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Cannabis and Hemp Farming is fun
With cannabis and hemp (Cannabis sativa) farms spreading across all continents globally, we are yet to see the best of what it has to offer. While there are still restrictions on the cultivation, use, and distribution of cannabis in major regions, hemp farming has grown into a billion-dollar company, and this is just the beginning. The global industrial hemp market size, valued at $4.9 billion in 2019, is expected to hit $18.6 billion by 2027. Cannabis is gradually becoming one of the most valued crops in Europe, Asia and Africa. The African cannabis market is projected to hit $7 billion by 2023, The Asian and European market is expected to hit $5.8 billion and $3.2 billion by 2025 respectively.
Cannabis is not just another plant that adds to the green matter in our world; it is a therapeutic agent that heals every part of human endeavor, from playing a critical role in disease control to environmental safety. It has been used to rid environments of biological and chemical contaminants in wastewater and solid waste management.
Cannabis cultivation is huge globally. Its cultivation has been reported in about 151 countries from 2010 to 2018, thus, showing a considerable broad geographical scope of production activities. While cannabis has been cultivated outdoors traditionally, there are new technologies that will support the indoor cultivation of the plant with ease.
Cannabis farming faces two major crises globally:
This is rooted in the non-uniform nature of the cannabis rules globally. As each country is left to determine what is acceptable within its shores, cannabis farmers are left with the challenge of swimming in a sea of rules to discover what is acceptable or not. This is where our Cannavigia compliance software comes into the picture. As experts, we advise cannabis growers about the potentially acceptable laws in any location and provide the parameters that will help them achieve these. We go the extra mile to inform about cannabis laws and how to get licenses (see our Country reports).
There are concerns about the safety of indoor cannabis cultivation since it can emit volatile compounds that may pollute the environment and contribute to global warming. There are also concerns about the excess use of farm inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers. This can be handled by the Cannavigia software, where farmers have the chance to track the pesticides and fertilizers, they use for their cannabis cultivation.
Cannabis farming and technology
Monitoring cannabis from seed to sale can be very tasking thanks to different challenges, some of which have been discussed above. Note that every aspect of cannabis farming can benefit from good technological advancement. Farmers can utilize cutting-edge technologies to reduce water use, control the emission of greenhouse gasses, and reduce energy consumption and labor cost in cannabis farming. Some of the most common and advanced technologies in cannabis farming are discussed below.
Smart monitoring via Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things
The role of artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) in smart monitoring cannot be overemphasized. This involves fitting the farm and plants with sensors that gather data about the plant, its environment, and nutritional needs. This data is then transferred to the farmer, who takes the necessary action.
AI and IoT-based devices can perform the following functions on cannabis farms:
Saving human resources:
AI and IoT sensors can effectively measure workers’ productivity, create an actionable working time, and improve efficiency. The sensors can also limit human presence on the farms, thus boosting productivity on a budget.
Quality control is a big deal as far as cannabis is concerned. This is because the market is inundated by several scammers who will go to any length to provide sub-standard products and plants. By using AI-based and IoT devices in farms, cannabis growers can identify problems in plants and how to treat them properly. Each plant can be assigned a bar code or QR code to monitor its improvement over time and also suggest what is needed to make it grow optimally.
Collection and analysis of agronomic data
Agronomic data like fertilizer application, temperature, humidity, light, and many others can be effectively controlled with the right smart devices. These can keep an active eye on the farm and improve quality. Agronomic indices like drain water, nitrates, and pH can be collected from several points around the farm and used to monitor pests.
Sensors can be installed to analyze plant transpiration and important physiological traits like water, nutrient use efficiency, biomass accumulation, and key environmental effects that can affect growth.
The Cannavigia Software offers both integration of IoT sensors and data loggers on a batch and area level to match environmental data with other historic data points along the value-chain of a plant batch. Additionally, you can efficiently track work hours and with the quality management features of the Software Suite you are able to organize Certificates of Analysis, batch release protocols and validation of article specifications with ease.
As a decentralized system, employing blockchain in cannabis has a way of tracking the physical properties of cannabis as it moves through the supply chain. This removes the bottleneck of purchasing the wrong seeds and plants. With this, consumers can independently monitor the quality of the cannabis plants and products, thus increasing efficiency and compliance.
GPS tracking devices can verify the origin of a plant and show the authenticity of each product. This is something farmers can use to determine the safety level of cultivating the plants and know what to expect after cultivation.
Blockchain technology in cannabis farming can improve transparency. It can go a long way in assisting business owners in the legal cannabis industry by increasing their confidence and monitoring the journey of their plants from seed to sale.
The future is cannabis
Cannabis is set to change our world in several ways; from the provision of biofuels, bioplastic, effective pharmaceuticals, and biodegradable raw materials to taking care of environmental challenges like heavy metal pollution. As the need for cannabis farming intensifies, Cannavigia is ready to provide the needed smart technology that will make cannabis farming as fun as possible.
Cannabis farming holds several potential when the right technologies are adopted. Our Cannavigia compliance software and modules provide farmers with a tool to track and trace their cultivation – connected with the technology they already use. Our modules take away the challenges of plant monitoring and our consulting team helps users to effectively receive hands-on information on what needs to be done on their farms and with ease too.