“The Agricultural Technology Spectrum”

It is the nature of human beings to solve a problem or issue, to be creative, to invent; this leads to the creation of all types of technology for a myriad of purposes. The more important an issue the more varied the technology becomes as we (human inventors) try to solve that issue.

Agriculture and Food production in all forms is an absolute necessity since life cannot be sustained without food. Therefore, technology as it relates to agriculture ranges from low levels of engineering and simple ingenuity to high levels of complex mechanical and scientific systems. These create the immensely wide  spectrum of technology  that can be found all over the world.

Practical Action is a non profit NGO that “uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries. Through technology they enable poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions to their problems. Much of their work involves food production and sourcing.

Their work has already been featured on this blog as an exemplary form of Simple Agri-Production techniques. Key to their success is their approach to development which emphasizes low levels of technological application. Click here for a slideshow of their top ten technologies within lesser developing regions that have had the most success.

On the other end of the spectrum are high levels of technological application mixed in with marvelous ingenuity. A colleague at my university directed me to this next generation fishing technique. The Floating Fish Farm – an “aquapod” that rears fish sustainably in open water, an alternative to deep sea fishing.

Springwise.com reports “Marine biologists at Kampachi Farms have been raising hatchery-reared, native Kampachi fish in a 22-foot Aquapod tethered to a manned sailing vessel in the deep open ocean near the Big Island of Hawaii.

The fish are fed a sustainable diet that has replaced significant amounts of fishmeal and fish oil with soy and other sustainable agricultural proteins” Due to its design the contraption has no negative effect on the environment and has the potential to revolutionize fishing as we know it. To see the device in action click here or view the video in the comments section below this post.

The floating fish farm

As aforementioned these technologies come about due to necessity. However they cannot actually come into existence without the necessary funding and support.

More importantly an inventor/engineer and many other persons of varied skills must also be the kick start for a new technology no matter its complexity. The Seimens Stiftung Organisation has initiated a worldwide competition to identify and present appropriate technical solutions for developmental activities.

The competition is aimed at developing countries. In short they are looking for you, the inventor, to create a technology worth investing in, for a myriad of fields. All of these areas center on basic needs, i.e. housing, healthcare, and of course food and agriculture among others.

Visit their website for more details and see if you (and your group/organization) can create a technology that is fits on the agri technology spectrum.


  1. Pingback: The Power of Ideas in food development. « technology4agri

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