The rise of digital agriculture and related technologies has opened up many new possibilities for data handling. Remote sensors, satellites, autonomous robotics, drones, and distant sensing systems can collect info 24 hours a day under a variety of weather conditions. They can monitor the condition of plants and soil, temperature, humidity, flooding balance, and provide several other duties, the realization of which has so far been left to human shoulders.
The idea, in fact, is to allow ag workers to better understand the situation on the ground with advanced technologies that can tell them more about the farm situation because many factors are still out of their sight.
Key areas of AI technology development within the agribusiness application
Let’s list key areas of AI technology development within the agribusiness application. They are:
• Smart robotics for harvesting
• Automated irrigation systems
• Crop Health Monitoring Systems
• Technology for animal identification and health monitoring
The main areas of investment in AI technology in the agro-industrial complex
Let’s list the main areas of investment in artificial intelligence in agriculture. They are:
1. Satellite imagery analysis;
2. Monitoring in the garden;
3. Growth and earth analysis;
4. Agricultural robots;
5. Smart analytics.
AI technology application statistics in the agribusiness sector
According to Forbes analysts, the demand for the development and implementation of intelligent technologies in the agricultural sector will grow more vigorously in 2018 than ever before. In any case, the existing statistics already show that AI systems are becoming an indispensable tool for achieving key goals of the agro-complex:
- According to CB Insights specialists, agricultural technology startups have attracted more than $800 million in investments over the past five years (since 2012). Since 2014, there has been a steady investor concentrate on startups applying robotics and ML to agriculture.
- The most active venture investors in the agricultural technology sector are Bessemer Venture Partners, Accel Partners, Khosla Ventures, Lux Capital, and Data Collective. The main investments come from developers of universal drones and computer view technology with a center on use in agriculture. In particular, Orbital Insight focuses on the analysis of satellite views, while Blue River Technology applies computer view to enable farmers to destroy weeds. Three companies have attracted more than $200 million in total investments over five years.
- According to CB Insights, in 2017, the agriculture technology startups managed to close 56 operations worth $240 million since the beginning of the year. The previous two years’ numbers are as follows: 2016 – 80 deals worth $297 million, 2015 – 75 deals worth $231 million. At the end of this year, experts predict a record 160 deals worth $685 million in the area of agricultural engineering.
- Biotech giants such as Monsanto and Syngenta supported companies that specialize in bioinformatics and info analysis, providing customized solutions to large corporate agricultural clients.
- According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the world population will reach 9.2 billion by 2050, which means that the global agriculture sector is under great pressure. It is necessary to ensure greater efficiency in modern farming methods, experts say, because farmers will have to optimize the maximum of their resources while producing more products.