Image What is precision agriculture?

What is precision agriculture?

At a time when digital era integrates the area of agriculture, gestures and processes are more targeted and more precise. Whether weeding, applying treatments to crops or sowing, the resources of geolocation and electronics are used. To that end, farmers adjust the methods to the nearest plot.

A concept with multiple origins

The principles applied in the context of precision farming are traced at various times and in different parts of the world. The fact of modulating treatments at each specific plot is partly due to the "grid sampling" method implemented in the United States, as early as the 1980s. In France, the beginning of the 2000s marks a turning point for this approach. This is distinguished by taking account of the heterogeneous and living nature of agricultural parcels. The practical implementation of this type of agriculture was first done discreetly, through the use of the recommendation cards. The pH of each plot was corrected, in a personalized way, by the supply of fertilizers in adapted quantity.

An agricultural model under control

The right dose, at the right time and in the right place. This principle guides the interventions implemented in precision farming. Technological progress carried out in the digital literacy make it easier to meet these requirements. The use of different kinds of sensors makes it possible to integrate information that subsequently influences targeted decisions. The use of satellite imagery enhances its effectiveness by pointing out exactly the place where interventions are required. To illustrate, satellite images can locate a focus of parasite expansion. The level of severity of the invasion is coded by colors. The farmers concerned are alerted by the Internet or SMS. Modulated agricultural application equipment take over to provide affected sites with the appropriate dose of phytosanitary products.

An approach that is spreading

The advocated methods in this model of exploitation are spreading little by little in in the southern countries. Tunisia, for instance, was beginning to consider entering the industry in the first quarter of 2017. A seminar was organized on the subject with the technical partners of the department in charge of agriculture. The adoption of this approach could greatly contribute to this country, which has a potential arable land estimated to be 5 million hectares. The reality on the ground is, however, that the operating units rarely exceed the average of 10 hectares. Yet, the country intends to enter a phase of upheaval, starting this year 2018, according to the head of the supervisory department, throughout the appointment to his post. For his part, the businessman Tarek Bouchamaoui is preparing to gather the first crops from his agricultural project involving an area of 750 hectares. His initiative is a contribution to catch up Tunisia's economic backwardness. Thus, Tarek Bouchamaoui place on the Tunisian soil, knowing that its exploitation weighs 12% of the Gross Domestic Product of the country.