The use and conservation of agrobiodiversity is vital if we are to move towards reaching future global food and nutritional security and delivering on multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For this, the sharing of plant genetic resources is essential. What is also needed is agriculture innovation and crop diversification to achieve food and nutrition security.
These were some of the discussions at the International Agrobiodiversity Congress, which entered into its second day.
Throwing light on the aspect of how geospatial can be used for agriculture, Devendra Gauchan of Bioversity International, Nepal, said, “There are various technologies like – ICT can be useful to provide the timely information on climate and adapt to changing context and conserve and promote agriculture biodiversity and strengthen local system and improve the livelihood of local farmers particularly the main and very poor farmers.”
“And there are other technologies like mass media, topographical GIS tools, climate analogue tools, some advanced tools we call it; remote sensing, these are new tool that can help predict, and analyse the weather conditions, what is going to happen in the next few days or next year, and provide information to farmers for adaptation to changing climate and also prepare for having diverse type of seeds materials technology to use and promote the improvement of small farmers.”
Senior Scientist on Climate Change and Agricultural Biodiversity, Jacob van Etten said, “One of the interesting thing is that robotics reduces the labour costs. In some crops there are some tests that could be taken over by robots. At the current state of development, it is like very simple tests. For example in University of California, they were looking for robots that can transport products once they are harvested. So simple tests. It’s not that robots will take over all humans but certain some labour intensive hard parts would be taken over.”
Today, agriculture is highly driven by technologies and tools like satellite imageries, aerial imageries, GIS, GNSS/GPS, automated sensors, high-tech machineries. The latest buzzwords for the sector are drones and robots. High accuracy GPS- or GNSS– based fully autonomous or robotic field machines have begun to be employed in small-scale, high profit-margin agriculture.
The event also exhibited valuable insight on the application of GIS technologies in agriculture. Agriculture institutions like ICARDA, BAIF, and University of Agriculture Sciences were presented to exhibit their work.