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The application and far-reaching usage of technology is a recent trend followed in almost every industry or field. Technology is becoming smart enough to revolutionize everything! One such new form of technology is AI that has already changed the face of many industries on a global scale. Now, it is all set to do the same in the field of agriculture.
All in all, the rise of AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology is paving the way for the application of technology in the agriculture industry also. This has already been labeled as Agritech.
Let’s know a bit about Agritech to understand the role of AI technology in the growth of the agriculture industry.
What is Agritech?
Agritech is a combination of two different words called Agri and Tech. Agri refers to the agriculture industry whereas tech refers to the application of technology in this industry.
In simpler words, Agritech refers to the application of technology in agriculture. This form of technology is based on artificial intelligence that helps get the best out of agriculture!
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The Objective of Agritech
Agritech focuses on taking efficiency and profitability to the next level in the agriculture industry. Adequate research, analysis and the use of gathered information about weather, pests, soil, crops, and temperature is an essential part of this whole process. However, this is just the tip of a whole iceberg!
The application of Agritech also includes the following essentials for this purpose:
- Controlling heaters
- Automated irrigation
- The use of pest control through APH (aerosol pheromone dispersal).
- Light and heat control
- Accurate weather forecasts
- Sensor networks based on IoT (internet of things)
- Phase tracking
- Satellite photography and sensors
- Management of soil
- The use of intelligent software-based analysis for predictions related to pests and relevant diseases
- Many analytical tasks
As far as the types of Agritech are concerned, Biotech is its other form!
Some Facts about Agritech
The application of AI technology is changing the whole game of farming in many ways. Facts speak volumes in this regard. For example:
- The use of AI technology in farming isn’t that new. Without a doubt people didn’t know much about it before 2016. It was the time when the use of AI technology in agriculture reached new heights with the global market value of $432.2 million in 2016.
- The industry expected to grow. By the year 2030, the market value of AI technology in the agriculture industry is forecasted to touch the milestone of $500 billion.
- AI is making Agritech smart enough to help people grow crops 20% faster using 90% less water.
- According to a report, a team of tech researches and enthusiasts, it is now time for agriculturists to embrace Agritech based on AI for the following two reasons:
- A new form of Agritech based on AI has now been developed. It is capable of identifying diseases related to plants. Transfer Learning and TensorFlow were the two techniques used to guide AI about plant diseases. TensorFlow is Google’s OSL (Open Source Library). It has been used in this process for the development of neural network to achieve the target. More than 2,700 images of Cassava Plant were shown to the developed technology. The efforts of researchers were a massive success. Because the technology easily identified brown leaf spot disease in up to 98% cases.
- Researches have also developed robots that use AI and ML (Machine Learning) to care for crops, eliminate weeds, plant, maintain and harvest crops.
5 Key Agritech Solution Providers
Taranis started in Tel Aviv, Israel. It is a private company. In addition they operate in Brazil, USA, Argentina, and Russia. Founded in 2014, this Series – an active early-stage venture, is a firm worth $9.5 million. This for-profit firm is a precision agriculture intelligence platform for farmers to monitor their farms, make smart decisions, act accordingly and make informed decisions. The startup uses an AI Agritech tool capable of changing the way in which agricultural activities are managed and performed. Taranis analyzes farm “Big Data” for this purpose. This Big Data is related to the following:
- Weather Forecast
- Field scouting
- Physical Sensing
- Remote Sensing
- High Definition Aerial Imagery
- Scientific Disease Prediction Models
- 24/7 Customer Service
- Local Team of Agronomists
The company is actively working towards revolutionizing the whole agriculture industry with its AI-based Agritech under the leadership of Eli Bukchin (Co-Founder and CTO), Ayal Karmi (Co-Founder & COO) and Ofir Schlam (Co-Founder and CEO).
Founded in 2014, Plenty is an active Series – B early stage venture worth $226 million. Headquartered from San Francisco, California, United States, Plenty is a for-profit group of professional plant science developers. They focus on the development of Agritech solutions capable of helping plants to flourish in a pesticide and GMO-free environment. The company aims to combine the agriculture and plant science with the following to help farmers grow the food nature intends:
- Machine Learning
- IoT (Internet of Things)
- Big Data
- Climate Creation technology
- Extraordinary flavors and nutritional profiles of heirloom seed stock.
Plenty is actively working towards achieving this goal under the leadership of Jack Oslan (Co-Founder and Member, Board of Advisors), Matt Barnard (Co-Founder & CEO), Nate Mazonson (Co-Founder).
Full Harvest Founded in 2015. This is an early stage venture. The headquarter is in San Francisco, California, United States. Full Harvest is a for-profit and B2B platform connecting farmers and food business owners to save food items that generally go to waste. For example:
- Perfectly Fine Surplus Fruits and Vegetables
- Imperfectly Shaped Food Items.
The company provides one of the best AI-based Agritech solutions to solve this problem under the leadership of Christine Moseley (Founder & CEO), Gaurav Sahni (CTO) and many more.
CropX, founded in 2013 and headquartered from Netanya, Hamerkaz, Israel, is an active for-profit venture worth $10.4 million. Lead by Isaac Bentwich (Founder) is an ag-analytical company. The company excels in the development of cloud-based simple reliable solutions. More over affordable software solutions that are further integrated with wireless sponsors for the following purpose through actionable insights:
- Boosting Crops Yield
- Saving Water
- Less Consumption of Energy
The company also has its branches in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States.
Bovcontrol was Founded in 2013. The headquarter is in Redwood Shores, California, United States. BovControl is an active, seed-based and for-profit company. With a valuation of $15 million as of July 2017 funding round. Lead by Danilo Leao (Co-Founder & CEO), BovControl aims to AI-based Agritech solutions that effectively cater to the requirements of agriculture industry through the following
- Collection of Accurate Data
- Analysis `of Data Gathered
The Purpose is to help food and agriculture industry take the production of following to the next level:
- Genetic Production
The company also aims to support the livestock industry by using the most accurate data insights. The company also has a branch in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Taking everything into consideration, it will be fascinating to see the way application of AI paves the way for Agritech in future. It will also be interesting to see the way this futurist technology combination impacts the agriculture industry on a global scale.