The Reality of AgTech Development and Labor Shortage

By Carlos Miskinis

Some say that AI, machine learning and digital twin will be the three main technologies that will eliminate the need for manual labor. The main belief that tries to justify why that’s the case is from the perspective of the average person, indicating that technology will directly “replace” people, making them redundant and irrelevant in work positions. According to the majority of employees, the fear of losing their job because of a new innovation that can do their work a thousand times faster is very daunting. In their mind, this will mean that their current practical skillset they’re using to work for somebody and stay relevant will become obsolete, forcing them to get out into the real world, seek new options, opportunities and think for themselves again. The same mindset can be seen in agriculture – the world’s oldest industry that has depended on manual labor for ages. However, how true is the fact that AgTech will increase labor shortages even more? Does this really mean that laborers will be forced out and replaced by tractors who drive themselves, drones that look after crops, robots that work 24/7 and AI that will plant disease immune seeds? Let’s find out.



AgTech Will Force Farm Workers To Become More Competent

The idea that agriculture technology will make manual labor obsolete is a bit far-fetched. I mean, let’s think about it for a moment. It is logical to stipulate that workers who solely do grunt work will have a harder time being useful due to the ability to replace manpower with AgTech, but that doesn’t mean that those same workers will not be able to find jobs in farming. Every single piece of AgTech will need to be monitored, controlled, repaired and supervised by a person. This will open up a new opportunity for those workers who will realize this and seek to become more competent by studying how the technology works and finding opportunities to have direct work experiences with it. As new innovations reach the farm fields of farmers, the demand for experts that know how to best utilize them will rise dramatically.



Improving Work Quality and Circumstances Using AgTech

One of the biggest factors that will help eliminate the labor shortage in farming will be the rapid and continuous increase in the attractiveness of working on a farm field. Let’s face it, very few people actually want or need to work on a farm when we look at the overall US population and its occupations. Moreover, working on a farm is viewed as extremely hard and excruciating by the majority of people. Daily tasks that farm workers execute include taking care of livestock, planting and cultivating. Considering the nature of these tasks, it is not hard to realize how labor-intensive they are – this causes most people to shy away. However, the sooner local farmers realize the full plethora of benefits AgTech brings to the table, the sooner they will start implementing new innovations into their day to day tasks, reducing the labor-intensive nature of farming. This will attract more people to build a career in agriculture, helping more farm workers consider working on farms and getting higher pay if they’re competent in working with the newest agriculture technologies we will see in the near future.

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Carlos Miskinis

Blog Writter

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