Latin America is one of the regions that export the most food in the world. In this context, Martín Hagelstrom, Blockchain Head of IBM Latin America, shared his vision with Cointelegraph en Español, according to which, in addition to the production and export of food, a balanced environmental awareness is of crucial importance based on the efficient use of resources in the entire food chain.
“Right now the world is producing enough food for everyone on the planet, but in one year a citizen of Latin America and the Caribbean will be wasting 150 pounds of food. This means that a third of the food produced is turned into waste. And if we add the CO2 emissions generated in the production of this food and the water used for irrigation, livestock, etc., the impact on the sustainability of the chain would be even greater, ”explained Hagelstrom.
With this diagnosis he later remarked: “Here, technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud and blockchain can help not only with access, availability and waste of food, but also with better planning of the use of resources so that the environmental impact is lower throughout the journey, from the field to the table”.
Here are the three technologies that Hagestrom conducted his analysis on:
1. Artificial intelligence for resource planning.
“Imagine a helper who gives growers and farmers the ability to predict when and how to grow their food, or who does soil and water analysis so that only resources have to be used. Artificial intelligence does just that by applying predictive and real-time analytics and combining climate information, historical data and harvest metrics to produce more accurate forecasts that help better resource planning, ”he said.
For example, to ensure the quality of water and soil, IBM has developed AgroPad, a device with which manufacturers can use artificial intelligence to perform a chemical analysis of a soil or a water sample in real time on site, thus determining the presence of chemicals in the sample evaluate.
2. Blockchain for food traceability.
Now let’s imagine that the food is already on its way to the supermarket. The retailer removed the groceries from the production facility for delivery to a wholesaler. Blockchain helps monitor the path of food from production to the end consumer. This monitoring throughout the chain enables manufacturers and companies to upload their product data to the platform and to know where and when a food has passed a certain point in the chain, thus avoiding production that goes beyond demand. and its waste, ”explained the IBM manager.
One example is the Food Trust network based on the IBM Blockchain, which monitors food and products from the time they are made to when they are selected by the consumer in the supermarket. Various retailers around the world such as Carrefour or Nestlé as well as manufacturers in our region are currently part of the network to reduce waste and help the food and distribution chains not to go bankrupt.
3. Cloud for chain digitization.
“Saving large amounts of data and helping to plan the use of natural resources has never been more necessary,” said Hagelstrom.
And then he said: “Data storage in agriculture is increasing every day, as devices such as IoT (Internet of Things) sensors are used that analyze and process data on climate, soil or water. The cloud not only enables the digitization of all data in real time, but with the help of the hybrid and open cloud it also enables the innovation, joint creation and exchange of information as required with partners, suppliers and customers, regardless of the platform on which each individual’s data is stored be hosted “.
In this context, he cited the example of Ecoclimasol, which developed the ClimaVista Wine platform, with which wine producers can optimize yields and improve the quality of their products by analyzing harvest behavior. For this purpose, information is collected from weather stations and IoT sensors and everything is stored and processed in the IBM Cloud.
Approaches that require new technologies
In summary, Hagelstrom believed that traditional approaches to industry could neither meet the growing demand for food nor mitigate the impact on the environment.
“This scenario requires technology and sustainability to go hand in hand in order to promote new ways of producing and planning plants and enable safe and resilient supply chains that benefit the population and prepare us for the future.“He defined.
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