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8 Predictions About the Future of Agriculture
The farming industry has changed quite a bit in the past century, and it will probably look even more different in 30 years than it does today. In fact, according to some estimates, 50% of all jobs in the US will be in technology and engineering fields by the year 2020. These changes aren’t limited to just careers—they will also impact how we produce our food and how agriculture will be different 30 years from now than it is today. From what we eat to how we produce food, here are eight predictions about the future of agriculture.
1) Agribusiness Will Become Less Important, Farmers Markets and Organic Farms Will Become More Important
Consumers are more informed than ever before. Twenty years ago, many people didn’t even know what an organic tomato was; today, they recognize that organic produce is healthier and tastes better. Consumers now want to be able to trace their food back through every step of its production process. Knowing whether it was grown on a family farm or in a large agribusiness operation will be just as important as knowing whether it was locally sourced or imported from across the world. In addition, farmers markets and local farms will become increasingly important because they give consumers an opportunity to meet producers face-to-face and form relationships based on trust and respect.
2) Robots That Use AI, Drones, And Automation Will Completely Change How We Farm
Farmers across America are already starting to use robots that are capable of planting seeds, irrigating, and harvesting our crops. Without a doubt, there will be major improvements in AI and robotics over the next several decades. It’s hard to say exactly how quickly we’ll see these technologies integrated into agriculture—or if they will even be accepted by consumers—but it is clear that agriculture has a bright future ahead. The biggest change for farming may not come from robots or drones though; it may come from increased efficiency via automation and higher crop yields due to advanced genetic engineering techniques.
3) Technology Will Allow Us To Grow Tastier Produce All Year Round, Outdoors And In Greenhouses
Indoor farming is just in its infancy, but it has already started to revolutionize certain crops—and it’s not difficult to see how it will revolutionize other types of produce. The ability to grow produce that tastes great all year round will change food production forever. Moreover, growers will likely be able to serve local customers directly from a greenhouse or their backyard. Technology like Vertical Farm Machines mean that soon indoor farms will become so automated, we’ll barely have to do any work at all.
4) There Will Be New Sources of Protein Like Insects
Not long ago, eating bugs was seen as disgusting and weird. But that’s changing quickly. Insects are packed with protein and essential fats, but they’re also incredibly efficient at converting feed into edible meat—and their nutritional value is comparable to beef or lamb, writes food expert Josh Evans. Insects are also loaded with iron, zinc, and a variety of vital minerals. It won’t be long before more people than ever will be eating things like crickets...and loving it!
5) The Rise Of Vertical Farming
Urban and community gardens will continue to grow in popularity, as interest in organic, locally-grown food continues to increase. In fact, according to James Ewell, Executive Director of America’s Farmland Trust, over half of Americans now live within a 10-minute walk from a farm or garden. This has created new opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to help people access fresh, local food. Vertical farming is one way that people are able to bring a farm indoors and grow produce year-round.
6) Plant-Based Meats Will Enter The Mainstream
The Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat are just two high-profile brands vying to put plant-based meats into grocery stores. In fact, several countries have set goals for how much we should be eating. The UK for example, wants us to eat 20% less meat by 2020, a move that could save up to 885 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. But why does it matter? First, any shift away from meat consumption is a good thing in terms of sustainability; it’s been shown that reducing our meat intake can be one important piece of tackling climate change.
7) People Will Focus On Cooking With Ingredients Over Just Cookware (Let's Get Back To Basics!)
Cooking is a lost art these days. We have lost sight of why it's even important to do at all and have resorted to per-packaged, per-processed meals where we just dump a few things in a pan and call it dinner. It's time for us to get back to basics, get back into our kitchens, and learn how to cook again! With chefs like Rachael Ray leading the way by creating easy recipes on her shows like 30 Minute Meals, that might not be too hard! Getting more people in their kitchens will create some more business for us as well. And there are plenty of other ways we can help contribute with helping them out by offering cooking classes or culinary workshops!
8) We’ll Stop Forgetting Where Our Food Comes From – How Do We Prevent This?
In today’s food supply chain, many hands are involved. This means that there is a distinct separation between producer and consumer – something that is harmful to both ends. If we can eliminate some of these barriers (through innovations like vertical farming) then there is a greater chance that people will feel more connected to where their food comes from. Seeing farmers in fields and knowing exactly where your food comes from may be just what we need to prevent any future farmers-market-forgetting incidents.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Ghulam Nabi Memon