Placed on – 30 May 2022

Making food production more sustainable and efficient with IoT

food production sustainable

The way we produce food influences climate change, nature, and biodiversity. One in ten people in the world are exposed to severe levels of food insecurity according to the United Nations. Furthermore, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that by 2050 food production will have to increase 70% to feed the additional 2 billion people the world will have by then. Therefore, urgent action is needed to address the current crisis.  

The use of green and digital technology, including the Internet of Things (IoT), allows us to achieve resilient and sustainable food systems by helping producers work more precisely and efficiently. Data-driven insight (gathered through smart sensors) can improve decision-making and practices for a more profitable and sustainable performance. 

The good news is that several farmers and Ag-tech companies have already realized this and are in constant search for the right smart and precision farming solution. IoT and sensor technology can address current priorities for sustainable production such as: efficient resource management, animal/plant health, and soil fertility, among others.  

The sensors 

Data-generating smart sensors can vary in form and characteristics. They allow responsible food producers to collect real-time data and measurements that can be used to make informed decisions for optimal food production. Some of the parameters that can be measured by sensors to address current challenges are the following:  

  1. Moisture. Since water is already in short supply and its scarcity is bound to increase over time, efficient irrigation is critical for sustainable food production. Measuring the moisture levels of the soil can ensure that irrigation takes place precisely when necessary and in the correct amounts for optimal growth, thus reducing water loss. Similarly, sensors that measure the quantity and intensity of rain help guide the irrigation needs of crops.  
  1. Soil nutrients. Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K) and Soil Organic Matter (SOM) are key nutrients for crop production. However, the former two can be highly pollutant to the environment when too much of them is released into the air and water. Measuring all of them in soils is key for effective use and efficient crop growth. It is also highly relevant to measure N and P to avoid adding them unnecessarily through fertilizers.  
  1. Weather. Continuous and localized monitoring of weather conditions, such as barometric pressure, wind, temperature, humidity, and solar radiation helps predict and prevent diseases and pests in crops. In addition, monitoring CO2 concentrations in greenhouses allows optimization of environmental conditions, resulting in more productive plant growth.  
  1. Energy use. Food production requires a substantial amount of fuel and electricity, including to power machinery, for irrigation and for its transportation. In that sense, as energy costs continue to rise, it becomes critical to track energy use per crop or livestock farm management area. 
  1. Cattle Health and behavior. Monitoring parameters such as temperature, oxygenation, hydration, PH-levels, or activity in cattle helps predict and prevent risks and save on insurance premiums. It also allows data-driven and insightful management of livestock, thus ensuring prompt actions that guarantee the cattle’s welfare.  

If you want to get started, have more parameters in mind to measure or a different problem you need to solve, Evalan can work together with you on an end-to-end IoT solution. Nonetheless, if you already have an application but are looking for a ready-to-deploy IoT gateway, we are the experts you look for.  

The Gateway 

Evalan’s BACE is the result of over 15 years of experience in IoT. Its multipurpose module acts as a gateway and the unique cloud application allows you to connect, manage and store your data in an efficient and secure way.  

BACE brings data from sensors to cloud applications, removing technical risks and helping customers implement their IoT solutions quicker. In short: we take care of IoT connectivity so that you can focus on your own value-added service.  

With BACE there is no need to be an expert on the data transmission from your sensors to the cloud. BACE will use one of many standard protocols to retrieve the data from the sensors and deliver it through a secure API (Application Programming Interface) in the cloud. It is cost-effective, and it can be done within a few weeks.  

Choosing the right IoT partner is key to futureproofing your solution and being able to scale it overall, as the only way of doing so is by integrating with highly reliable, maintainable, and available APIs. In that sense, BACE added value includes:  

  1. Speed. Get started with only a few lines of code.  
  2. Easiness. Eliminate the need to learn new device protocols and use a friendly interface.  
  3. Scalability. Scale from one to thousands of devices without complexity.  
  4. Reliability. Have consistent access to data points and never lose information. 

In sum, BACE was built for easy and quick integration, and it enables you to use a cost-effective, fully hardened, secure, scalable, futureproof, flexible IoT solution.  

Evalan is the right partner for IoT 

Partnership and collaboration are key for effective solutions in the farm and agricultural sectors. In that sense, carefully selecting the partner company you want to work with is essential. At Evalan we believe working together and building trust are the ways to achieve reliable and accurate solutions, as our clients bring the domain knowledge and we the technology expertise. 

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