Agritech technology around the world

This week Agritech and to start the New Year we take a look at the use of technology in agriculture around the world.

This program is available NOW On Demand on the Digital Planet Page and is available now until Wednesday the 11th of January. It will also be broadcast on Sunday the 8th of January in Phuket on 91.5 FM and 102.5 FM and Online via the Internet radio portals.

Agriculture as an industry is keen to clean up its act on emissions, so what could be better than an electric tractor? But will it be able to manage all that farming throws at it?

Gareth asks the Agritech question.

Gareth puts the questions to Praveen Penmetsa who is co-founder and CEO of Monarch Tractors which recently launched a ‘Smart Tractor’.

It’s no use having a tractor smart or not if your crop has been devastated by insects.

Pests destroy up to 40 per cent of global crops and cost 220 billion US dollars of losses worldwide annually, according to The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO.

Matej Stefancic the Chief Executive Officer of Trapview a Slovenian company, has developed intelligent insect traps.

He explains to Gareth how they monitor bugs in the field, in an effort to cut the need for the indiscriminate use of insecticides.

And once you’ve grown your crop you need to harvest it, and in the case of soft fruit, it needs careful picking and packing for the market.

With a shortage of skilled labour around the world a robot Agritech picker capable of matching a human would be ideal. Well, one developed in Britain is currently doing just that on a farm in Portugal, and fruit picked by it could be on sale in supermarkets very soon.

The academic founder and Chief Science Officer of Fieldwork Robotics Martin Stoelen the brains behind this robot and explains to Gareth the challenges involved in developing it.

Digital Planet is presented by Gareth Mitchell with expert commentary from Bill Thompson. Studio Manager: Steve Greenwood Producers: Ania Lichtarowicz and Alun Beach

(Image: Smart Farming graphic Credit: Jackie Niam/Getty Images)

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