Fact: Food production can't keep up with our growing global population. The world's human population currently numbers around 7.6 billion and is projected to reach 9 billion people by 2050. To accommodate that many people current food production needs to increase by 70%, according to the United Nations. However, how to increase food production presents quite a challenge, as data from the Global Harvest Initiative notes that from 2005 to 2019, an estimated 58 million fewer people will be employed in agriculture, a decrease of 11% of the agricultural workforce. What can we do?
In the future of food special feature, TechRepublic and ZDNet writers provide answers to this question through features; interviews with farmers, entrepreneurs, and other experts; case studies; analysis; and predictions focusing on the role technology plays in feeding the population.
Natalie Gagliordi reports on John Deere's actions to feed our rapidly growing population. Teena Maddox explores how self-driving tractors, precision farming, and IoT sensors quantify agriculture in vast new ways. Even though precision agriculture remains in its early stages, Charles McLellan takes an in-depth look at two UK-based projects that are proving the feasibility and value of the concept.
SEE: Quick glossary: Artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research)
Meal replacements make tech workers more productive, but can they also solve world hunger? Alison DeNisco Rayome explores the question in her article. James Sanders describes how the Global Seed Vault intends to serve as the backup facility for seed banks around the world , in the event that environmental or political disasters destroy existing crops.
In addition, Tom Merritt discusses the top five technologies that are making food smarter and healthier. Teena Maddox defines food- and agriculture-related terminology in her smart farming glossary.
This infographic features tech and diet choices that might help solve the impending food crisis.
- Mapping the world's food production with AI and satellites (ZDNet)
- Robotic indoor farms can grow food anywhere, anytime (ZDNet)
- From farm to plate via blockchain: Solving agriculture supply chain problems one grain at a time (ZDNet)
- Walmart now uses blockchain to trace food, will others follow? (TechRepublic)
- How drones are changing farming in rural Japan (TechRepublic)
- Drone technologies could increase farmers' productivity by 500 percent (TechRepublic)
- Farming for the future: How one company uses big data to maximize yields and minimize impact (TechRepublic)
Melanie Wolkoff Wachsman is an Associate Editor for TechRepublic. She has 20 years of experience editing and writing for B2B and consumer publications focused on technology, innovation, healthcare, food and culture. Melanie received a bachelor's degree from Indiana University Bloomington.