The Future of Agriculture is Smart

The Future of Agriculture is Smart

In today’s tech-driven world, agriculture is being revolutionized to make it more efficient, sustainable, and productive. Innovation and technology have made its way into every task and industry, and some of these areas decide the future and wellbeing of humanity and a good example is the agriculture industry. In simple terms, what we eat decides who we become, and smart agriculture is a step towards making that process better and more efficient with the use of technology. Smart agriculture incorporates data gathering, Internet of things (IoT) and other technological infrastructure such as hydroponics, robotics etc.  to track, monitor and automate farming processes. The end goal is to increase the quality and quantity of the crops while optimizing the human labor and other resources such as water, fertilizer and land. The concept of smart agriculture is relatively new to countries like Sri Lanka that are used to traditional farming techniques, but many countries have already implemented smart farming with successful results. Due to the expanding global population, increasing demand for food and higher crop yield, the need to use natural resources efficiently are some of the many reasons that smart agriculture is much talked about. 1,2

Despite the shift towards smart agriculture, certain areas of the world still practice traditional farming methods. When we consider the current demand for food and the state of natural resources, it is clear that traditional farming is insufficient to cater to the world’s needs. One of the major concerns of traditional farming is deforestation. Vast areas of land are cleared and used for growing crops to cater to the increasing food demand of a growing population. Moreover, these cultivations account for about 70% of the freshwater consumption.2 The irrigation processes that’s followed to provide water for these cultivations is one of the major reasons for depletion of river systems and downstream ground water. This in turn results in increased water evaporation that can impact the temperature levels of the atmosphere. Apart from this, traditional farming also adds to the growing greenhouse gas emission around the world. Mass cultivation is often done in traditional farming, leading to deforestation, damaging the root systems causing soil erosion and destructing the soil quality. Researchers and farmers are now becoming increasingly aware of the drawbacks of traditional farming methods. This is where sustainable and smart agriculture becomes a timely topic. The need arises to actively look for methods to grow enough food to feed the world without harming the environment.4

In the last decades, agriculture has seen a number of technological transformations. By using various smart agriculture gadgets, farmers have gained better control over the process of raising livestock and growing crops. One of the most common use cases of smart agriculture is the use of technology to monitor the state of crops using sensors. IoT sensors are pieces of hardware that detect changes in an environment and collect data about crops. These sensors can also be connected with mobile phones and other devices via apps and farmers can easily decide when to reap harvest and decide if they need to use more pesticides or manure for crops.5

Hydroponics, a leading smart agriculture method, uses water-based cultivation instead of soil. This approach offers numerous advantages, including space efficiency, reduced chemical usage, and the ability to farm indoors. Nutrients crucial for plant growth are delivered directly through a water solution, enhancing absorption. Smart hydroponics integrates sensors and automation, allowing real-time monitoring of pH, nutrients, and environmental conditions. Automated systems optimize water circulation and environmental factors for diverse plant varieties. Despite initial costs, the long-term benefits, such as lower water consumption and higher yields, position hydroponic farming as a sustainable and innovative solution for the future of agriculture.6

Another use of efficient smart agriculture is the use of automated greenhouse operations. Various sensors installed in greenhouses track different parameters inside the greenhouse such as soil moisture, lighting and humidity. Greenhouse operators can adjust these parameters as required after referring to the data gathered from the sensors. By automating tasks such as ventilation, lighting and irrigation, ideal conditions for plant growth can be increased or reduced as per the data gathered from sensors.7

Agricultural drones are heavily used in mass scale agriculture. Apart from surveillance capabilities, these drones can perform tasks that require human labor such as planting crops, agriculture spraying, fighting infections and crop monitoring. Data analytics tools used in smart agriculture help farmers predict the behavior of harvest in advance. Smart agriculture has already entered the world of robotics. Automated harvesters, tractors, and other machines that can operate without a human have taken over labor intensive tasks such as planting seeds, weeding, and watering and reaping harvest. The applications of smart agriculture keep increasing and with the correct tools and management, the opportunities seem endless.5

In conclusion, smart agriculture offers a myriad of benefits that revolutionize traditional farming practices. By harnessing cutting-edge technologies like IoT, AI, and data analytics, farmers can enhance productivity, optimize resource utilization, and make informed decisions in real-time. This transformative approach not only boosts crop yields and minimizes environmental impact but also empowers farmers with valuable insights to navigate the challenges of a rapidly evolving agricultural landscape. Embracing smart agriculture ensures sustainable food production and paves the way for a more resilient and efficient future in farming. Traditional farming can be converted into smart agriculture and R&D organizations are bound to be competitive solution providers by educating the farming communities and innovating smart farming technologies to suit our needs. Smart agriculture is a gigantic step towards sowing the seeds of a smarter, greener tomorrow.


  1. Chandler, S. (2019) What are the benefits of Smart Farming Systems?: TechTarget, IoT Agenda. Available at: (Accessed: 29 November 2023).
  2. What is Smart Agriculture and why smart agruculture is the future? (2023) ONDO. Available at: (Accessed: 29 November 2023).
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  4. Dupuis, A. (2023) Environmental impact of traditional farming: 5 effects, Eden Green. Available at: (Accessed: 29 November 2023).
  5. IOT in agriculture: 9 technology use cases for smart farming (and challenges to consider) (2023) Eastern Peak – Technology Consulting & Development Company. Available at: (Accessed: 29 November 2023).
  6. (No date) (PDF) a review on hydroponics and the technologies associated for … Available at: (Accessed: 29 November 2023).
  7. G, P. (2019) IOT based Smart Greenhouse Automation: Smart agriculture: Agricultural community, community. Available at: (Accessed: 29 November 2023).