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Friday, December 9, 2016

How the Internet of Crops is solving the issue of food waste.

According to UN FAO data, approximately $1 trillion in produced crops is annually lost post-harvest. This includes the various stages — from farm, to shelf, to fork. Even in technologically advanced regions such as the EU, post-harvest losses for grains and cereals are often more than 10%, with higher percentages seen in developing countries in Africa or in industrialized Asia. These losses are incurred during raw material storage, processing — milling, for example — and distribution in the logistics chain. One company that is responding to the challenge of food waste with IoT technology is Centaur Analytics, the first full stack IoT company that provides real-time stored agri-products monitoring and protection solutions. They develop and market end-to-end solutions for the Internet of Things, focused on the quality and safety of stored goods. Their mission is to dramatically increase post-harvest yields and eliminate waste from farm to shelf. Storing crops is a tricky process. Most farmed crops are stored in massive quantities in big metal containers like silos, an environment that is susceptible to a range of challenges like moisture, temperature and insect infestation. Traditionally methods of managing these challenges have involved farmers physically visiting their silo or storage container in person by testing each one individually — not an exact science — and provide treatments. Insect infestation is particularly problematic. As well as eating crops, insects increase the moisture levels within the storage containers, which can further spoil the crops. Bantas explained that treatment typically involved a fumigants such as phosphine which is administered over a set number of days, typically up to a week. Fumigation is used for all kinds of crops: tobacco leaves, flowers, grain, rice , feeds, fruit fresh, died and so on, people have been fighting this product with fumigating gases but it has been without monitoring,which is where the problem lies. The problem is that while fumigation can eradicate the problem, if the temperature of the container is too low, the dosage is incorrect or the duration of treatment too short, it can harden they insects and they mutate and grow into something stronger, making treatment ineffective. continue