Investment in agriculture technology and momentum for agtech entrepreneurship is taking off. But this is not new: farmers have been adopting technologies that add value for decades. So is it just hype? What does all the momentum for agtech- from accelerators to venture capital funds to sexy technologies like drones and robots- actually mean for farmers and the agriculture industry?
The decisions by major food companies impact consumers, farmers, and the environment at every stage of the agrifood value chain. But the status quo strategies of ‘Big Food’ don’t always acknowledge the complex, interconnected systems at play around the world.
We recently launched a three-episode deep dive into the future of risk and insurance in agriculture. Over the course of the series, we heard from one listener who offered to share his experience using novel insurance products to manage the risks of both too little and too much rainfall in his own farming operation. This from-the-field perspective was packed with insights, and was such a powerful contribution to our learning that we asked his permission to use the audio for this episode.
While the term “organic” tends to be associated with small-scale production and a preference for manual tools over the latest technology, organic farming advocates claim their methods can reduce the need for expensive inputs like fertilizers and herbicides, improve soil health, and allow farmers to differentiate their product in otherwise global commodity markets. So, what can commodity agriculture learn from organic farming?
The world's leading multidisciplinary science journal, Nature, recently published the research of a team working out of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. In the paper, Jupiter Ionics, led by CEO Charlie Day, present evidence that they have been able to produce ammonia in an electrochemical cell with 100% selectivity and using renewable electricity.
For the past few months, we've been preparing our second fund, and we're ready to hit go. As all founders know, fundraising is hard and there is something new to learn every day. Our conviction for Fund II comes from being proud of what we have done so far, and so we are doubling-down on what we’ve built and learned.
Digitally native agriculture is far more than digital farming. It is about reimagining how systems can work and challenging the structure of core elements of the agrifood value chain.
Developed in collaboration with AgriFutures and the Institute for the Future (TFTF), this report offers a perspective on the agri-food system’s emerging landscape over the next decade. It aims to start new conversations about opportunities and risks for players along the value chain and within the agricultural system. Rather than providing probabilistic answers about the future, we aim to provide a set of plausible – yet provocative – possibilities that stretch our preconceived notions about the future.
Why everything you think you know about irrigation technology is wrong, and what to do about it.
Irrigation is pivotal to the global agricultural economy. Though only 16% of the world's croplands are irrigated today, those lands produce 36% of the global annual yield. In developing countries, irrigation increases crop yields by 100 to 400%. Further, irrigation allows farmers to reap the economic benefits of growing higher-value cash crops.
Even though the impact of irrigation is impressive, we haven’t done enough to optimize the efficiency of irrigated agriculture. There are several challenges preventing us from unlocking this vital outcome.
The past ten years have seen an explosion of new technologies entering agriculture. This wave of activity holds potential for the agricultural industry. But despite the potential, the volume of activity and the vast range of new products has created confusion and frustration.
To help other producers get value from agtech, we interviewed five innovative farmers on their journey with agtech and captured their tips for getting agtech ready:
This eBook and the four accompanying AgTech So What..? podcast episodes were created in partnership with Decipher, an easy-to-use precision agriculture (PA) solution helping growers and agronomists in more than 60 different countries identify and address variability, track growth performance and make data driven decisions. Born within the Industrials Division of Wesfarmers, Decipher draws upon 100 years of agricultural knowledge and expertise in products, soils, research and agronomy.
AgTech — the wave of emerging technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and biotechnology coming to food and agriculture — is increasingly creating opportunity for investors, entrepreneurs, farmers and consumers.
With the potential to both benefit Australia’s agricultural sector and create direct economic benefits through commercialisation of new technology, a strong AgTech specialisation would be of substantial benefit to Australia. A goal to lift AgTech’s share of venture capital (VC) in Australia from 1 per cent in 2018 to 20 per cent by 2030 would see AgTech take its place as a national priority and position Australia as a global leader.
This report explores how Australia can build a globally recognised AgTech ecosystem in Australia. Analysing the relationship between American start-up ecosystems and venture capital investment, and in particular looking at the impact that specialisation can have in building successful ecosystems, such as in St Louis, Missouri, offers insight as to how Australia can catalyse the development of the local sector.
Prepared for the United States Study Centre at the University of Sydney, published August 2019