The COVID-19 pandemic has all but shrunk global food supply chains but in the midst of this crisis, Qatar’s new-found resilience has been able to serve the nation well.
Qatar is now in the top rank for food security in the Gulf region on the Global Food Security Index, following massive investments in domestic food production and technology during the blockade years.
Technology such as advanced greenhouse solutions and hydroponics has already helped Qatar’s farmers to improve their crop yields. Even so, the challenges facing dryland agriculture are daunting: water scarcity, deteriorating soil and the biggest threat of all, the environmental impact of climate change.
With more advanced information technologies digitalizing just about every industry, agricultural production practices likewise stand to undergo a ‘green transformation’ and become smarter, with the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G technology for connected farming.
Ensuring the country’s agricultural resources can continue meeting market needs, IoT is the answer for transforming the way farmers plant, fertilize and harvest with automated, climate-smart agriculture tools. This rapidly developing technology can play a role in creating a more efficient and sustainable agriculture sector, one that is data-centred and smart.
Vodafone Qatar can offer farmers and agricultural companies IoT-based solutions connected by its secure narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) network that can be integrated with existing agricultural methods for analytics and greater production capabilities to meet the growing demand.
Launched nation-wide in 2019, Vodafone’s NB-IoT is a Low Power Wide Area network technology (LPWA) designed to enable a wide range of IoT devices and services. NB-IoT can transform almost every industry, and for agriculture it can bring enhanced efficiency through connected equipment and sensors for animal welfare monitoring, crop monitoring, and soil monitoring. Given its energy autonomy and system coverage, NB-IoT has the potential to be extremely useful for farms in water limited, geographically isolated areas.
Vodafone’s IoT tools and applications deliver information in real time about temperature, pressure, and water consumption data for better monitoring to inform decisions and maintenance.
Sensor data analytics bring greater transparency into agricultural processes, giving farmers valuable insights on the performance of their fields, greenhouses, etc. These solutions will not only increase productivity but also save costs that would be wasted on uncontrolled irrigation, and undetected livestock health issues, while optimising the use of resources such as water and energy, and even fertilizer and pesticides.
By leading with the latest IoT solutions, Vodafone Qatar can support the agricultural sector to take a giant leap forward towards further safeguarding the security and reliability of its food supply. Vodafone’s IoT capabilities offer an outlook of what can be achieved by putting technology at the centre of Qatar’s ambitious food security projects and deploying smart solutions using advanced technology to manage the challenges.
A modern agricultural sector will deliver much-needed environmental benefits, which is why this green transformation - combining sustainability in agriculture with digital progress that encourages growth - is so important for Qatar’s sustainability goals.