The agricultural industry is nothing new. In the history of humanity, it has been present for more than twelve thousand years, when in the Neolithic the first plants began to be domesticated. However, since then it has incorporated new techniques to accelerate processes, increase production, reduce risks and overcome the natural difficulties it faces.
For this reason, it is not surprising that in the agricultural sector a boom in technological innovation begins. Currently, these offer new tools for farmers in the field to increase their yields and overcome the sustainability problems that exist in their sector. These innovations make up the AgTech.
An accelerator interested in AgTech
The Yield Lab Institute is an accelerator focused on supporting startups specialized in agricultural technology. Connie Bowen, the executive director, studies dozens of new proposals every week.
The accelerator has reached its first year of investments and is about to enter a new phase. In that period, they have seen a great diversity of projects, according to Bowen. The fund provides an average of $100k for green market development, precision agriculture, irrigation and molecular research in Latin America.
To return benefits to investors, The Yield Lab Institute has focused on supporting commodities in Brazil, Argentina, and the United States, according to Bowen. The accelerator not only aims to promote the agricultural market, but it also wants to solve some of its typical problems such as the environmental impact caused by monoculture, pesticides or carbon emissions.
“Through the data can make companies meet the requirements and support those who care for the environment,” said in a recent talk Dan Wolfson, Head of Analytics at a firm of the giant IBM that provides weather information to large customers like Google, Yahoo, insurers, and airlines.
In agriculture, these services are “basic” to understand yields and know what to do, at what time and in what way, whether to harvest or protect from a pest, said the engineer.
The technological start-ups of the agrifood business raised $ 16,900 million in 2018 from investors, an increase of 43% over the previous year and in line with the global venture capital market.
In spite of the recent success, the specialist of the Organization of the UN for the Feeding and the Agriculture (FAO), Josef Schmidhuber, considers that it is also necessary to improve the business environment and to accompany the private actors.
Capital has been planted for the AgTech sector, which promises to become a branch of technology companies where many opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs will emerge.