Ensuring Productive Food Systems with Agmatix
October 16th is World Food Day. It commemorates the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945. It reminds us to reflect on food production, world hunger, and sustainability.
It’s a critical time to be considering these factors. The COVID-19 pandemic, climate warming, inflation, and international tensions in recent years have all impacted the global struggle for food security. Nearly 10 percent of the global population suffered from hunger in 2020, a sharp rise compared to 8.4% in 2019.
A dramatic increase in prices for critical foods like wheat, barley, rice, rapeseed, and sunflower oils is moving vulnerable countries into a food crisis. Increasing costs for critical inputs are partly to blame. And the changing climate is increasing pests and diseases, all while changing the nutrient makeup of staple crops.
By the numbers, ⅔ of those experiencing acute food insecurity are rural food producers. 3.1 billion people – representing nearly 40% of the world’s population – cannot afford a healthy diet. Women are 15% more likely than men to be moderately or severely food insecure.
In 2021, 193 million people experienced high acute food insecurity. High acute food insecurity necessitates humanitarian assistance to survive. Over half a million endured catastrophic conditions, resulting in starvation and death.
This environment is not so different from the one in which the FAO was founded. In the later years of the Second World War, global leaders recognized the importance of nutrition and the criticality of addressing agricultural challenges using science and technology.
The FAO was established with the goals of raising nutrition and living standards globally, improving food production and distribution efficiency, and improving the condition of rural populations. As the FAO has evolved, it has benefitted the expanding world economy and increased global freedom from hunger.
Production By the Numbers
Agriculture is a growing contributor to the world economy. Between 2000 and 2019, global value added from agriculture, forestry, and fishing grew by 73%. Agriculture was also an employer of 27% of the global workforce.
In the same time period, the production of primary crops hit a record high and grew 53%. Sugar cane, maize, wheat, and rice make up half of the global primary crop production.
Both vegetable oil and meat production increased between 2000 and 2019. Vegetable oil production, driven by demand for palm oil, has more than doubled. Meat production has grown by 44%.
China, India, the United States, and Brazil are the world’s biggest food-producing countries. They have a sizable land mass, proper climate zones, and a large population supporting their agricultural production.
China is the world’s largest agricultural producer, pumping out $1.5 trillion in annual output. China is also the world’s most populous country, but only has 10% of the world’s arable land. China’s eastern and southern regions are highly productive, leading the country to produce one-fourth of global grains. China also leads the world in cereal grain, cotton, fruit, vegetable, meat, poultry, egg, and fishery production.
Despite the high production, China has moved away from full self-sufficiency in 2000. In 2020, the country imported nearly 23% of its food needs due to declining soybean output and loss of farmland. In 2019, China became the world’s leading importer of agricultural products.
India has both the second-largest population and second-highest agricultural output in 2020. India leads the world in the production of milk, jute, and pulses. It’s second in the world in the production of rice, wheat, sugarcane, fruit, vegetables, cotton, and groundnuts.
India is the world’s largest exporter of refined sugar and milled rice. India was the 9th biggest exporter of agricultural products in 2019.
The United States follows China and India in agricultural production. However, the U.S. has a fraction of the agricultural workforce of China or India. Top commodities for the country include corn, soybeans, dairy, wheat, and sugar cane.
The U.S. led the world in agriculture exports in 2020. China, Canada, Mexico, and Japan are leading importers of U.S. agriculture products. California made up 13.5% of the U.S.’s ag production in 2020.
Fourth-ranked for agricultural production is Brazil. The Brazilian economy has long focused on agriculture. Brazil’s exports ranked third, behind the U.S. and the Netherlands. The country is the top exporter of soybeans, raw sugar, and poultry. China imported nearly $30 billion of Brazil’s agricultural exports in 2020.
Between 2009 and 2050, the global population is expected to increase by a third. Feeding close to 10 billion people in 2050 will require a 70% increase in food production. In developing countries, agricultural production will need to almost double. Annual cereal production will have to grow by almost one billion tonnes and meat production by over 200 million tonnes. High-quality and high-volume agricultural products will be required to prevent increasing food insecurity.
