Embracing agtech: nine practical ways to develop agtech solutions worth adopting
The AgTech Solutions report offers agtech solutions worth adopting.
Innovation in agriculture is not a new phenomenon, in fact Australian farmers are considered among the most innovative in the world.
Research by AgriFutures Australia has uncovered barriers to agtech adoption and ways farmers and other sector stakeholders can create valuable agtech solutions. The AgriFutures Australia funded report Accelerating the development of agtech solutions worth adopting, by advisory firm AgThentic, addresses the knowledge gaps in relation to Australia’s agtech ecosystem, specifically in relation to how farmers interact with, and adopt, agtech solutions.
The report acknowledges the barriers farmers face interacting with agtech and seeks to highlight opportunities for entrepreneurs, farmers, researchers and the service sector to understand the needs of each group and build relationships to drive the development of better technologies in the agricultural sector.
AgriFutures Australia program manager, research and innovation, Jennifer Medway said the report is key to unpacking how all parts of the agtech ecosystem can better work together to achieve mutual benefits. “Australia is on the cusp of realising the opportunities agtech brings,” Jennifer said. “To date we have focused on the end product, the deal flow or technologies themselves; this report offers new insights into the engagement model between end users and startups and highlights opportunities to improve technology development for the sector.”
AgThentic’s Sarah Nolet offers a global perspective on the agtech ecosystem and is quick to point out that agtech is well and truly on the map in Australia.
“The new wave of innovators, products and services rolling out across the globe are ripe for the picking and have big potential to help Australian agriculture increase profitability, meet changing consumer demands, reduce negative environmental impacts and create new career opportunities in regional communities,” Sarah said. “What we need to work on, though, is harnessing the momentum and pointing it toward the development of solutions that solve real problems for farmers. Entrepreneurs and new technologies can bring value to Australian agriculture, but they cannot do it alone.”
Push and pull factors associated with agtech adoption are explored in the report, and insights are offered into why technologies fail to solve real problems in a practical way, leaving producers frustrated and unconvinced of the value of agtech. The report also questions agtech value propositions, suggesting they are missing the mark, but digs deeper to understand the challenges associated with the complex agricultural environment.
The end result is nine practical and actionable opportunities that have the potential to accelerate the development of agtech solutions worth adopting.
“We know digital technologies alone hold the potential to increase the gross value of production by over $20 billion, an increase of 25 per cent,” Jennifer said. “We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface when it comes to the benefits agtech can offer our rural industries.