05 Sep 2019

The AgTech sector is growing rapidly, and driving innovation as start-ups look to solve the major issues that are facing the future of agriculture through technology.

With that in mind, Seana Day, Partner at Better Food Ventures and The Mixing Bowl where she brings 15 years of experience in finance, M&A and technology to investing and advising in the Agtech market, has created an infographic charting the landscape of the AgTech space.

Writing in Forbes, Seana explains the methodology she used to create the landscape, "(It can be used to) provide perspective on where activity is (or is not) and recognise some of the noteworthy companies in particular sub-sectors of AgTech. The goal of the landscape is not to exhaust your eyes with a comprehensive list of all of the AgTech startups and companies."

"The landscape focuses predominantly on digital and Information technology-related technologies, corresponding to my experience and that of my colleagues at Better Food Ventures and The Mixing Bowl."

"This market map does not include livestock-related technologies, including aquaculture, or indoor farming as I need to stay focused on the wealth of innovations for the outdoor crop farming world."

Looking at the landscape a few key trends can be seen, Seana explains, "In previous years, this landscape was a more equal division between “In-field” and “Post-harvest” startups, but now we’re seeing more startups -- close to two-thirds -- focusing on the post-harvest space."

"An important driver of this broader activity in agtech is a shift from “farming to maximize yield” to “farming to maximize profit” by looking at farming operations, not just precision ag. Abundant production in key commodities like grains and dairy have caused prices to drop and therefore producers seek ways to make farming operations more efficient."

Sustainability is also a key focus, as Seana comments, "Whether we call it conservation or sustainability, an undeniable theme is that it is not going away--and the European AgriFood scene is leading the charge in many ways. The Europeans have already started to make a general mindshift to close the gap between agriculture and the rest of society to see what can be done to improve the impact of food production on the environment. The farming industry needs to do more to tell the stories of how farmers are acting as good stewards of the land, water and air, and the potential it has to do even more for the environment. It also needs to embrace new technologies that enable food producers to produce the data to quantify the sustainability benefits they are producing."