Digital agriculture and the role of new technologies

IBM Agricultura Digital blockchain

Percival Lucena is an Innovation Strategist at IBM Research Laboratory in São Paulo, Brazil. Specialist in the definition and implementation of digital transformation solutions through innovative technologies such as cloud, Blockchain networks, IA and IoT.

Percival Lucena IBM Blockchain Agricultura Digital

Percival Lucena, Innovation Strategist at IBM Research Laboratory in São Paulo, Brazil.

IBM is an American company with operations in more than 170 countries, in manufacturing and sales of computer hardware, middleware and software, provides hosting and consulting services’ markets. In agribusiness, IBM operates through artificial intelligence, data analysis, Internet of Things, meteorological predictions, among other technologies.

AgriBrasilis – What is agriculture 4.0?

Percival Lucena – The fourth agricultural revolution, like the fourth industrial revolution, refers to anticipated changes in new technologies, including a greater focus on precision agriculture, the internet of things (IoT) and the use of artificial intelligence to drive greater business efficiencies in the face of increasing populations and climate change.

AgriBrasilis – How do new Blockchain, IoT and Artificial Intelligence technologies relate to agriculture?

Percival Lucena – Technologies work together to improve productivity and product value.

AgriBrasilis – What is “Internet of Things” and how can it be applied to agricultural production?

Percival Lucena – Tractors and farm equipment are already full of sensors, GPS and other built-in technologies. We add to this equipment what we can add in the field, such as weather stations, humidity meters, volumetric meters. By connecting all this equipment to the internet, we can collect a large amount of data, which can be used to automate operations such as irrigation and harvesting.

AgriBrasilis – We associate blockchain in cryptocurrencies. What are the practical applications in agriculture?

Percival Lucena – Blockchain networks like the IBM Food Trust allow farmers to more easily market higher value-added products such as organic products and specialty coffees with proof of origin. These same networks provide product history, optimizing shelf life and product profitability.

AgriBrasilis – Raízen was the first agribusiness company in Latin America to use IBM’s Weathers Company solutions. Do you foresee other companies using this type of service? What differentiates this climate prediction technology from conventional ones?

Percival Lucena – IBM GRAF, the system responsible for weather forecasting, runs on an IBM supercomputer. This new global weather model is updated hourly and with a resolution of 3 to 4 km to help create a clear, reliable weather image for more reliable weather analysis and insights.

We hope that more Brazilian companies will be able to make use of more accurate climate forecasts in the short, medium and long term.

AgriBrasilis – How can weather data processed by artificial intelligences benefit farmers?

Percival Lucena – The use of Artificial Intelligence, for example, helps to forecast and monitor production. Data captured from satellites, tractors and other equipment can generate yield predictions for a crop, or even determine the best time to harvest.

AgriBrasilis – Are these technologies still restricted to large companies?

Percival Lucena – By offering weather forecasting, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence services in the IBM Public Cloud, these services become available to companies of any size.

AgriBrasilis – In the medium term, what is expected in relation to new technologies for use in the countryside?

Percival Lucena – We expect an increase in productivity and a reduction in food waste. Both goals are very important for a future that must be marked by climate change that represented challenges for producers and also consumers of agricultural products.