Agriculture 4.0, a competitiveness issue

22 May 2019

One of the things I learned in 15 years of developing digital solutions for the field is that small gains in productivity can make a big difference in the competitiveness of Brazilian agribusiness. In the routine of the largest agricultural companies in the country, the numbers are always superlative. Therefore, any cost reduction will have great impact on the profitability of the business.

Think about, for example, what a savings of 1% in fuel consumption means for a company that spends thousands of gallons of diesel per day? Imagine a 2% reduction of a fleet of hundreds of vehicles, through efficiency in management? Or, consider the impact of the 3% reduction in raw material losses for those who harvest millions of tons per year. Added together, these results represent a lot.

These percentages are only examples, in fact much less than the agriculture 4.0 has delivered in results to the agribusiness. GPS, sensors, auto steerings, allied to structured information on operations have significantly increased the incomes of farms and agricultural companies. They are technologies that transform each machine, operator and manager into an active player of the process as a whole, which becomes interconnected and optimised, with the greater goal of increasing management efficiency.

We still have many challenges ahead in the implementation of agriculture 4.0, such as the qualification of labor and the lack of connectivity at the agricultural frontiers. However, much progress has been made in these issues, with the availability of increasingly viable alternatives to resolve or minimise such impacts.

Brazil is already an agricultural power and has several models of smart farms, as modern and competitive as their peers abroad. The trend is for this reality to intensify where it is already a reference and to be expanded for the whole productive chain. There is a demand in the market for farm management software. In this scenario, there is only one certainty: technology is the only way to raise even more the authority of Brazilian agribusiness in the world.

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