On the 22nd of April each year, individuals worldwide celebrate Earth Day, a time to raise awareness for environmental concerns and promote conservation efforts. This event creates an opportunity for people, organisations, and governments to collaborate and work towards the protection of the planet, by addressing issues such as the climate crisis, inequality, and biodiversity concerns.
The theme for Earth Day this year is "Invest in Our Planet," which emphasises the importance of encouraging businesses, investors, governments, and individuals worldwide to make significant investments in the planet and green economy.
Establishing sustainable agricultural supply chains is a crucial aspect of this mission. To decrease carbon emissions and conserve agricultural ecosystems, efficient data collection, universal adoption of standard data formats, and effective collaboration are all essential components. Innovative solutions, such as Varda’s Global FieldID™, are developing systems based on these principles. However, their success is dependent on investment from all stakeholders.
The ‘agrotechnical revolution’ is introducing new breakthroughs in the sector to cope with the mounting challenges of the modern world, including climate change mitigation and labour shortages. As an industry, agriculture generates substantial amounts of data. However, due to the usage of diverse digital tools by farmers and agribusinesses, lack of data integration and data fragmentation are causing a shortage of collective insights.
Varda’s Global FieldID system assigns a distinctive ID to every agricultural plot of land, facilitating its owner to securely store pertinent data related to it. Using this common ID, the landowner can recognise the field across various digital farming tools and exchange data with collaborators throughout the supply chain. By processing and analysing vast amounts of data, it can be transformed into valuable insights, which can be disseminated from one farmer to another and scaled up accordingly.
If some farmers are using a different identification system and tools with varied datasets, it impedes the capability to establish seamless and efficient connectivity across supply chains. Agtech such as Global FieldID is addressing this issue by aiming to generate a unique field ID - comparable to a QR code for fields - for each field. The goal is to create a comprehensive digital map of agricultural land containing these unique IDs, establishing a universal geospatial language that the industry can utilise. For fostering interoperability, collaboration, and cross-supply chain efficiency, this standardised approach is essential.
By leveraging technology to establish a unified identification system and facilitate seamless data integration and pairing with users' digital tools, we can enhance connectivity and collaboration. Interoperability results in broader data accessibility, which leads to greater efficiency and more sustainable supply chains.
As we confront the increasingly apparent consequences of climate change, it is vital that we start dismantling data silos and fostering greater collaboration among industry participants. By promoting easier sharing of information, we can reduce the time required for data collection and aggregation, and accelerate the proliferation of best practices, knowledge, and progress at scale.
In order for this vision to become a reality, it is essential that everyone invests in the same project. Industry leaders can take charge by developing a standardised approach to technology and data sharing, encouraging large companies to work together to improve connectivity across the supply chain and establish mutually beneficial sharing practices. At the same time, policymakers can play a crucial role by implementing strategies that incentivise collaboration and mobilising public and private climate finance to fund such initiatives.
The significance of Earth Day becomes more apparent. With the tangible consequences of climate change becoming increasingly evident, such as food shortages in many parts of the world, the theme of "invest in our planet" is more urgent than ever before.
To achieve a sustainable future and to feed a growing population, it is essential to have sustainable supply chains. Varda is encouraging the industry to collaborate and work together towards unifying data formats for efficient data collection. Developing a universal language like Global FieldID, and collaborating efficiently, we can turn this green vision into reality. However, it requires collective investment from all of us.