Ag tech startups and innovation continue to make headlines around the world. Here are this week’s stories covering our exciting new sector focus.
“(Nearly) Unlimited Food” by Ramez Naam on The Huffington Post X Prize Blog
One of the main reasons why we have increased our focus on ag tech is the potential for impact on food production and hunger. Demand is rising with population growth and so are food prices. Accordingly to the author, food production has tripled since 1961, but we have not made enough efficiency gains to benefit the small farmer and effectively manage this food supply to reach those who need it. Naam writes that innovation in technology is required to meet the world’s need for efficiency at every point in the food supply chain.
“Farming apps: Virtual fields” on The Economist Schumpeter Blog
Startups that make apps for farmers are popping up all around the world. Designed to make their lives easier, agricultural apps can range in functionality from accounting to engineering, and crop planning to data management. The Economist calls the movement to bring farmers into the world of IT a “tough battle.” On the contrary, we’re confident that the changing demographics and new types of accessible technologies will bring small farmers into a new world of efficiency. Check out the article for some examples of up and coming ag tech startups.
“Kenya: Appy Agriculture” by Joel Macharia on All Africa
One of the first places we noticed farmers taking advantage of mobile technology was in Kenya. M-Farm has been in the works for the past five years. Today, over 6000 Kenyan farmers use M-Farm to access price and market information for their crops. The US is no different: we’ve seen several startups also integrating market and price information into their apps for farmers.