Farmers as Tech Leaders

💡 Emerging AI contributions in agriculture have turned the food-growing industry into a tech-dominant field. The goal of AI is to relieve the physical stressors for farmers, conserve energy and resources, and increase production, all good things. As AI integrates more into farms and greenhouses, demand for AI skills are becoming a mandated pre-requisite for employment.

📌 Research Highlights:
▶ Vulnerability is exposed to hackers and cyber-sabotage
▶ In 2021, 40+ malware and ransomware attacks targeted food manufacturers, packagers, and processors
▶ JBS, the world’s largest meatpacker, was victim of an $11 million ransomware attack in 2021

▶ AI is susceptible to human error in programming

🎯 Current industry forecasting predicts a 1% decline in the total employment of agriculture employees between 2020 and 2030, with only an average of 84,000 job openings annually. With prevalent risk factors increasing as the technology evolves, farmers and farm managers must further adopt new safety measures to a) protect the security of the technology to ensure unimpeded production rates and b) create a reliable economic structure to prevent drastic unemployment.

These areas of vulnerability in still ostensibly nascent field present an opportunity for innovation for either current or aspiring farmers, who now are outgrowing their farmer distinction and leaning more into becoming tech-savy specialists. For farmers, growing is adapting.

📷 Image: Across the board, demand for AI skills is increasing in every industry.

Image source: Alekseeva, L, J Azar, M Gine, S Samila and B Taska (2020). The Demand for AI Skills in the Labour Market.


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