heyday. An additional problem is the aging of the remaining farmers. At present, the average age is 66.8 years, which represents an urgent situation given the heavy labor in agricultural work and the likelihood of retirement after a few more years. (See the figure below) There are issues arising from aging and a shortage of workers which have led to an incomplete risk management system. In the agriculture and forestry industry, false reporting of the production area […]