The future of work and the work of the future in the agricultural space

Dr. László Stündl, the Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Food Sciences and Environmental management of the prestigious University of Debrecen lauds the effort of foreign students organizing virtual conferences that give an insight into what the world of agriculture would look like in the years to come. The webinar event, which was organized by one of the faculty’s Agricultural Water Management Engineering master foreign students ‘Oluwatuyi Olowoyeye’, was sponsored by both the faculty and the global organization ‘Thought for Food’. At the event held on Zoom on the 5th of May 2021, the dean opened the event with a mind-blowing charge, sharing with the audience some of the frontiers of precision agriculture development that has taken place within the faculty. He enjoined the audience to enjoy the sessions with the three panelists.

 

The first Panellist, Eva Fernández Rodríguez discussed GNSS at the center of precision aquaculture, where she gave a simple illustration of all the GNSS operations by delving into GPS, BEIDOU, GLONASS GALILEO and she introduced her current project on AIOFAR which is a system for ocean farming. It integrates the use of artificial intelligence and satellite technologies to make breeding, grooming, and harvesting easy. The presentation did not leave the audience the same, as many asked thought-provoking questions on Sentinels and on how to be part of her project. In closure, she gave an offer for people to volunteer with their start-up.

 

The first presentation was just the tip of the iceberg, the appetite of the audience was wet to listen to the second panelist, Mateusz Ciasnocha, on regenerative farming. He decided on talking from his wide range of experience, posing rhetorical questions to the audience on how to take agriculture forward onto a net-zero carbon emission farming, also, achieving 365 days of soil cover. He said it is not about organic farming alone, because you can have a regenerative mindset while running conventional farming, it is about the goal, it is about the target, it is about people, and it is about posterity. He ended on the note that we all need to wake up to that task to make regenerative farming a reality.

The second session created a good prime for Femi Adekoya to give his presentation on aerial farming, drone technologies, and how to achieve productive and effective farming since drones would reduce the rate of emission into the atmosphere. Femi started his presentation by showing the audience a contrasting picture of a woman using a hoe to weed the ground and on the side an autonomous robotic weeder doing the same neatly. He showed various innovative ideas on the usage of drones, and he gave a walk-through of the project he has carried out as a drone pilot. He quoted Andy Jarvis that “the notion of the smallholder farmer – hoe in hand, tilling the land – is living on borrowed time. Future farmers will be young agripreneurs with a smartphone in one hand and the controls to a drone in the other.”. Rounding up his session he said, the best way to predict the future is to create it. AI and technologies do not take jobs from people rather it takes activities from people. He urged all participants to take the bull by the horn and become ready for the future of work.

In concluding the webinar, Oluwatuyi gave a closing remark and he appreciated all the panelists and the audience.  The event started at 11:00 am and ended at 1:05 pm Central European Time. 

Updated: 2021.05.13.


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