How Can We Continue to Produce Better Food? Agmatix Can Help
Agmatix is dedicated to equipping farmers and their advisors with tools for using high-quality, standardized data to improve food production with a lower environmental impact. As food production volume and quality become more critical with population growth and changes in climate, increased precision agriculture and data-based decision-making will be required to help advance food security.
Agmatix’s agro informatics tools support global agriculture production. From corn to coffee, over 150 different crops and crop-essential nutrients are represented in our data. Agronomic Trial Management, the Open Data Crop Nutrient Platform, and the Digital Crop Advisor empower field-level decisions with high-level data and powerful insights.
Agronomic Trial Management
On-farm experiments help to understand the localized response to a specific production approach. Using the outcomes of an on-farm field trial to inform decision-making can be a powerful tool to improve productivity, but the process of executing the trial and analyzing the outcome can be burdensome. Agronomic field trial management can be a challenge for farmers.
Agmatix makes it easy to plan, monitor, collect data, and analyze field trial outcomes. Advances in agricultural tools and technology, such as our Agronomic Trial Management tool, can help improve crop health, yield, and quality. Ultimately, harnessing agronomic trial data can lead to helping advance food security.
Planning the field trial is straightforward with Agmatix’s holistic, on-map planning process. A layout planner allows users to select the design methodology that works best for their on-farm research. Hundreds of treatment combinations are available.
Once the agronomic trial is ongoing, an end-to-end project management module simplifies visibility and control. Researchers and field trial operators can communicate directly. Users can assign tasks and monitor task status.
With Agmatix, standardizing collected data is easy, allowing users to efficiently evaluate trials. A user-friendly data collection tool unlocks data for comparison and prevents data loss. And instant reports and analysis allow for quicker decision-making.
With Agmatix, farmers can harness the power of using agricultural technology to streamline field trials and do their part to advance food security.
Global Crop Nutrient Removal Database
Understanding the sustainability of crop nutrient programs goes hand-in-hand with long-term food security. Agmatix has partnered with the Consortium for Precision Crop Nutrition, whose Global Crop Nutrient Removal Database is a resource to scientifically estimate nutrient removal and efficiency in the agriculture production environment. This database helps create site-specific recommendations for the most sustainable nutrient management.
Crop yield and residue and their respective nutrient concentrations are the factors that influence crop nutrient removal. Farmers can improve crop management by understanding crop nutrient removal rates and long-term trends of nutrient removal rates. This data will help make agriculture more sustainable and help fight for food security worldwide.
Digital Crop Advisor
Digital Crop Advisor is a precision agriculture tool that uses technology, data, and a decision support system to optimize crop nutrition. Crop-specific data supports sustainable nutrition management to create high-yielding, high-quality crops that help feed the world and help advance food security.
Digital Crop Advisor allows farmers to get specific with sustainability. They can monitor sustainability key performance indicators – like carbon footprint and nitrogen leaching – to make the best decisions for their farm and the environment.
Seamless crop nutrition optimization recommendations and organic manure calculations help farmers easily implement sustainable practices. And the Digital Crop Advisor even integrates with lab analysis data from tissue or soil samples, so farmers can use all the data they collect on the farm to fuel decision-making.
World Food Day and Agmatix
This World Food Day is a perfect time to consider taking your farm or business to the next level of sustainability with Agmatix. Precision agriculture technology that uses standardized data to inform decision-making at the field level will help farmers produce more high-quality food while minimizing environmental impact. And that’s what it will take in the continuous quest for food security.
Agmatix makes using data and agricultural technology on the farm easy. With Agronomic Trial Management tools, the Global Crop Nutrient Removal Database, and Digital Crop Advisor, farmers and their advisors can make data-based decisions at the field level. On-farm experiments, crop nutrient removal data, and optimized nutrition plans all fuel sustainable agriculture practices.
On this World Food Day, we consider those around the world that are struggling with hunger, those that work hard to produce food, and those that work every day to enhance the sustainability of world food production. There’s a great opportunity to harness the best agricultural technology to make a difference in the lives of millions by addressing food security and building a better world of tomorrow.