Problem: Every year large amounts of water and fertilizer are wasted in the ag. sector, as farmers apply excess resources to their crops. If farmers had technology that would allow them to more granularly assess the health of specific areas of their field they could better predict where and when to add water and fertilizers, thus avoiding using excess product.
Technology: Precision agriculture technology informs farmers through the use of predictive analytics, where factors like weather, soil quality, and available farming tools are assessed to help farmers more precisely tend to their fields (http://www.research.ibm.com/articles/precision_agriculture.shtml)
- Local governments – especially in areas that experience drought, and have strict water-usage requirements
- Farmers (small and large scale) – this technology would help farmers maximize their yields, while optimizing their processes, which should eventually lower their bottom line (once the cost of technology is paid for)
- World Citizens – As the population continues to grow, food insecurity will unfortunately become increasingly more relevant. Since yields will be maximized more citizens on a global scale are likely to be fed.
Implementation: Large-scale producers could invest in this technology. The World Bank could potentially provide this technology for farmers in developing nations. Domestically, perhaps we could start with the state of California, where the drought is having a severe impact on agricultural production. Either the Federal or local governments could provide funding to large scale farmers in CA so they can quickly utilize this tech.