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real action smart agriculture

Real Action:
Smart Agriculture

Smart ways to feed the world

We throw away about half of the food we produce more than 900 million tons of it every year. Yet 2 billion people in the world are unsure where their next meal will come from, according to the UN.

So, the challenge for Real Action: Smart Agriculture to answer is: How can we leverage technology to reduce food waste, and get perishables to the right place at the right time and in the right amount?

The project sits as part of our Real Action series, where we bring together four influencers to explore the leading edge of science and technology to provide real life solutions.

Our first Real Action series focuses on Smart Agriculture, a suite of advanced farming technologies that can help provide a promising remedy to this problem. This emergent concept applies lot in farming, and other cutting-edge technologies such as Al, Big Data and robotics, to the food supply.

Reverse the rot with smart agriculture

The applications of these technologies encompass everything from autonomous greenhouses that deliver irrigation automatically to drones that scout for pests and count fruit-as well as lots of innovative solutions in the rest of the farming and agribusiness supply chain.

The aim of Smart Agriculture, also called smart farming and SG farming, is to solve the challenges in farming, shipping and storing food - and to reduce waste and carbon emissions.


“From the beginning, I had some obsessions with this project. You start by saying: "How do you think about this differently? If we could connect every farm in the world with 4 or 5G, maybe we would have a good starting point in solving these problems." ”
Allison Kopf
CMO & Head of Data Products at IUNU & Real Action influencer

Smartening the farm-to-table supply chain

A SmartAg Workbook for Real Action

This workbook, authored by our experts, explores how 5G-enabled smart agriculture technologies – from IoT sensors to predictive analytics – can best be applied to supply chains to reduce food loss and waste. This over-the-shoulder peek covers the influencers’ take on supply chain management in agriculture, including a mock-up of a real-time dashboard for farmers to monitor produce, from farm to fork.


Download the SmartAg Workbook

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“Smart agriculture can help feed people. It can help producers make more money from the land. We’ve got the technology to use to solve problems across the whole supply chain.... ”
Vonnie Estes
Vice President of Innovation at International Fresh Produce Association

Meet our experts

Allison Kopf

Meet Allison Kopf, CMO & Head of Data Products at IUNU

Allison believes automation will enable farmers to do more with less resources and build a resilient, sustainable, and profitable food system for generations to come.

She is working on closing the autonomous growing gap for greenhouse and indoor growers as the Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Data Products at IUNU. Previously Allison founded Artemis, a leading Cultivation Management Platform in the horticulture industry, which was acquired by IUNU in 2021. In 2015, Artemis won the highly coveted Disrupt Cup at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.

Kopf currently holds board positions with Santa Clara University's College of Arts and Sciences, the Ciocca Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Cargill EDGE. She also invests in female founded startups as a Partner at XFactor Ventures.

Komal Ahmad

Meet Komal Ahmad, Founder at Copia

When Komal met a veteran experiencing homelessness, it changed her life. Reeling from their conversation, Komal – who was then studying to become a physician - asked her school's dining hall to donate excess food to the local homeless shelters. Everyone agreed it was a good idea, but there was too much worry about liability to make it happen.

The experience made her realize that “Hunger is not a scarcity problem; it’s a logistics problem.” ™

This led to her founding Copia, a for-profit surplus food waste management company. Copia has successfully diverted over 5 million pounds of food from landfills (enough to fill 40+ pro football stadiums to the brim). It is also distinguished as 1 of the top 3 startups run by women in the U.S.

Vonnie Estes

Meet Vonnie Estes, Vice President of Innovation at International Fresh Produce Association

“I am driven by a passion for agriculture and sustainability. I work with companies to navigate, develop, and commercialize innovation,” says Vonnie.

Vonnie is a VP at IFPA, a global trade association with 2,200 members, and which represents the full supply chain of both the produce and mass-market floral industries – everything from seed production to supermarkets.

Estes previously held technology leadership roles at prominent companies including DuPont, Monsanto, and Syngenta, as well as for small start-ups and venture funds.

Wilson Cardoso

Meet Wilson Cardoso, CTO at Nokia, LATAM

Passionate about sustainability, he believes that 5G technology in the region can be used to increase productivity via crop technology.

To this end, Nokia is already working with operators in Chile and Brazil on mining, smart grids, and farming to optimize processes for supply chain management in agriculture.

“Infinite connectivity capabilities and infinite cloud computing capabilities – this is how we will bring about a revolution,” he says. “With smart farms.”

Jason Elliott

Meet Real Action Series Host, Jason Elliott

Inspired by the power of people and technology Jason strives to ensure that all types of audiences from consumers to technology professionals to board members have the knowledge they need to be successful.

With over two decades of I.T and wireless communications expertise he has made several notable contributions in delivering many industry firsts. He works to educate and collaborate on how technology can be used to realize new business opportunities, and address sustainability goals towards a better future for all.