Artificial Intelligence (AI) has an impact on how agriculture is practiced and on food consumption in the AgroFood sector. Digitization of food production, trade, and consumption offers opportunities to use AI for more efficient and sustainable food systems.
The Dutch AgroFood sector is not only internationally oriented but also a global leader in digitization. The production, trade, and logistics of agricultural products such as flowers, vegetables, and seeds are of the highest level, largely due to digitization. Digitalization is already a crucial part of the infrastructure that enables innovation in the AgroFood sector.
In greenhouse horticulture, more and more human tasks are being replaced by robots that become smarter with AI. It is expected that greenhouses will eventually produce food and ornamental crops fully autonomously. In arable farming and animal husbandry, AI is increasingly essential for providing decision-supportive advice: How can I apply crop protection most optimally? Can I administer less preventive medication to livestock with good animal care? These questions are increasingly answered using AI technology.
In food production and consumption, AI is a promising technique that can be used to prevent, for example, food allergies or eating disorders (obesity). With AI, the dietary pattern can be better tailored to the individual characteristics of the consumer, potentially reducing healthcare costs.
These opportunities to apply AI also bring societal challenges. These include protecting the privacy of consumers and addressing the shift in employment.