During day two of the Africa Agri Tech, industry experts challenged delegates to think about the tech they use on their farms. They also underlined the importance of collecting as much data as possible. Technology is an inevitable part of the agricultural sector, but farmers are warned to be careful. Not all tech is good tech, and the goal should not be to level up with every technical advancement available to them on the market.
Mark Hassenkamp, director of RedDun Hortitech, delivered a speech on the future of food production, artificial intelligence, robotics, and new technology. He stated: “It is an inevitable reality to use robotic labour to increase production yield, however, there is a cost in replacing manpower. It is inevitable, and we need to remain competitive.”
Hassenkamp explained how various tools are helping farmers curb losses and decreased production spending. Info-tech-producing farming data, he added, enables farmers to increase the quality and quantity of their production yields.
During a high-value commodity panel discussion themed “From hero to zero and back”, Zander Ernst, director of Allesbeste Boerdery, shared his views on technology in agriculture. According to Ernst, farmers should not be quick to want to implement every piece of technology available on the market. Instead, they should rather focus on implementing technology that works best for the specific commodities they produce.
“We need to look at how to raise effectiveness on the farms. I don’t think it’s only about technology, but about collecting more data,” he said.