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article imageGlobal growth in AgTech to address farming concerns

By Tim Sandle     Oct 25, 2018 in Business
The application of digital technology in agriculture continues to advance and there are signs that AgTech is shaping the agricultural economies of many countries. Examples of countries from three continents are highlighted.
There are various forms of AgTech being developed by technology firms and being adopted by farmers. These include the use of sensor planted in fields, which are equipped with image recognition software and which can provide real-time data; and using drones from crop monitoring. To add to this there is the use of farming robotics and the development of precision agriculture, where tractors are fitted with GPS devices.
Digital transformation in agriculture is fostering disruptive impacts relating to products, distribution, supply chains and ecosystems, as well as offering some innovative solutions to societal challenges linked to environment, health, and resource allocation.
To showcase the global reach of AgTech, we look at three examples from three different countries located in three different continents.
On example where digital transformation in agriculture are paying dividends is in Kazakhstan. The need to invest in digital technologies for farming has been expressed at the very top of government, with President Nursultan Nazarbayev highlighting the importance of attracting modern agricultural technologies to the county in a recent presidential address.
Examples in Kazakhstan include navigation technologies to help to direct tractors in straight lines to maximize field use, to the use of sophisticated analysis for soil samples. The examination of soil samples allows for appropriate micronutrients to be used.
Kenya has been making strong inward investment into agriculture, especially as Harvard Business Review reports, technologies like cloud computing, computing systems, connectivity, open-source software, and other digital tools have become more affordable and accessible.
This has also opened up a rich field for startups. Examples include, Zenvus, a Nigerian precision farming startup that measures and analyzes soil data for temperature and nutrients, and drives recommendations for improving soil quality for farmers. A second example is UjuziKilimo, which deploys big data analytics to provide data to farmers about weather and agricultural trends, seeking to improve productivity. A further example is SunCulture, a form that manufacturers drip irrigation kits that use solar energy to pump water from any source, assisting with irrigation.
Digital technologies to improve farming in Canada were featured at this year’s FarmTech event at Northlands. The types of technologies showcased included Climate FieldView, a new digital agriculture software. The software provides data driven solutions to enable a farmer to maximize return on each acre. The system collects, stores, and visualizes critical field data, allowing a farmer to monitor and measure the impact of agronomic decisions on crop performance, and the to use the output to manage for field variability.
In addition, Calgary, which has the highest head office concentration per capita in Canada, hosted a major digital transformation conference during October. A key feature at the event was agriculture, with a presentation of the agribusiness and technological solutions delivered by Art Froehlich, President of Agriview Inc.
More about Agriculture, Farming, agtech, digital transformation
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