Agriculture TechnologyOctober 23, 2020
You’ll have noticed over the last few months that we’ve expanded our focus to technologies in agriculture. After years of investments and months of research, ag technology is now an active sector focus, but it’s always been an area of interest for us. In fact, two of our portfolio companies, SlimTrader and Promethean Power, deploy their technology with farmers. Over the past couple of months, we’ve seen a burst of activity in the ag technology distance and were excited about the trends and innovations which are making it a smart and high impact investment chance. Global Shifts – Projections show that there’ll be 9 billion individuals in the world by 2050.
The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates say we need a 70% increase in food production from 2005 levels to feed all those individuals, and we’ve to grow, harvest, distribute, and consume our food more efficiently. Our growing population is becoming more and more urban: the World Health Organization evaluates that 7 out of 10 individuals will live in a town by 2050. Weren’t gaining additional resources such as land or water, nor are we gaining more farmers. As economies continue to grow, the proportion of the people employed in the agricultural sector declines. The regions which may have the largest population gains, Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia, have the highest proportion of their population working in agriculture today: 60% and 50%, respectively.
This is bound to decline dramatically as their savings progress. To put this in viewpoint, less than 2% of the U.S. Population is employed in agriculture. Were beginning to become more aware of how our customer selections and policies influence the environment, our food, and the laborers who produce the food we purchase. Still, this conscientiousness requires technology, tools, and innovation to inform smart and sustainable choices. Innovation and Technology – There is a lot of innovation in the mobile\/IT and energy spaces that have the potential to make a huge impact on the farm. For instance, smart power systems, precision agriculture tools, farm management applications, and economical sensors are within reach of even the smallest farmers today.
From Nairobi to San Francisco, California and from Tallinn to Sydney, entrepreneurs are benefiting from new technologies which makes these products possible. We see potential in radio frequency technologies, the Internet of Things and the big data which comes along with it, and also in clean technology improvements from environmental energy, to waste-to energy, to renewable sources. Eventually, we believe that all of those technologies, when deployed efficiently, will work towards achieving the following long term goals. Long Term Objectives – Efficient farm management and resource efficiency As said before, a declining percentage of farmers in the world have to produce more for a growing population.