Farming will become the universal job
Everyone in their childhood has been asked this question “What are you going to do when you grow up?” Coming from a family with agricultural background, my immediate response at that time was ‘Farmer’, which brought discontent of my parents and my relatives as such. My parents with their white collar jobs at that time realized being a farmer was no longer a viable career option. Two decades later, i can now argue that farming is going to be the universal job in the future. Here’s why…
Farming used to be a time consuming affair to manage and required constant maintenance. The last century brought forth the modernization of traditional agricultural industry with the introduction of machinery and chemical fertilizers. In this digital century several advancements are enabling our farms to be smarter. The field of aerial imagery has started to make roots in agriculture with UAVs used for monitoring and managing the fields. Soil and Moisture sensors are now being used extensively to remotely manage the farms by continuously providing much valuable data round the clock. With these tech readily available, farming is no longer time consuming.
Farming used to be labor intensive where everyone in a family had to work. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence Systems, becoming easily available, the data from drones and sensors along with these AI systems can be used to make more intelligent decisions. The field of robotics has brought forth the induction of ‘Agricultural robots’ or ‘Agbots’. These Autonomous agents reduce the labor required in a farm and enables even a single individual to manage a very huge farm alone. When these become commercially cheap, farming will not be labor intensive.
Farming used to require huge swaths of land. Not anymore, folks with no farm land can also grow crops as developments are made in the form of ‘Urban Farming’. Aquaponics and Hydroponics systems are being created by interested individuals all around the globe. Such systems need only water and a minimal infrastructure for growing a wide variety of plants on your roof tops or in some cases inside your houses. Commercial feasibility of such systems is enabled by the concept of ‘Vertical Farming’. Instead of growing plants on a single soil layer, you can grow stacks of plants with just LED lights as their energy source. Anyone can simply go to YouTube and start learning to build these systems.
Specific knowledge was required to grow plants, even in a simpler form. Strides are being made to reduce the required amount of knowledge for farming. farmbot.io is an open source initiative that lets you drop any desired plants on digital grid in an app and once you finish doing that, a CNC machine plants seeds according to the layout, in your garden or your backyard and then waters them according to the regimen you provide. This form of printed farming will enable to grow micro-farms in any available space.
Farming was just the job for farmers. A general concern now is that robots might replace us in the future, and we won’t have jobs when such a scenario becomes a reality. With no jobs, humans would definitely need to sustain themselves and the primary requirement for that is going to be feed themselves. In the name of economic development farming as an occupation is being abandoned all around the world and the hands that can grow food is going to decrease steadily. More recently discussions have been going on, whether to provide a ‘universal income’ to the population, in case robots take our jobs. Why not a ‘universal job’ instead, to keep ourselves occupied and why not farming to produce our own food, as it is difficult to control the population without enough food.
The technology is already there to easily manage our farms, work automation with bots is on the way, farm infrastructure is transforming in a manner which require very less farm land and when we lose our jobs to robots, we are going have plenty of time to spare and that too with no money to sustain ourselves. All the above factors lead to an undeniable eventuality, where everyone is going to grow food themselves within a few decades.
Before such a scenario becomes a reality, learn to farm, teach your kids to farm and gain a head start in this foreseeable eventuality.