Food insecurity is one of the global issues mankind is facing now that demands immediate action. Advanced technology like artificial intelligence (AI) may play a crucial role in this regard. The current article discusses the possible ways in which AI can be utilized to alleviate this global issue.
SwissCognitive Guest Blogger: Bikash Kumar Pradhan – “The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Reducing Food Insecurity”
Food insecurity has become a global concern with the increasing population, and it has become increasingly difficult to provide adequate food to everyone. Advanced technology like artificial intelligence shows great potential in mitigating this issue. Using the AI-based technique, it can be possible to understand the market demands, supply chain, agricultural needs, soil quality, environmental factors, and climate change to provide a likely solution. Several ways in which AI is being utilized to alleviate this widespread issue of food security include:
Precise agriculture is a systematic approach to improving farming by using cutting-edge equipment and analytical techniques. AI has the potential to provide farmers with actionable insights by systematically collecting and analyzing data on factors such as soil quality, climate, and crop development patterns. Having this information, it is easier to apply fertilizers, insecticides, and water with pinpoint accuracy, cutting down on waste and impact on the environment. Planting, carefully monitoring crop health, and efficiently completing harvest procedures are just some of the many agricultural operations that could benefit greatly from the use of AI-driven machinery, such as drones and robots. These devices efficiently reduce the burdens of manual labor on farmers, increasing agricultural output as a whole. By increasing agricultural practitioners’ productivity and financial benefits, these innovations contribute significantly to the general escalation of food accessibility due to their higher efficiency.
The phenomena of climate change pose a serious threat to the stability of global food security because it increases vulnerability to unfavorable weather events, which in turn reduces crop yields and disrupts food distribution networks. The term “climate resilience/adaptability” is used to describe a food system’s strength and flexibility in the face of climate change’s consequences. The goal is to make agriculture more resistant to climate change by implementing a variety of tactics and practices. Weather trends can be accurately identified by satellite imagery and historical meteorological data using AI-based forecasting models. With access to accurate weather reports, farmers can make adjustments to their planting schedule and agronomic methods to lessen the likelihood of a yield drop. The use of gene editing and predictive breeding methods, both of which can be aided by AI, could also speed up the development of climate-resilient crop varieties. By finding genetic components that give resilience to arid environments such as increasing temperature, dangerous microorganisms, and illnesses, artificial intelligence (AI) may be able to speed up the difficult process of plant breeding.
Supply chain optimization
Strong and efficient food distribution networks are crucial for getting food to people in need as quickly as possible. The use of AI-driven supply chain optimization solutions has the potential to greatly improve the efficacy of food distribution systems while also reducing food waste. This is accomplished by carefully analyzing past data on shipping routes, warehouse conditions, and customer preferences to enhance logistical procedures and cut down on unnecessary transportation costs. This optimization method shows promise in reducing the carbon emissions associated with the complex food distribution system. This development has the potential to significantly contribute to the development of a food supply chain that is both environmentally responsible and sustainable. Again, using AI-based sensors within the storage facility allows for constant monitoring of critical elements like temperature and humidity, helping to create an atmosphere ideal for storing food and prolonging its freshness.
Forecasting Market Trends
Unpredictable shifts in food prices have the potential to have serious consequences for food security, especially for the underprivileged. Through the application of sophisticated algorithms and machine learning techniques, AI is able to conduct a systematic analysis of massive datasets culled from sources as diverse as social networking sites, commodity markets, and economic indicators. Artificial intelligence’s analytical prowess allows it to deliver precise market analysis and make astute price predictions. Using this information, businesses and governments may anticipate price changes and prepare for them with confidence. Policymakers can foresee potential food crises and proactively implement specific policies, such as price subsidies or import/export regulations, with the aim of establishing market stability and assuring access to food.
Managing Food Quality and Distribution
In order to quickly and accurately evaluate the sensory aspects of fruits and vegetables during the difficult sorting process, sophisticated image recognition algorithms have been developed employing state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology. This cutting-edge technique significantly cuts down on the wasteful discarding of perfectly edible agricultural goods due to their purely cosmetic qualities. Artificial intelligence (AI) can keep track of food storage conditions, including the most important aspect, expiration dates, in much the same way that humans can. This effectively notifies those who should be aware of impending spoiling, allowing them to respond accordingly. Better inventory management can also benefit the distribution and retail industries by reducing the likelihood of stockpiling unnecessary items and increasing the turnover rate of products sold to customers. Food waste and loss can be reduced deliberately, which will allow more nutritious food to reach those who need it.
Personalized Diet and Nutritional Analysis
To combat the issue of food insecurity, it is crucial that healthy food be readily available, as undernourishment remains a significant concern in many parts of the world. Through the efficient analysis of large amounts of dietary data and the creation of personalized dietary recommendations that are consistent with each person’s specific dietary needs and culinary preferences, artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to greatly improve nutritional analysis. People may be able to make better dietary choices with the assistance of smartphone applications that use artificial intelligence (AI) to scan product labels and immediately deliver nutritional information. It is possible that better health outcomes and less malnutrition will result from the application of individualized dietary advice among vulnerable groups like children and pregnant women.
Precision agriculture, AI-driven climate resilience initiatives, supply chain optimization, market analysis, and waste reduction strategies show that artificial intelligence is making significant and remarkable advances in complex and interdependent global food systems. However, it is crucial to recognize that artificial intelligence (AI) lacks the inherent capability to entirely eliminate the intricate problem of food insecurity. The implementation must take into account the unique characteristics of the local contexts with great care while also recognizing the intricate relationships among geographical, cultural, and economic aspects. The integration of ethical considerations within the framework is of utmost importance, as it ensures adherence to the highest standards of moral conduct throughout the entire process. In order to fully harness the potential of AI and ensure fair distribution of its benefits, especially among marginalized populations, it is imperative to establish a harmonious synergy among governmental bodies, private enterprises, and global institutions. It is essential to strategically incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) in a careful and morally responsible manner, considering the quick advancement of technology. This strategy is crucial for shaping a future that places a high value on ecological sustainability and equitable food security.
About the Author:
Bikash Kumar Pradhan is currently working as an Assistant professor in the Department of Analytics, School of Business and is associated with the AI Research Centre at Woxsen University. His area of interest includes biomedical signals processing, clinical research, statistical analysis, and machine learning.