Can agtech innovations feed a changing world?
Agriculture was once an industry exclusively for farmers with generations of knowledge and expertise. Investments in the industry from outsiders was difficult and rare. But now entrepreneurs and investors are coming from all angles to enter the industry. And the reason lies in Agtech.
In order to feed almost 9.8 billion people by 2050, food production needs to increase by roughly 50%. In response to this, investments in agtech have tripled over the last year. These investments centre around the use of modern technology in agriculture to improve efficiency, sustainability and profitability.
The Situation Today
The world population is expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050. The number of people living in Africa will double within the next 30 years. Developing countries, in particular, will contribute to this predicted growth. Couple this with a longer life expectancy and it’s easy to understand why food production needs to increase by roughly 50%. Output wise, annual meat production has to rise by 200 million tonnes to reach 470 million tonnes and annual cereal production needs to rise by 0.9 billion tonnes to reach 3 billion tonnes. The demand for proteins and nutrition is growing significantly in underdeveloped countries.
Climate change affects conventional agriculture; weather conditions make growing enough food a challenge, air pollution causes the degradation of land and there is limited access to water. To stop climate change, food miles (the distance food is transported from production until it reaches the consumer and a major factor in assessing the environmental impact of farming) need to be reduced and farming needs to become more ecological. This can be achieved by producing sustainably, efficiently and locally.
As a Managing Partner for Farrelly & Mitchell, Philip has consulted with countless food and beverage agribusinesses around the world. His expertise includes commercial and technical due diligence, business valuation, feasability modelling, and more.
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