Agriculture has empowered humans in ways that we no longer had to lead a nomadic hunt and gather lifestyle. Farming has indirectly paved the way for innovations as humans settled permanently and had a reliable food supply. But with the drastic increase in population, old agricultural practices are no longer efficient. Almost one billion people worldwide are affected by chronic malnourishment and the population explosion has a direct role to play on degrading agriculture systems, biodiversity and fluctuating climatic conditions. In order to meet the needs of the growing population, the agriculture industry needs improvement in agricultural practices to develop crops with high yield and improved quality. Though conventional breeding is the most widely adopted approach in crop improvement, intensive labor and time required for progress from the early stages of screening genotypes to the introduction of these developed crops into the commercial market is very high.
As one of the major industry which can have an adverse impact on the whole population, developed and developing countries are focussing on wide implementation of AgTech to become a self-sustained society. Precision farming supported by technological advancements along with active supply chain strategies can help address the forementioned challenges to curb food poverty and diseases spreading due to malnutrition. Experts are utilizing crop monitoring and optimization software, to alter DNA and make the crops immune to diseases that can otherwise lead to catastrophic famines. The need of the hour is millennials entering into the agriculture industry to increase adoption of latest AgTech software and applications to meet the demand for pesticide-free food and become young farmers. Industry experts hint an IoT or sensor connected farm is the key to the future. Latest accurate sensors, fast internet connectivity along with artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies help in testing and to study agricultural practices in a virtual environment before actual implementation. Climate risk mitigation strategy needs to be developed based on geographical locations like effective water management and rising temperatures. A predictive warning system can play a vital role in estimating and minimizing the risk due to inconsistent climatic conditions. Though genetically modified crops hold the promise for global food security, their wide adoption is hindered by unsubstantiated health and environmental safety concerns. Further, the energy required for implementing vertical farming can be costly and can be carbon-intensive. Thanks to modern technology, traditional farms are now equipped with drone sensors to satellite imagery, continuously collecting information about the temperature, moisture, plant genes, climate, natural calamities and several more aspects are allowing farmers to view their crops from multiple perspectives. All these technological solutions also deliver farmers real-time actionable insights to yield better crops.
Choosing the apt startup partner is a needle in a haystack for CIOs worldwide. Eliminating the malady, a distinguished panel of CEOs, CIOs, and agriculture analysts has narrowed down on the AgTech startups that exhibit competence in delivering innovation in agriculture technology. We present to you StartupCity’s “15 Most Promising AgTech Startups - 2019.”