The cooperation between agriculture and the IT sector might have once sounded like science fiction, but it is now increasingly becoming a part of everyday life. New software and hardware solutions are implemented in farms, orchards or plastic green houses, contributing to increased yields, easier monitoring of production or enhancement of sales. The so-called smart or precision agriculture is an increasingly popular topic, both among agrarian experts and IT professionals, and numerous investment funds are financing project of, most often, startup companies, which entail the connection between these two fields, until now quite distant from each other.
Examples are numerous – the solution of the company LOGIT Solutions, called Agremo (previously known as AgriSens)
has been implemented worldwide for some time now. This system enables the surveying and analysis of large agricultural areas with the help of drones, and the company was awarded for this innovative piece of technology in April with the Aurea acknowledgment, handed out by eKapija
. At the recently completed contest organized by NLB Bank, Nikola Sijan was given a special award for contribution to digitization of organic agriculture for his project called DigiKmet, and the company Japan Tobacco International (JTI) announced the implementation of a new system meant to aid the countering of illegal tobacco trade – satellite surveillance of tobacco fields.
Young future entrepreneurs have also recognized the connection between agriculture and the IT sector. The winners of the national student company contest, organized for years by Junior Achievement, presented, at the recently held European contest, so-called smart hives with frames containing a small computer, a microphone and sensors.
Crop management, weather forecast...
Zoja Kukic, director of Startit and one of the founders of SEE ICT, says in her interview for eKapija that the worlds of IT and agriculture are joining forces in a variety of ways. Crop management software, notifications for various actions, activity log and similar solutions are certainly the first step.
– There are also solutions helping to sell products, which are now becoming more and more popular in Serbia, such as Moja Pijaca, Zelenoo... Furthermore, there are various analytical tools combining hardware and software, such as cameras determining the quality of the soil or the state of the plants, as well as those helping with field work, for example, drones which scan crops or sprinkle various matters – our interviewee says.
Judging by the implementation so far, IT solutions in the agrarian sector are mostly used to monitor weather conditions, the state of the crops in real time, to estimate yields or monitor irrigation and drainage systems.