4IR impact on agriculture

4IR impact on agriculture
4IR impact on agriculture

4IR impact on agriculture

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), sometimes referred to as Industry 4.0, is a time of intense technology advancement that is revolutionizing our daily lives, including how we work, live, and communicate. New technologies being developed to enhance crop yields, decrease food waste, and create more sustainable agricultural practices are having a big influence on agriculture as a result of this revolution.

Agriculture might undergo a revolution thanks to the 4IR, which could increase its output, effectiveness, and sustainability. But there are certain obstacles as well that must be overcome, such as the high cost of new technology and the requirement for experienced employees to run them.

Every one of the aforementioned technology categories is in charge of starting industrialization processes in many spheres and areas of society. On wages, productivity, wealth creation, social mobility, and standard of living, industrialization has a tremendously positive effect. Although some wages rise far quicker than others, all earnings generally rise as a result of industrialization. The world is thought to have had three industrial revolutions, or cycles of industrialization, and is on the cusp of experiencing a fourth (4IR), which is commonly referred to as the information age.

Production, processing, distribution, and consumption are just a few of the areas where agriculture robots will work. Figure illustrates one kind of artificial robot. These machines can recognize a service environment and provide intelligent work on their own. Robotic product selection and pest dispersal for insect control are two examples of the fourth industrial revolution’s use of technology in numerous farming instruments. This method, which is fixed with an aerial vehicle, is also employed in agriculture to regulate the health by routinely inspecting the produce, livestock, and other animals. The first robot specifically created for agriculture 4.0 is an open-field robot that is used in farming operations like water irrigation and crop cultivation. The second robot is a facility robot that is used to monitor crop yield and manage farming operations. The third robot is a livestock robot that is used to care for animals used in agriculture. This agricultural revolution aims to increase production through automation, unmanned farming, and the promotion of environmentally responsible farming.

A farming robot called MARS (Mobile Agricultural Robot Swarms) was created for autonomous farming operations with a coordinated swarm of robots. As a result of having fewer sensors than other robots, these ones have low levels of individual intelligence.

Precision agriculture:

Precision agriculture uses smart farming technology to assess the productivity and health of crops. In addition, these agricultural revolutions allowed for the observation of the development of various crops both before and after harvest. Precision agriculture, which is used to manage various agricultural activities, is developed using the concepts of agriculture 4.0. The high-tech company used a decision support system (DSS) in several agricultural sectors to adopt precision agriculture on a big scale. As a result, the demand for these technologies rises as agricultural returns are improved. The first division uses sensor-based technology to gather data on a number of parameters pertaining to crops, land, and whether or not conditions are suitable for efficient growth. In the sphere of agriculture, these strategies also involve data processing and the improvement of decision-making skills. The second division is prompted by the previous division’s examination of the needs of agricultural crops in terms of water content and timely fertilizer application. The action specified by the decision-making system in the first division is carried out using digitalized farming equipment. The third division is made up of various farm machinery control systems, which are inputted by processing databases compiled from computerized geographic information and input from farmers. Even though the first two divisions are well-developed, precision agriculture is challenging to implement because there isn’t a third decision-making process.

Robotics: A number of agricultural chores, including harvesting, milking, and weeding, are carried out by robots. Both labor expenses and efficiency can be decreased with their aid.

Artificial intelligence (AI): AI is being used to create novel crop types, foresee pests and illnesses, and improve agricultural choices.

Blockchain: Food can be tracked from farm to fork using blockchain, which is a safe and transparent technology. Food traceability and safety may both benefit from this.

IoT: The IoT, often known as the “Internet of Things,” links machines, sensors, and other objects to the internet. Data on several aspects of farming, including soil moisture, temperature, and humidity, may be gathered using this.

GPS in agriculture:

Using satellites, the “Global Positioning System” (GPS) is a system that is utilized all over the world for positioning and navigation. Originally designed for the military, this method is currently used in many other domains of agriculture thanks to agriculture 4.0. Both fixed units and portable GPS units have been incorporated into agricultural machinery. Tasks carried out by GPS systems include tracking positions and movements, autonomous or aided driving, and monitoring and support for concurrent journeys.

RFID in agriculture:

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology is used to recognize animals at automatic feeding devices. This system has a transponder and is wired to various IT devices. This system includes automatic, contactless object and animal identification and localization. In recent years, these technologies have been employed in agriculture sectors to track cereal crops. With applications including identifying and localizing livestock, cereal batches, and farm equipment, RFID completes the duty of object identification and location in the agriculture sectors.

