Cloud Computing in Agriculture: How its Transforming 2024

The agriculture industry is on the cusp of a major transformation driven by emerging digital technologies like cloud computing. With the world's population estimated to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, meeting global food demand will require a 70% increase in overall food production.

This presents a huge challenge for the agriculture sector which is already strained by climate change, environmental degradation, and resource scarcity.

In such a complex and uncertain environment, cloud computing offers immense potential to help agricultural businesses boost productivity, efficiency, sustainability as well as profitability.

Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing services like storage, servers, software, analytics and more over the internet. Instead of investing in expensive on-premise IT infrastructure, businesses can leverage the cloud to access these services on-demand and pay only for what they use.

The global cloud computing market is projected to grow to $947 billion by 2026, indicating the rapid mainstream adoption of cloud services across industries. For the agriculture sector, the cloud unlocks game-changing capabilities that were previously inaccessible for smallholder farmers and agribusinesses.

Some key applications of cloud computing in agriculture include real-time data collection and analysis, improved collaboration across the value chain, reduced infrastructure costs, and on-demand access to farm management platforms.

Cloud-based technologies are empowering farmers with data-driven insights to optimize crop yields, track inventory, plan finances, and make informed decisions.

For agribusinesses spanning input suppliers, food processors, and retailers, the cloud enhances supply chain transparency, facilitates smarter procurement strategies and enables the deployment of blockchain solutions.

In this blog, we will explore how cloud computing is revolutionizing agriculture in 2024 and beyond.

Let's examine the major impacts of the cloud on agribusinesses and some leading examples of cloud platforms transforming different aspects of the industry globally.

How Does Cloud Computing Transform Agricultural Businesses?

Cloud technologies are enabling agricultural enterprises to leapfrog into a data-driven future and create sustainable value. Here are some of the major advantages and business impacts of adopting cloud computing:

1. Real-Time Data Collection and Analysis

The cloud allows agribusinesses to continuously collect and analyze real-time data from multiple sources like sensors, satellites, drones, weather stations and more.

This provides rich and timely insights into all farm operations - crop growth monitoring, soil moisture levels, pest/disease detection, livestock health and more. Instead of relying on fragmented data or periodic field visits, managers can use cloud analytics to identify risks proactively and take preventive actions.

For example, cloud-connected sensors can track micro-climate conditions and trigger automated irrigation systems to water crops as needed.

Such precision agriculture techniques can optimize water usage by 30-70% and reduce energy costs. Real-time fleet tracking enables efficient machinery allocation and reduces fuel wastage by 20-40%.

Continuous data feeds combined with ML algorithms also facilitate accurate yield predictions and scenario planning.

2. Increased Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing

The cloud allows seamless data sharing across the agricultural value chain - farmers, input suppliers, processors, retailers etc.

Farmers can collaborate with crop advisors to refine practices based on centralized data. Retailers can track inventory across suppliers in real-time to streamline orders.

Research institutions can share breakthrough innovations globally via the cloud.

Blockchain-based farm-to-fork traceability solutions also foster transparency and trust across the supply chain.

For instance, IBM Food Trust uses blockchain and the cloud to enable all stakeholders to securely share data, improve recall management and verify certifications.

Such collaboration platforms promote open innovation and allow best practices to be disseminated faster for the mutual benefit of the entire ecosystem.

3. Reduced Costs and Infrastructure Requirements

Transitioning to the cloud eliminates the need for costly on-site data centers, servers and IT personnel for managing infrastructure.

Smallholder farmers can gain access to advanced analytics and farming platforms without expensive upfront investments.

For agribusinesses, cloud platforms reduce IT costs by 30-50% compared to on-premise servers.

Automated provisioning of cloud resources also allows businesses to scale seamlessly during seasonal peaks without waiting for hardware delivery or installations.

Cloud enables easy adoption of cutting-edge technologies like AI, ML, IoT and blockchain to drive innovation across the value chain without replacing legacy IT systems.

With cloud-based software like ERP, farm workflow automation and e-commerce platforms, agribusinesses can leapfrog to digital-first models faster and gain a competitive edge.

4. Improved Decision Making and Risk Management

Data-driven cloud platforms empower more accurate and timely decision making across the agriculture value chain. Farmers can optimize plans for crops to plant, inputs to purchase, cultivation practices and harvesting schedules based on data analytics rather than intuition alone.

Agribusinesses can enhance procurement, supply chain and financial decisions by tapping into market insights, weather forecasts, production data and predictive analytics.

The cloud also enables improved risk management through early disease/pest detection, assessment of soil health, monitoring of livestock health, and evaluation of various 'what-if' scenarios.

Agricultural insurance products powered by cloud data offer customized protection based on farm-specific risks.

For example, IBM's Watson Decision Platform analyzes weather, crop and field data to estimate yield risks and provides actionable advisories to farmers in developing countries.

By leveraging the cloud's capabilities of data consolidation, advanced analytics and rapid computing power, agricultural enterprises can make optimized decisions aligned with long-term objectives.

This unlocks lasting benefits of operational efficiency, risk mitigation and business growth.

Key Applications of Cloud Computing in Agriculture

Cloud technologies are disrupting major aspects of the agriculture sector. Here we explore some leading applications and real-world examples of cloud platforms driving digital transformation across agricultural value chains:

Application #1: Farm Management Information Systems

Cloud-based farm management information systems (FMIS) are helping farmers consolidate all farm data into centralized dashboards for better visibility and control.

Key features include mapping fields, recording crop details, tracking inventory, managing workflows, weather monitoring, and data analytics.

For instance, Cropio is an easy-to-use Ukrainian FMIS platform catering to over 300,000 farmers globally. It enables farmers to digitize field records, track costs and yields, forecast revenues, share data with advisors and make data-driven decisions.

On average, Cropio users have increased yields by 15% and reduced costs by 22%.

FMIS platforms are boosting efficiency across all aspects of farm operations. Easy traceability helps comply with regulations.

Financial management tools allow better planning and control. Customizable analytics provide insights to improve productivity and profitability. Real-time data also facilitates coordination with agribusinesses across the supply chain.

Application #2: Precision Agriculture and Farming

The cloud powers various precision agriculture techniques that allow highly targeted management at the plant or even sub-plant level. These include:

Variable Rate Technology (VRT) - Cloud-connected systems map variability across fields using real-time sensors and satellites. This allows site-specific application of fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation tailored to localized needs, avoiding wastage.

Guidance and Auto-steering Systems: GPS-enabled platforms like John Deere Operations Center allow farmers to remotely monitor machines in real-time.

Auto-steering systems leverage cloud data for precise lane-keeping and implement control, reducing overlaps and improving efficiency.

Crop Health Monitoring: Drones, aerial imagery and AI-powered analytics provide early detection of pest infestation, disease onset, weed growth, malnutrition symptoms etc.

This allows timely preventive care. For example, Agremo harnesses the cloud, drones and computer vision to help Italian farmers optimize cultivation practices.

Such precision techniques enabled by the cloud allow sustainable usage of resources while maximizing per-hectare value.

Application #3: Agritech Platforms and Marketplaces

Cloud-based agritech platforms are empowering farmers with solutions for everything - managing crops, accessing inputs, selling produces, and running all aspects of agribusinesses.

For instance, FarmERP is an integrated ERP platform designed for Indian farmers to manage operational workflows, finances, inventory, sales, etc. in an organized digital system.

It caters to over 25 different types of crops and provides mobile accessibility.

Farm to consumer e-commerce platforms like Farmigo allow consumers to directly buy fresh produces from local farmers. This eliminates exploitative middlemen and delivers higher profit margins for farmers.

In developing countries like Kenya, blockchain-based agritech platforms like AgriLedger provide comprehensive market linkages.

Features include digital wallets, access to credit services, supply chain transparency and support for farmer collectives.

Such end-to-end marketplaces are helping smallholder farmers gain more value from their produce while meeting the rising global demand for food.

Application #4: Supply Chain Management and Trackability

For businesses across agricultural value chains, cloud-based tracking solutions provide end-to-end visibility and automation.

IBM Food Trust exemplifies a blockchain enabled cloud platform that connects participants across the food ecosystem.

Members can securely upload data, track products across the supply chain, and gain actionable insights. This enhances traceability, compliance and process efficiency while also building consumer trust.

Amazon Managed Blockchain allows agribusinesses to quickly set up cloud-based blockchain networks and applications with minimal investment.

Use cases include supply chain monitoring, certification of origin tracking and monitoring food transportation conditions.


Cloud computing is truly revolutionizing agriculture and will continue to transform the sector in 2024 and beyond.

It is empowering both smallholder farmers and large enterprises to accelerate their digital maturity regardless of geography or scale.

The cloud serves as the foundation for data-driven farming techniques as well as for building transparent and efficient agricultural value chains.

While cloud platforms are enhancing various aspects of agriculture, meaningful adoption requires an accompanying culture shift.

Farmers and agribusinesses must embrace technology not just for isolated use-cases but as an integral part of their business strategy. Developing the skills to use data for informed decision making and maximizing value from cloud platforms will be vital.

Collaboration between innovators, governments and farmers will be crucial to develop locally-relevant solutions.

Policy initiatives to improve rural broadband infrastructure and promote technology investments will help unlock the mass potential of cloud computing.

As farmers realize higher incomes from data-driven agriculture and consumers benefit from transparency across the food cycle, cloud adoption will accelerate further.

Just as every other industry from finance to healthcare is being reshaped by the cloud, the agriculture sector is primed for a technology-led reinvention.

Cloud computing in agriculture promises to drive the step-change required to create productive, sustainable and climate-smart farming systems.

With the power of data and technology, the future of agriculture looks more resilient, equitable and prosperous than ever before.

At Roonyx, we believe technology can scale your agriculture business. Our technology solutions combined with proven implementation methodologies can help you become a data-driven, future-ready agribusiness.
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