Agritech refers to a market ecosystem that consist of companies which are using and developing different technologies to enhance their agriculture products or services offerings. These advanced offerings are aimed to increase overall yield, efficiency, cost savings, and profitability of farmers and agriculture companies across the value chain. Some of the key technologies that are penetrating the global agriculture sector include data analytics, artificial intelligence, internet-of-things, machine learning, automation systems, software as a service solutions among many others. In addition to this, the evolving business & revenue models in agriculture sector, market consolidation with bigger players acquiring smaller players to achieve economies of scale and vertical integration, trend of precision farming, and rising investments in agritech start-ups are some of the key factors that are fueling the growth of global agritech market. Agri inputs, precision agriculture, farm management software, supply chain tech, quality management and traceability are some of the key growth areas that are driving the technology adoption in global agriculture sector.
Agriculture plays a crucial role in the economic growth of some of the largest nations across the globe which include the US, China, India, France, Spain, Brazil, and Russia among many others. With continuously growing population and rising demand of agricultural output to meet the increasing demand, the investments in agriculture technology solutions have been growing at an impressive pace worldwide.
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The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak is restraining the growth of the global Agritech market in 2020, and it is likely to continue till early 2021 owing to disruptions in supply chains, decrease in demand and production, and decline in the economic and industrial growth of major regions such as North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Hence, there is a decline in y-o-y growth during the year 2020 and 2021. However, the growth is expected to normalize from 2021 onwards, and the market is expected to grow at a steady pace from 2021 to 2027.
The market players focus on new product innovations and developments by integrating advanced technologies and features in their products to compete with the competitors.
• In 2020, AeroFarms to build the world largest 90,000 square foot indoor vertical farm in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) invest USD $100 million in AeroFarms, to build facilities in Abu Dhabi.
• In 2020, AgBiome declared a recent patent directed toward the Connate product line granted in the United States, further strengthening AgBiome’s IP Protection around novel product offerings.
• In 2019, LettUs Grow, declared that it has secured US$ 1.27 million (£1 million) in funding to build world-leading indoor growing facilities, to help feed the growing global population.
~37% of the global land area is categorized as farming land, and by 2050, this area is likely to increase by a certain percentage, mainly due to the projected rise in population to 10 billion. Therefore, to escalate production, use of advanced technologies such as IoT, robotics, ground sensors, data intelligence, vertical farming, and precision farming in agriculture is growing. The precision farming has a potential to improve in farming yields by ~30%. The US, France, China, and India are among the top countries adopting precision farming at a massive rate. Owing to the proliferation of smartphones, the precision farming concept is becoming ubiquitous in agriculture. Precision farming enables farmers with speedy communications, quick data collection and analysis, and real-time decision-making. Thus, benefits provided by precision farming are attracting attention of huge number of farmers in countries like the US.
The entry of startups in farming and investment activities for promoting the use of agricultural technologies have increased enormously in the region. In the last few years, venture capitalists have invested US$4 billion in the agritech startups. Other investments in the region are mentioned below:
• Farmers Business Network has raised US$ 250 million in the Series F funding. The company is among the pioneers in e-commerce models assisting farmers to optimize their financial performance.
• iFarm is a Finland-based startup offering technologies that are used in indoor farming to grow fresh berries, greens, and vegetables. The company has gathered US$ 4 million of investments from Gagarin Capital, Matrix Capital, IMI.VC, Impulse VC, and many more investors.
• Berkeley-based Pivot Bio affirmed a funding round of US$ 100 million, supported by Temasek and Breakthrough Energy Ventures to scale up microbial nitrogen technology, which helps improve crop yields.
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