Collaboration is key to overcoming Ag Technology challenges
From regulations, data collection and privacy issues, to the development of more agnostic products, the agricultural industry is on a challenging yet exciting path.
ADAMA’s Head of AgTech & Digital Services, Georgiana Francescotti, spoke at Precision Ag’s Vision Conference in Seattle, USA in January and it was clear from the outcome of many discussions that being humble and working collaboratively are critical to tackling current and future challenges.
One takeaway from the forum was to ask ourselves “Who is the farmer 10 years from now – what is his/her profile?” What sort of solutions will the farmer of tomorrow need? With the Ag Technology market expected to grow to 23.14 billion US dollars by 2022* and the market for agricultural drone technology alone set to quadruple to 4.8 billion US dollars from 2019 to 2024**, the landscape will be very different by 2030.
Commenting on this changing landscape, Will Evans, farmer, podcaster and digital innovator says “It’s such an exciting time to be a farmer at the moment, with opportunities to vastly improve the efficiency of our businesses through the use of innovative new technology. The 4th agricultural revolution isn’t happening in a few years’ time, it's happening right now, and it’s up to us as individuals to embrace it.”
“Farmers want choice, with the ability to use several solutions from several service providers within the same platform or application... We will need to see more business models adapting to offer flexibility and assurances. ADAMA, for example, works on the principle of being farmer centric and technology agnostic, as we believe that there is no one size fits all solution. Our biggest strength is our willingness to really listen to the grower and understand their needs and pain points,” says Georgiana.
The forum also agreed that we need a better ‘educated eco-system’, with people who can explain the new technologies, using farmer’s language, making it more digestible. “Farmers need to be able to not only see the value of the solution but be able to measure this in terms of ROI.”
Regulators need to have a stronger grasp on the tech too - its availability and its uses. Many are starting to understand this need but their involvement needs to be from a much earlier stage in the product development process.
With the implementation of stricter privacy laws in Europe and Brazil as well as other countries worldwide, the protection of personal data will also become a key influencer in future solutions that focus on data collection, analysis, AI and community building.