THE IMPACT OF DATA ANALYTICS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ON GHANA’S AGRICULTURAL SECTOR
The use of traditional methods and equipment in farming have been a dent hampering the growth of the agricultural sector of Ghana. Quite a number of small-holder farmers rely extensively on human labour in crop cultivation. It is one of the major setbacks in ensuring an increase in crop production to feed the growing population. Consequently, the country has resorted to spending hugely on the importation of food to meet the needs of the citizenry.
Most farmers, for many years now, are unable to evaluate and appreciate the positive impacts of artificial intelligence on farming . This is as a result of less awareness creation by the sector players. Farmers consistently battle with climate change and crop diseases. The big question here is; ‘how do Ghanaian small-holder farmers best understand the weather and curtail crop diseases? With the integration of artificial intelligence and data analytics with the agricultural sector, farmers will grasp the full understanding of the defects of rain-fed farming all year round. In light of this, modern and effective mechanisms against climate change and crop diseases will be employed in farming. This will also guide them in selecting the best seeds to plant.
Data gathering and analysis are normally not done by most farmers in this part of the world. With the help of data scientists, and machine learning, the predictive abilities of artificial intelligence will aid small-holder farmers to identify and solve the shortfalls associated with farming. Having a forehand knowledge about atmospheric factors such as precipitation, humidity, air pressure, and temperature due to findings of data analytics will boost farming activities. This will enhance and automate production processes, and produce food in sufficient quantity at an acceptable level of quality, to feed the growing population and leave the surplus for exportation. Farming will be more lucrative and farmers will live above the poverty line.
Artificial intelligence has shown great promise in providing solutions to many of the rising challenges faced by farmers in Ghana. The traditional farmers must be sensitised on the need to adopt these innovative ways of farming to drastically reduce the need for human labour in the sector.