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Digital technologies have enormous power to change the way farmers will grow food in the future. In Africa, where farmers struggle in a harsh environment to grow crops with irrigation as efficiently as possible, sensors to measure soil moisture are being used to assist with farm decisions. A simple digital device is helping to grow more food with less water, overcome community conflicts over water, and creating jobs for rural poor. Michael is the Deputy and Science Director of CSIRO Agriculture & Food. He grew up in New Zealand where he studied agricultural science, followed by a PhD at The University of Queensland - UQ focusing on the tropical grain crop, sorghum. Michael’s research background is in crop agronomy and simulation modelling where his work has aimed to analyse and understand broad-acre farming systems to inform better management regimes. He has worked on agricultural systems in the tropics, subtropics and temperate zone on a wide range of crops and pastures.
As part of his current role, Michael is leading an initiative in ‘digital agriculture’ that aims to bring together agricultural researchers and information and communication technology experts in CSIRO to explore new ways in which digital technologies can improve the way research is conducted and results are delivered to end users. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx