AI: a weapon against food waste

tomato harvest

The world is currently struggling with a severe food crisis and millions of people around the globe are suffering from malnutrition. As a matter of fact, world hunger affects nearly 10% of people globally, not to mention that from 2019 to 2022 the number of people that are considered to be undernourished increased by 150 million. As expected, the collapse of supply chain due to pandemic and the war in Ukraine have made the situation even worse, through disruptions in agricultural production, restrictions on transportation, and a remarkable increase in food prices. 

On top of that, the global food waste problem cannot be overlooked, as it has a remarkable environmental, economic, and social impact. In fact, every year almost 33% of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. It is estimated that the amount of food waste produced globally each year is enough to feed nearly 1 billion people. More specifically, food waste appears at the production, supply chain, and consumer level. It is well-known that food production requires a significant number of resources, including water, land, energy, fertilizers, and plant protection products. Furthermore, labor needs in agriculture are substantial; undoubtedly entailing a corresponding cost. So, when food is wasted, all of these resources are wasted as well, along with the funds that were spent on them. 

Considering all the above, one can easily understand that there is no room for more throwing away of food uselessly, especially taking into account the planet’s ever-growing population, which is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030. Thus, it is of vital importance to figure out ways to deal with this situation and alleviate the problem. Food waste that is done by consumers can mainly be tackled by raising the public’s awareness about the seriousness of the issue. Of course, it depends on individuals and lies in their personal responsibility. But for the other two factors – namely food waste throughout production and supply chain – innovative agriculture is the key. 

Eden Library provides impactful digital solutions to facilitate farmers, via its camera-based system, Viewer. Our device, equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI) models, can estimate yield through precise fruit counting. As a result, users are able to achieve better management of storage, logistics, and distribution of their products, let alone the fact that processes and inputs concerning their crops are planned more wisely.

Besides that, Eden Library Viewer delivers other services such as maturity level estimation; enabling growers to conduct more accurate harvesting. AI models are trained to recognize different phenological traits in fruits and vegetables and, eventually, the device can classify them based on their maturity stage. Hence, multiple harvests are done, depending on the needs of every class (i.e. growth stage, maturation speed, final destination, and travel period). Consequently, losses of overripe fruits and vegetables because of mismanagement, are significantly reduced. So, through all these innovations, agriculture is getting closer to sustainability.