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Farming from house: How orbital knowledge is unlocking novel agriculture insights | Azure Weblog and Updates

Image showing the use of technology to pull data from farm performance and resources

Excessive-performance computing (HPC) and orbital knowledge ship unprecedented insights into climate patterns, enhancing planning, forecasting, and decision-making, in an ever-evolving agriculture provide chain.

Consequently, international meals safety could also be one of many defining challenges of the approaching a long time. By 2050, The World Financial institution estimates that international meals manufacturing must rise by a staggering 70 % to feed the rising international inhabitants.

Though inhabitants development in a number of Western nations is slowing down or declining, many rising markets are experiencing exponential development of their populations.

By the flip of the century, it’s anticipated that lots of the most populated cities on the earth shall be situated throughout Africa—with Lagos, Nigeria main the pack with an estimated inhabitants of 88.3 million by 2100. The African continent can even play a number one position in international meals safety, with 60 % of the world’s uncultivated arable land located in Africa.

Image of 2 people working in agriculture

Agriculture can be a significant job creator in rising economies resembling in Africa. An estimated 80 % of farmland in Africa and Asia is managed by smallholder farmers, who in flip produce as much as 80 % of the meals provide in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. It is usually not solely agriculture that can generate and drive employment in Africa over the following a long time, but additionally the respective companies that assist the agriculture {industry}, resembling processing, packaging, logistics, monetary providers, and safety, that can have the ability to add to the rising variety of jobs within the sector, particularly in rural areas.

Many smallholder farmers function with out the advantage of correct climate knowledge, which may undermine crop yields, result in crop losses, and negatively influence regional and international meals safety. Innovation by Microsoft and {industry} companions powered by Azure HPC is ready to vary this, at scale.

The Agri-industry adapts to local weather change

A newly established collaboration between Microsoft and, a world chief in climate and local weather safety, will assist companies, governments, and farmers throughout Africa in adapting to the rising influence of local weather change.

Introduced on the just lately concluded COP27, the collaboration will present close to real-time knowledge from a world multi-sensor satellite tv for pc constellation with an AI-powered, high-resolution international climate mannequin that shall be deployed to Azure HPC.

This follows calls from United Nations (UN) Secretary-Basic António Guterres, who famous that high-quality climate forecasts, early warning methods, and local weather info are “important to enhance safety and construct resilience.” Secretary-Basic Guterres additional added that the UN has set an formidable goal of deploying a world, excessive climate, and local weather change alert system inside 5 years.

Greater than 5 billion folks lack entry to dependable and actionable climate info, the majority of which reside in Africa and Asia. Bettering smallholder farmers’ entry to correct climate knowledge can scale back the dangers of decreased yields and diminishing crop viability. As well as, it might probably additionally enhance entry to crop insurance coverage, a significant step in agricultural {industry} growth.

Image of cell phone showing logo and Microsoft’s collaboration will allow entry to localized, high-resolution climate forecasting fashions, and can focus totally on supporting climate-resilient farming and serving to smallholder farmers optimize their yield productiveness.

Not solely will this collaboration with African authorities companies empower present meteorological companies to ship climate intelligence, early warnings for extreme climate, and state-of-the-art local weather info, however it’ll additionally improve native farmers’ capability to grow to be extra resilient within the face of maximum climate occasions, thus rising the safety of the meals manufacturing chain throughout the continent.

Powering climate analysis and forecasting to scale

Making use of HPC capabilities to climate prediction can even help responses to main storms which can assist stop catastrophic agricultural losses, as one ground-breaking undertaking reveals.

When the Class 5 storm Hurricane Maria struck the Caribbean in 2017, the Nationwide Centre for Atmospheric Analysis leveraged the facility of Azure HPC to develop a one-kilometer decision mannequin of the storm with 371 million grid factors. Powered by Azure HBv2 VMs that includes AMD’s EPYCTM 7002 collection processors, the researchers have been capable of scale the mannequin to over 80,000 processes whereas sustaining 70 % effectivity—greater than double the efficiency of a supercomputer that ranks among the many high 20 globally.

The Azure HBv2 VMs provide supercomputer efficiency and MPI scalability whereas nonetheless driving value efficiencies for quite a lot of real-world HPC workloads. Every Azure HBv2 VM sports activities 120 AMD EPYCTM CPU cores and 480GB of reminiscence that energy purposes in computational fluid dynamics, specific finite factor evaluation, seismic processing, reservoir modeling, and climate simulation.

Image of 3 people analyzing weather on a large screen and smaller monitor

This reduces time to forecast by quickly delivering actionable climate predictions, enhancing agility, and offering high-fidelity simulations of atmospheric situations by means of physics and knowledge assimilation.

For governments, companies, and smallholder farmers that search to safeguard the worldwide meals provide, entry to correct climate knowledge powered by Azure HPC and AMD could possibly be a game-changer. Uncertainty would grow to be out of date. Dangers as a consequence of extreme climate could possibly be extra optimally mitigated. And losses could possibly be higher protected. That is evident from a latest survey of farmers within the southern districts of India, the place greater than 70 % of them misjudged the onset of the monsoon season and needed to replant their crops.

With improved entry to knowledge, farmers and decision-makers can enhance their response to climate occasions and guarantee most crop yields, thereby constructing better resilience and guaranteeing most crop yields.

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