How is AI Strengthening Food Security- Mapping Nutritional Needs of the Future

How is AI Strengthening Food Security- Mapping Nutritional Needs of the Future

We live in a technologically enabled world. It's already impacting our everyday lives. While there are so many options available, Artificial intelligence or AI is particularly of interest here. It's making our lives super comfortable and streamlined. Let's take a simple example. I am sure every one of you is familiar with Netflix, right? Ever imagined how it suggests what you should watch next? 

Well! That's AI for you! But that's just one side of the coin!

On this particular second, when you are enjoying a tech-savvy life while relishing different cuisines, do you know one in eight people don't even get enough food to eat? Sadly, approximately 1.9 billion people face food security. And that makes around 25% of the world's population. 

Further, the pandemic presented the world with unprecedented challenges. Events like plummeting economy, spiking cases of poverty, increasing unemployment, and higher risk of infection further worsened the already bad scenario. 

The UN was preparing to end world hunger by the end of the year 2030. But this pandemic pushed back this goal to around 2050. In fact, if you go by the statistics, it won't be wrong to say that the world is heading towards a potential hunger crisis. 

The time is now that one needs to expedite the discovery of possible solutions. After all, time is of the essence here. Just imagine a mere event that pushed the goal by around 20 years. What if the world faces yet another outbreak (not that we're hoping for one). But one needs to prepare well for the unprecedented situation. Right? 

Luckily, we have a solution right here! As we mentioned before, it's Artificial Intelligence. Yes, it's beginning to solve the world's biggest fight. 

But how? Without further ado, let's find out now!

AI is optimizing conventional farming practices

It's no more a surprise that algorithms are taking over every operation. They have the power to read and analyze datasets to improve efficiency. Studies confirm that it might help identify diseases and pest outbreaks in their initial stages. Further, it could also play a role in optimizing nutrient or water requirements as well. 

And that's not all. It plays a role in determining the adequate use of fertilizers for plant growth to minimize runoff. It could even help with the appropriate application of pesticides, thus can quickly mitigate the issues related to environmental hazards. 

In short, via predictive analysis, one can ensure that the use of natural resources is efficient while decreasing wastage and pollution. This might even revolutionize the agricultural space in the coming years.

AI helps to leverage the natural properties of microbiome

It's a known fact that microbiomes play a critical role in boosting plant growth and health. In fact, It supports plants to mitigate risks associated with droughts, disease, and pests. Thus, alleviating the need for fertilizers and pesticides. 

Also, AI combined with big data analytics and cloud computing is further helping with insights that could help increase crop yields. Not only that, but it could also help with selecting favorable strains that are essential for plant breeding. 

AI improves gene editing outcomes

There is a lot of hype around GMOs. Right? But compared to this, the public is more lenient towards genetically edited crops since it is rearranging or deleting the genome sequences. In comparison to this, GMOs have a foreign gene introduced into the genome. 

Having said that, gene editing can help produce a plant that's resistant to a pesticide, grows larger in size, or has a longer shelf life. One can even include more vitamins and nutrients using the same technique.

And employing AI in this technology and machine learning can make the entire process of gene editing more accurate, inexpensive, and easy to implement. 

AI Reduces The Cases of Food Wastage

Like industries are using AI/ML models to predict consumer demands, the agriculture sector can also use the same technology to curb the food wastage issue. For instance, it could help restaurants, schools, and hotels to plan the food quantity better by predicting customer demand. 

Thus, it could help increase profit margins by decreasing food wastage. For instance, Kotro, an intelligent trash bin measures and records the quantities of food waste.

Real-World Examples

  • If there is one thing that can help avoid food insecurity, hands down, it is proactive about potential food-related problems. Keeping this in mind, a platform has been developed, NEWS ( Nutrition Early Warning System). This gathers data from a variety of sources and helps forecast different scenarios that might affect food security. 

It is a perfect example of how AI increases food security by improving response time to changing weather conditions or issues related to food development or crops. 

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) already implemented different AI-integrated programs to enhance food security and agriculture sustainability. One of the programs monitors water in the Near East and African regions by gathering massive data. And the other programs work in similar lines as that of NEWS. This system detects droughts and water shortages. 

Final Takeaways- Leveraging AI to Minimize Food Shortage 

The increasing global population, along with climate change, is posing a lot of serious problems. Thus, causing a threat to food security. Clearly, AI could help the world navigate this crisis that has been plaguing humanity for centuries. 

With AI, one can easily support small farms and local communities to increase crop yields, plant health and alleviate food wastage. In the end, allowing millions of people to get food which otherwise was not possible. 

Remember, this won't happen in a day. But AI can act as a vital tool to achieve the goal pretty soon. In other words, it will create a sustainable environment that can quickly meet the increasing demands. 

In fact, as time progresses, this technology will become even more accessible worldwide. The rapid development and technological advancements will allow us to be one step closer to a "hunger-free world."

So, are you using modern-day technology to combat the problems of the past that are impacting the present?

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