Farmworker Appreciation Day: How Can We Show Our Support?
On August 6, communities worldwide mark Farmworker Appreciation Day. This international date raises awareness of the vital farmers’ work on farms and fields year-round. Given the demanding nature of the work, it becomes crucial to provide comprehensive support to farmers through all available means.
One of the ways the EU project STELAR aims to do so is by developing an agrifood data space platform that could directly benefit farmers.
This could take a portion of the workload off the shoulders of agriculture workers, who make up an astounding 27% of the worldwide workforce, according to FAO. More specifically, a paper from ScienceDirect published the fact that there are around 570 million farms in the world, with most of them being small and family-run.
Here are just a few of the ways through which STELAR strives to simplify the task of managing small and medium-sized farms for farmers:
- – Providing farmers with early crop growth predictions
- – Helping develop precision farming strategies
Farmers to Get On-time Crop Growth Predictions
As of now, farmers get warnings regarding prediction of food supply and food shortages – but they come too late in the season. STELAR aims to design and develop a platform, or more specifically a Knowledge Lake Management System (KLMS), which will combine data from different sources and add it to a deep learning system. The platform will interlink these vast data sources with not just machine learning, but AI, as well. The various data, including Earth Observation (EO) data, will be used for physical modelling. The outcome will be earlier crop growth predictions – while the crops are still in the vegetative phase!
Coming Up with Informed Strategies for Precision Farming
When EO data and the Internet of Things (IoT) data from field sensors are incorporated into the KLMS, they could help farmers come up with land management and crop planning strategies. These precision farming interventions could help mitigate many on-field risks. For instance, such data, combined with best practices, can inform farmers how to manage water accordingly and come to other conclusions regarding a crop product.
Higher Yields, Lower Fertiliser Inputs
To be clear, these two benefits, which STELAR aims to offer, are interlinked – the early predictions farmers could get will allow them to develop earlier farm management recommendations. This will lead to on-time agricultural strategies which could mean higher yields and lower fertiliser inputs on farms, translating to a 40-60 euro benefit per hectare.
Every Day is Farmworker Appreciation Day
The need to respect our farmworkers and assist them in providing food safety and food security is highlighted more than ever. As this massive workforce works through volatile weather conditions caused by climate change, we are dedicating a portion of our time to help them in their mission. Stay up to date with STELAR and its development of the KLMS platform.