The global agritech market is expected to reach €13.1 billion by 2030, up from €2.8 billion in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate of 11.9%, according to the Agricultural Technology Market Review from Satellite Applications Catapult. A need for the industry to produce more food in an efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly manner is driving this growth, as the world’s rising population continues to put pressure on land and water resources.
That’s one reason why investment in agritech has increased substantially in recent years: As stated in AgFunder’s agrifood tech investing report, investment reached $10.1 billion in 2017, up 29% on the previous year. At the same time, notable acquisitions by large agricultural companies including John Deere, Monsanto, DowDupont and Syngenta are all expected to contribute to market growth. These purchases show that these reputable companies have identified and responded to the opportunities within the sector at the centre of the future of farming.
Innovation continues to increase across the industry
Innovative Irish start-ups have been transforming the agritech sector and achieving global success. For instance, Herdwatch was recently awarded the Silver Online Innovation Award at LAMMA 2019, the UK’s leading agriculture and machinery show, for the new Farm Medicine Scanner feature on its farm management app. Meanwhile, MagGrow raised €3 million last November to fund the development and global roll-out of a breakthrough device that reduces unwanted and potentially dangerous drift from crop spraying.
Collaborative agritech solutions are expected to play a key role in increasing adoption
Based on case studies provided by various agritech providers on their websites, farmers are increasingly choosing agritech solutions. But having so many options to choose from can often complicate the buying process and result in costly purchases. That’s why farmers need to be clear on what exactly they need. For example, whether they need a farm app to manage their farming operations or buy precision machinery to use inputs efficiently.
That said, there are very few agritech solutions that cover a multitude of pain points, which highlights a need for more all-in-one solutions. Thus, agritech providers who can offer comprehensive solutions that meet multiple needs for minimal investment will stand out in the market. This also presents opportunities for collaborations and partnerships in the sector that will increase the availability and efficiency of solutions offered to farmers.
Examples of comprehensive Irish agritech solutions in the market today are:
Keenan InTouch: InTouch is a cloud-based technology that links feeding machines across the world with a live monitoring centre to provide farmers with real-time analysis and optimisation of animal diet, health and performance. Specific solutions are: Consistency in both feeding and mixing, improvement in milk yield and milk solids, faster finishing, monitor and control feed costs, herd health improvements, and ration formulation.
Moocall: Moocall provides beef and dairy farmers with wearable sensors that solve the main issues relating to calving, heat detection and herd management to help ensure efficient and profitable farming.
Agritech is now widely recognised as the future of farming, given that it is expected to help solve some of the biggest challenges facing the industry. But while there has been a marked increase in innovation across the industry, most solutions available on the market target different areas, meaning that farmers must invest in a range of different solutions from different providers. Although some collaborative solutions already exist — such as precision technologies mounted on tractors and the Keenan InTouch technology that can be used with any mixer wagon — there is still a need for more.
In order to limit the challenge of farmers facing too many choices, agritech providers that think about adding value by providing all-in-one solutions will stand out in this market. These comprehensive and collaborative solutions will provide more value to farmers, increase adoption rates and thus support market growth.