In the quite a few pitches that I’ve sat via, I’ve typically heard VC’s draw a distinction between “Must Have” options and “Nice to Have” options. “Must Have” options handle actual world issues; Nice-To-Have options would possibly make life simpler, however no person will miss them.

AgTech addresses “Must Have” issues. The Earth’s inhabitants is anticipated to hit 9 billion by 2050. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, meals manufacturing should improve by 60% to feed that rising inhabitants and, since they aren’t making any extra land, ninety % of the progress in crop manufacturing is anticipated to come back from increased yields on present farm land. Farmers should change into extra environment friendly and they’re going to solely accomplish that via new technology.

The agriculture business is already extremely depending on technology and is not sluggish to adapt to enhance yields. “Precision agriculture,” for instance, presently helps farmers decide the place and what to plant on their land with a stage of accuracy that was not potential ten years in the past. The subsequent step is to maneuver from precision agriculture to predictive agriculture and “Big Data” will probably be the predominant driver of this variation.

Precision agriculture

Precision agriculture permits monitoring and mapping of yields, and accesses dwell soil info via built-in sensors in automobiles. GPS geared up automobiles now observe land and auto-guidance technology can steer a automobile enhancing accuracy and decreasing operator fatigue. Crops planted with this technology can later be harvested with optimum precision.

Yield mapping is able to monitoring crop yield and soil moisture content material. When mixed with GPS technology, seed planting can make the most of the most applicable soil situations and decrease waste. Most of the knowledge generated may be considered on cell phone functions, permitting farmers to make fast selections on the go.

With the precison instruments which might be presently accessible and being developed, farmers can scale back waste and squeeze extra manufacturing out of the similar acreage.

Predictive Agriculture

The applied sciences utilized in precision agriculture not solely improve efficiencies, in addition they enable the producer to plan on a bigger scale. For instance, a seed, fertilizer, or planting method that works on one patch of land might not work on one other. Historically, farmers have discovered what works via expertise and private information. Precision agriculture technology reduces the want for this private information by offering satellite tv for pc steering, monitoring and mapping yields, and giving entry to dwell soil info via automobile sensors.

Big Data

Because precision agriculture essentially includes gathering huge quantities of information, firms will mix this knowledge and use it to foretell tendencies. For instance, Monsanto Company captured the headlines in 2013 with its $930 million acquisition of Climate Corp, an organization based by early Google workers who created a service whereby folks can state what sort of climate they need to insure towards and obtain a quote inside seconds. Climate Corp initially supplied providers to all enterprise that trusted the climate, however quickly realized that agriculture was by far the largest and centered its actions on that sector.

Big Data has the potential to foretell farming wants on a mass scale. However, farmers should overcome quite a few legal and regulatory challenges. While many farmers will profit from entry to shared info, people who presently have a aggressive edge over the competitors might need to maintain that info in-house for so long as potential.

Drones

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or drone technology (when it turns into authorized) may also complement the drive in the direction of Big Data by permitting farmers to gather knowledge on their farms with no need to drive a automobile over the land. Drones enable for mass knowledge assortment, planting seeds, and even delivering spare elements to a tractor damaged down in the discipline. Drones might be used to survey land and lower down on time spent travelling to the far corners of a farm solely to seek out that the situations aren’t appropriate for work. Drones might revolutionize farming by permitting surgical use of pesticides, fertilizer, and water, whereas bettering environmental effectivity in the course of.

Funding

In California alone, agriculture is a $46 billion per yr business. In California, the common buyer of Agetch merchandise (i.e. the farmer) is a $6 million a yr enterprise. And most of the farms on this state are “wired” with web and cell entry. Despite these metrics, in 2012, agriculture technology firms raised simply over $100 million of enterprise capital funding from round 40 offers. That’s tiny in the scheme of issues. The space is rising, nevertheless, as AgFunder News estimates there’s been about $401 million invested in 35 firms to date this yr. That’s a giant improve, nevertheless it is a small fraction of the enterprise capital {dollars} accessible for funding. The agriculture technology market is nonetheless immature and most offers are early stage. As firms mature, the measurement of the offers and the {dollars} invested can solely develop.

There are challenges forward to feed the Earth’s ever rising inhabitants, nevertheless fast advances in precision and predictive farming, massive knowledge and drone technology will present farmers with the sources they should improve provide to the required ranges and appeal to increasingly more consideration from the funding group. AgTech guarantees to be the subsequent massive factor.

Additional sources:

AgTech – The Intersection of Technology, Venture Capital and Agriculture

Article Source: Why Agriculture Technology Is The Next Big Thing

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