Entrepreneurs Push to Raise More Food More Cleanly, Profitably covers the rapidly growing field of agricultural technology.
Experts predict that, in five years or so, the growth of the so-called ag sector will outpace today’s hottest technologies in terms of the number of startups and venture-capital investments.
“It’s going to be bigger than cloud software, it’s going to be bigger than Big Data, because everybody eats,” said Paul Matteucci, a partner with U.S. Venture Partners and founder of Feeding 10 Billion, a nonprofit center to help ag-tech entrepreneurs. “And it’s going to be completely entrepreneur-led.”
OK, so bigger than the cloud and Big Data may be a bit of hyperbole, at least in terms of the next 5 years. But Matteucci is right that everybody eats. We also agree that Ag-Tech is big and going to get a lot bigger.
Others also agree.
Farm 2050 is is a joint effort by a of diverse group of companies - including Google and DuPont - committed to advancing the future of food through supporting Ag-Tech entrepreneurs and startups.
Their particular interest is the application of robotics and data science to rethink and improve the way we seed, cultivate and harvest food. The partnership is providing capital, manufacturing facilities, testing equipment, and management mentorship to selected Ag-Tech startups.
This device watches rows of lettuce crops, comparing what it sees to millions of saved images. When it detects either a weed or a number of lettuce heads crowding each other out, the machine sprays fertilizer too potent for the target, but nourishing to the surrounding crops.
This greatly increases crop yields, reduces pesticide use and lowers overall production costs. Pretty cool.
We cover Ag-Tech in more detail in our small farms section.