As you may already know, California is the country’s top agricultural producer, growing two-thirds of the nation’s fruits and nuts and more than a third of its vegetables. As stated in the article below, “The state’s ag-focused economy means growers have historically been power players in politics, especially in discussions about apportioning water.” However; as growth, drought, and climate change have increased scarcity, the industry has been suffering.
If you recall, in 2015, during a record-setting drought, some cities and towns were ordered to reduce water use by 25 percent. A lot of people started putting blame on the agriculture industry as they use a lot of the states water supply.
However; farmers were among those who took the hardest hit. As stated in the article, “Many faced huge cuts to water allotments from state and federal systems and had to pay overblown sums for the water they could access.” This was hard on farmers, especially the small and family-owned.
You might be thinking that California got a lot of rain this last winter and a lot of California is no longer in a drought; however, the long-term forecast for severe water shortages remains unchanged. Even though most of California is no longer in a drought, climate change is still a an issue and will continue tightening the state’s water supply. To keep crop yields high, or even just to stay in business, farmers will have to become more calculating and they can do so with precision agriculture!
It would be unethical for people that can help solve one of the world’s biggest problems not to help. This is a plea to the Silicon Valley to keep the AgTech startups a float as they will be the next step to help save the world’s biggest problem.