The Victorian government has announced a AU$15 million investment to enhance agricultural technology (agtech) for the state's farmers. A trial will begin in regions surrounding Maffra, Birchip, Serpentine, and Tatura from July 1, during which Internet of Things (IoT) networks will be installed for farmer and public access, the state government said. The funding will also be used for on-farm robotics, wireless technology, biotechnology adoption, and virtual fencing. Hundreds of farms will have sensors and devices installed to monitor and control farm operations. Data will then be uploaded through nodes, gateways, and servers for analysis which will allow farmers to view the results in real time.
"Agriculture 4.0 is the latest evolution of the agricultural life cycle stimulated by digital disruption at all stages of the food supply chain," Cassandra Keener, Investment Director Chicago at the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), explains to FoodIngredientsFirst. "Just as Germany is driving economic growth through Industry 4.0, Australia can lead the world in Agriculture 4.0 for the benefit of the Australian economy," she notes. Keener was speaking as Australia for Agriculture 4.0, a new initiative by Austrade, the nation's trade and investment promotion agency, was launched. The project builds on the country's impressive record in agricultural innovation to facilitate foreign investment, exports and collaboration in both agtech and foodtech. The initiative aims to establish Australia as a global hub for agricultural and food innovation. It will showcase Australia's agtech and foodtech capability, and highlight its unique technological advances, research excellence, strong record of innovation expertise, as well as the nation's strong government support and established export channels.
Amsterdam's Anterra Capital raises 125m to invest in agricultural technology startups. New technology in computing, hardware, and bioscience is giving a fresh impetus to the food and agriculture industries' attempts to devise sustainable ways of feeding the world's growing population. In the past five years, venture capital investment in such technologies, known otherwise as agtech, has grown exponentially, from 300m in 2011 to 4.6bn in 2015. Now, one European venture-capital fund wants to make sure European innovation isn't excluded from the growing pace of activity in the agtech industry, which tends to focus on the North American market. 'Don't call us Silicon Alps': How Switzerland battled a healthy economy to grow its own startup scene Sometimes, you really can have it too good - staying hungry and foolish hasn't always been easy for Switzerland's startups.
In my article about the St. Joe Company JOE, "Two Tales Of One City," I presented a cautionary case of how climate change can (and will) negatively affect asset values. While it is important for investors to understand the risks of climate change, I also believe it is also crucial to understand what opportunities will arise as humans learn to adapt to a warming world. You might say that thinking about the investment opportunities available due to climate change trivializes the problem. The essential function of the capital markets is to channel needed investment capital into companies and projects solving difficult problems. If the problems a company is solving are important -- for example, the problem of feeding a global population totaling 7.5 billion people and growing -- the demand for company's goods and services should be high.
With 88% of primary farm operators men, agriculture tech has a long way to go to diversity. If you've never been to an agriculture-related conference, you're probably wondering what a pink ticket is. It's pretty common for guests to bring their spouse to agriculture shows and conferences have started selling programs specifically designed for those attendees. The spouse gets a pink ticket, and while conference attendees have the option to go golfing, spouses have a pedicure and Tiffany & Co. tour (this was a real option at a conference Allison attended.) Agriculture, and agriculture technology (agtech), in particular, is operating in a unique space.