I heard the term Agro Tech a few years back and wondered what is the big deal about technology in Agriculture. It would be used by farmers and they cannot pay a lot to buy expensive equipment, so the technologies involved in it would be simple pulley systems like what I had seen in farms while growing up.
I had the opportunity to attend a Harvard Leaders conference and was expecting corporate talk. One of the professors hailed from a farming background and showed how technology was changing helping changing the way he did farming, giving him the balance to get back and continue to work at Harvard as a professor 🙂 It was interesting to see how he connected his roots and was sowing the seeds in all our minds about it!
When I started reading about it, it amazed me to see how much the industry has grown (never knew when it came in play).
- Small agriculture market itself is expected to grow to a $13.5B market (Yes Thirteen billion.. you read it right) 🙂
- Significant technology innovations are in play in this segment across the world. Every year, the top 25 most innovative AgroTech startup list published by Forbes
- Cross industry projects are significantly requiring technology startups to get innovative with their solutions. Like Hydroponics, like Sahara desert project, like Skyscrapers with greenhouses, automated seeding BOTs etc.
For those looking for innovations and tech startups in this space, you need to know gardening or farming (or at least yard maintenance), be able to identify the need to automate, have / hire the technology skills to setup the automation and sell your product.
Sharing some of the products and related research that impressed me..
- Humidifying cotton seeds to improve the quality of fiber
- Seed optimization models
- Calorimeter for measurement of internal heat of the produce
- Orchard fruit segmentation (good vs bad fruit)
- Solar operated seed sowing machines
- Automation of seeding and fertilizing robots
- Harvesting BOTs
The demand for smart technologies, cloud based solutions, GPS, high precision crop analysis, automated farming techniques, and data collection from the field stepping into Big data trends and predictive analytics. India seems to be a big on the move towards smart agriculture.
With Innovation coming lots of learning. What are we learning from all these innovations.. more to be covered in the upcoming blogs on this topic!