To Measure Is To Know

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Spectrum Blog

Technology in Developing Countries

March 13, 2014 09:35 AM



Technology in Developing Countries

“To measure is to know” is an expression that has been taken to heart by many North American and European growers.  Applied agriculture and horticulture in these markets has become increasingly scientific – from precision agriculture, where inputs are applied at the right location, in the correct amounts, and at the right time, to modern greenhouse production, where sophisticated climate control systems precisely manage fertigation, soil moisture, temperature, light, and even carbon dioxide. Growers in these markets have become accustomed to applying measurement technology to improve crop quality and yield, and to use inputs efficiently.
In many developing countries, agriculture also plays a key DocGreen_FarmerECrole in the economy.  In spite of this, historical farming practices, passed along from generation to generation, still predominate.  Education, access to technology, and the fundamental nature of agricultural production in these markets have limited the pace of advancement.  In India and China, for example, farmers with little to no formal education or training have worked the land.  Individual parcels of land are quite small, and organizations have not been in place to educate growers and to promote progress.
But this is now slowly changing.  India and China represent over one third of the world’s population, and governments in these countries recognize the need to improve agricultural efficiency to adequately feed their people.  Investment in agricultural research by these countries is now resulting in programs implemented at the local level to help farmers.  In China, provincial governments and agricultural stations are now equipping their staff with tools for measuring soil moisture, pH, and salinity so that they can visit farms in local villages to perform measurements and make recommendations.  The Chinese government also implemented a program last year to encourage farming on larger parcels of land, where application of technology can have a greater impact on crop quality and yield.  And in both countries, grower exhibitions and associations are increasing in frequency and number, to the benefit of the growers
These changes will be evolutionary, but over the next five years most experts agree that the adoption of technology in developing markets will continue at an even faster pace.


All the best,

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