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The Role of Information Technology in Agriculture

Updated on October 30, 2015

Information technology is utilizing computers along with telecommunication equipment for the storage, retrieval, transmission, and manipulation of data, among other tasks, which are aimed to improve the efficiency of different sectors. With the advancement of IT, other sectors benefit from it as well since it can be used as a tool for improving efficiency and overall productivity.

Successful integration of IT in different sectors has made it possible for people in the IT industry to make changes which can help other sectors, such as agriculture, as well. While people may be thinking that IT applications are only limited to those which make use of modern gadgets, or those who focus on numbers and such, the agricultural sector and its production may also benefit from it.

The Importance of Agriculture

Agriculture is a major sector which is vital for the survival of modern man. Plants are the producers in the food chain, and without them, the life cycle would just not be possible. Agricultural produce, though highly perishable compared to other food sources, is essential for survival. Crops are used to produce several food sources by themselves or through by-products such as bread, powders, organic additives to other goods and the like.

The produce from agriculture drives trade from one country to another, brings income for farmers, makes productive use of otherwise idle land, and brings food on the table. It is such an important part of everyone’s daily life, although it may not be seen as a direct factor since the produce goes a long way before reaching the hands of everyone who benefits from it. Because of its importance to society, it is but a must to evolve with the times and adjust to meet the needs of modern people. By adapting and making use of IT to help improve agricultural progress, everyone benefits from the union of these sectors.

Global Impact of IT on Agriculture

IT has become a bridge for people from all over the world. You may be asking yourself, what is the importance of this when it comes to agriculture? Agriculture may be seen as a craft which has been handed down from generation to generation from the very first men who learned how to plow the fields and grow their own crops. Techniques and secrets for efficiency and increased yields are also part of the knowledge passed on from one generation to another.

Agricultural practices and advancements differ globally—since plants have their own differences and the location plays a role on their development as well. But through the exchange of knowledge from different agriculturally-involved individuals from all over the world, improvement of techniques can be experienced as well. It has made an impact on how information is shared, and being able to use this information for the advancement of the agricultural sector gives a great positive impact that is beneficial for everyone.

IT and Agriculture

Upon first glance, it may be challenging to see how such different sectors may work together. Agriculture has been around since men first learned to tend to his own crops and not depend on what just grows where he goes. IT, on the other hand, is a much younger advancement that man has developed. Hand in hand, IT and agriculture can make progress more visible, sharable, and measurable which are highly beneficial for all who are engaged in it.

Traditional agriculture still makes its presence felt in today’s production of goods since the foundations of agriculture is a pillar which cannot be removed from all processes required to grow crops. However, with continued research and the collaboration of great agricultural minds from all over the world, improving crops and eventually the yields from “the usual” strategy is definitely a positive result that all producers would like.

Since IT encompasses a lot of disciplines, it can also be successfully integrated to many different sectors to help them become more efficient and productive. It may take some getting used to, but when IT is successfully integrated to agriculture, it helps a great deal and can definitely contribute to positive changes that farmers can prove with the growth of their output.

The Effects of IT on Agriculture

IT has made its way into the agricultural sector, and with positive results. To name a few, here are some of its effects:


  • Improved decision making – By having the necessary information, farmers—big and small can make better and more informed decision concerning their agricultural activities. May it be about who to get their grains from or perhaps who to sell it to, the communication channels that information technology brings makes production up to distribution easier for the farmers. The exchange of knowledge from various countries and organization also helps farmers be more aware of factors to consider before making their decisions.

  • Better planning – IT has paved the way to come up with farming software which can keep better track of crops, predict yields, when to best plant and what to plant, to intercrop or focus on just one product, or determine the current need of the crops—just about everything needed to improve production and income. By adjusting to the modern farming methodologies, farmers can have better control of their crops. Gaining information from their farm is essential in sustaining its success and fueling further growth.

  • Community involvement – There are several programs which are made possible by IT applications, and community involvement in agriculture can be increased as well. When a community adopts modern methods for agriculture, the production of local goods can be increased. There are some places where people greatly benefit from the land and their resources for agriculture, and with IT, there can be improved union in local farmers which can lead to their community’s overall improved production that may lead to better income for everyone involved.

  • Agricultural breakthroughs – IT makes the spread of information concerning the latest agricultural breakthroughs more possible. When scientists develop new and improved grains or find techniques to help winter crops become stronger against the cold, farmers from all over the world may benefit from the same breakthroughs simply by being connected to the rest of the agricultural world. Sharing information to help everyone progress is made much easier through resources made available and accessible by IT.

  • Agriculture for everyone – Farmers have in-depth knowledge when it comes to their trade. However, interested individuals who may be called backyard farmers may also benefit from how modern technology has changed how agriculture is seen. Growing your own sustainable garden of herbs, fruit trees, and other agricultural produce can be possible in a smaller scale. Planting is beneficial in more ways than one, and having your own produce even helps assure the freshness and quality of the food your family eats.

People only have to open their minds to the endless possibilities that technological advancement can bring to agriculture. Instead of being locked away with the traditional strategies for planting, why not get involved in new and improved methods of farming? Today’s society can benefit from agricultural advancements and live sustainable lives by improving the production, harvest methods, and distribution of agricultural goods. All of these effects and more are possible through the successful merge of IT and agriculture which is why farmers are getting more and more encouraged to take part in this positive change.

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