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Can technology

really help feed our growing population?

The answer is yes, but data will be the key to our success.

Just imagine twice the amount of people requiring twice the amount of food. That's double the need for everything - crops, livestock, animal feed, water, land space. It is a monumental challenge.

The solution is not just about creating more animals for the food chain; we need to be smarter about the way we achieve this. Mistakes must be avoided, wastage kept to an absolute minimum and efficiency and quality to a maximum.

We can’t afford to lose livestock to disease or rely on antibiotics to keep them healthy, as the risk to human health is simply too great. There need to be fewer sick animals that can yield a greater return.

Everyone understands that maintaining healthy animals is a balance between great husbandry, disease prevention and timely medical intervention when required. So how can data really help?

Here are just a few of the ways that data can help us to be smarter:

  • Genetic data to help produce the best quality offspring
  • Data on efficacy of vaccines, and the right combination of vaccines that ensure good growth rates and reduce livestock loss to sickness
  • Benchmarking producer husbandry data and sharing best practices
  • Data evidencing the best feed in the right quantities to get the best results.
  • Animal feed crops – soil is vital for growth, but can vary greatly throughout a field. Analyse the soil and apply the right fertiliser to the right part of the field 
  • Using historical data, sow the right seed for the soil and weather conditions that is most resistant to any disease.

At every touch point there is more data that we can capture and learn from. And that data will go on to serve an ever evolving process that will become more and more efficient in feeding the growing population.