Bluetooth “beacons” in agriculture:

A device used as transmitters, known as “beacons,” sends Bluetooth protocol signals that are comprehensive and energy-efficient. Data are gathered and analyzed as soon as a device enters the transmitter’s range. If such a device is mounted on machinery such as tractors, combine harvesters, lorries, or in the cattle shed, it is obvious that such a device permits the use of a person, device, or vehicle. These beacons are available for installation on any vehicle, regardless of its age, maker, or intended use. Batteries only need to be changed every four years because of their minimal electrical use. Machine identification as well as other interesting points are handled by this device. Additionally, it is employed to identify the personnel and record working hours.

The capacity of farmers to modernize in terms of finances:

The primary obstacle to the implementation of Agriculture 4.0 is farmers’ capacity to make investments and transform their production methods. Due to their limited financial resources, farmers have restricted access to finance and limited ability to invest in new production equipment. Additional funding was required for agriculture 4.0 training of farmers in rural areas. This creates a divide between conventional and modern farming. The impact of revenue, gross income, and farm profitability on adoption demonstrated a favorable association between the adoptions of new approaches. 

The growth of the communication infrastructure in rural areas:

Finally, the development of connectivity infrastructures is a significant barrier to IoT adoption in rural regions for agriculture. The capacity to share and analyze data is crucial for Agriculture 4.0 to succeed. At the moment, communication networks are established in metropolitan areas specifically to capture markets. As a result, networks of communication must be built in rural regions.

Farm family traits:

Adoption of agricultural innovation was strongly connected with education. A household’s decision to accept new technologies in Agriculture 4.0 may be influenced by factors including the family size, gender, and the education level of the house head.

 Farm size:

Farmers who have a larger farm are more interested in implementing new technology than those who have a smaller farm, who are discouraged since it requires more investment than their land is producing. 


Information from the media, meetings, and extension favorably promotes other farmers’ adoption of new technology. Farmers can contact extension agents directly or through other farmers as a point of communication between information and farmers. In regions where the impact of Industry 4.0 on the agriculture sectors is therefore potential, extensions like this one have been built.

Advantages of industry 4.0 for the agriculture sectors:

4.0 Agriculture might be transformed in a number of ways by technology and IoT. Specifically, there are five approaches to enhance agriculture: 

Tons of data are gathered by smart agricultural sensors; this data are evaluated and used to report on things like weather, soil quality, crop growth, and the health of livestock. To monitor the effectiveness of the plants and equipment, use this data. 

Enhanced internal process management and hence reduced production risks: Based on output prediction through data processing, this innovative approach aids in planning for improved product distribution.  Due to the greater production control, costs are managed and waste is reduced. Industry 4.0’s constant monitoring aids in cost control and waste reduction for a specific farm. As a result, crop production rises.

Increased business efficiency through process automation:

Using smart automated devices for the majority of production cycle activities including irrigation, fertilizing, and pest control boosts the farmer’s business in the form of higher output.

Enhanced product quality and volumes:

Controlling all the agriculture processes and maintaining high standard of grain quality, the productivity is increases. Innovation in Agriculture In order to increase effectiveness, competitiveness, shock resilience, environmental sustainability, and thereby contribute to scalable social impacts, individuals or businesses must introduce new or existing products, processes, or organizational structures into use for the first time in an agro venture.

The world’s top five cutting-edge agricultural techniques and technologies are listed below:

  • Smart Design, Vertical Farms, and Urban Agriculture
  • Bio mimicry
  • IoT, robotic process automation, and artificial intelligence
  • Technology based on blockchain
  • CRISPR technology (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) and genetic editing. Agricultural drones, high-tech aerial photography cameras, GIS and GPS software, farm value chain software, satellite images, and internet databases are other cutting-edge leaders in the present industrial revolution.

Agriculture Technology Transfer

Technology transfer is a multi-level communication process that involves many different senders and recipients of ideas and resources. In agriculture, it refers to the efficient and prompt dissemination of knowledge about the best techniques for a particular agricultural endeavor. Agriculture technology transfer serves as the cornerstone for developing rural development since its primary goal is to provide timely choices on the methods and technologies to be used on the farm for optimum yield. In the modern world, technology greatly supports farmers and producers in a number of ways, including accurate forecasting, data-driven decision making, and more.

Overall, the agriculture industry has a lot of possibilities thanks to the 4IR. Farmers may increase their yields, save expenses, and create more sustainably run enterprises by embracing new technology.

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