Five Trends to Watch out for in the Agritech Industry in 2019
The Asia Pacific is huge geographically and diversified in food and agricultural production
2018 was full of innovation and exponential growth for agritech sector, and 2019 will see a focus on better collaboration of new age entrepreneurs with farmers and government for the better development in the sector. The Asia Pacific is huge geographically and diversified in food and agricultural production, and our experts there are several areas of agrifood technology that will receive increased focus from investors in 2019.
We spoke to Michael Dean, LLM, Founding Partner of AgFunder and Krishna Kumar, founder & CEO of CropIn Technology, a company that provides SaaS based services to agri-businesses globally, about the trends to watch out for in 2019.
Here are a few edited excerpts from the interview:
Technology InnovationAgricultural technology has immense potential to transform the agriculture landscape by streamlining the farming operations of small land holders. Startups in the agritech industry are building affordable and scalable technology that will accelerate Agriculture 4.0. This will increase the adoption of technological solutions by threefold, even in the MSME sector. AI, blockchain, robotics etc, will further create more employment opportunities and eliminate challenges to drive supply chain innovation.
Fintech in AgritechMore fintech solutions will be designed and built for the agriculture ecosystem that will focus on improving the agrilending and agri-insurance processes. There will be significant support and efforts from stakeholders like government and other private players to make this a reality.
Automation will be an investment focus in developed markets where relatively high wage levels for workers and production variability will mean producers and processors will continue to look to robotics and automation for greater on-farm, packing and processing efficiencies.
Use of IoT and Blockchain
Remote sensing and IOT will continue to attract venture dollars given their impact right across the food system. We are seeing some really interesting technologies that use DNA to apply markers or to take a location fingerprint at the point of origin so we can verify the provenance of a physical commodity. Low power, long-range sensor protocols when coupled with technologies like low earth orbit micro-satellites will piece all this together so we can monitor its location and levels of freshness as it passes through the supply chain. When used in association with distributed ledger (blockchain) technology, we will be able to ensure secure transactions and also monitor and trace the physical commodity to combat food fraud and waste.
Soil health and microbiome management tech will also continue to develop in 2019, as producers appreciate the benefits that optimal soil health brings to yields and production capacity of their land. Marketplaces that allow farmers across the region to purchase and finance their crop inputs and even sell their production will attract capital in 2019.
This story is part our special series on the new trends of 2019. To know what the coming year has in store for Fintech, click here.