Are we investing in the right agriculture technology and innovation?
Currently researching for Scholarship
$17bn was invested worldwide in agriculture and food technology in 2018, up 44% on the previous year. Booming investors’ interest in AgriTech (i.e. the marriage of agriculture and new technology) should hardly come as a surprise; there is a need to increase food production and distribution quickly so as to feed a much larger population in a way that is sustainable for the planet. Investors allow entrepreneurs and farmers to have a profound impact on the industry by ensuring they have the necessary finance to develop new business models and reshape production, consumption, transportation and delivery systems. Policymakers hope that these will help increase food production and distribution quickly so as to feed a much larger population (global population is predicted to reach 9.8bn by 2050, an increase of 2bn from 2019) in a way that is sustainable for the planet.
I will use my scholarship and the Nuffield network to explore and evaluate the AgriTech vision of investors (the providers of finance), entrepreneurs and farmers (those who seek-and-solve), and policymakers (those who guide and regulate the industry). To succeed in addressing these challenges, there needs to be a shared vision and collaboration between investors, entrepreneurs, farmers, and policymakers.
The specific objectives of my project are:
1. Identify if there is a shared and complementary vision across investors, entrepreneurs, farmers, and policymakers for increasing food production and distribution while reducing the impact of agriculture on the planet,
2. Assess which specific AgriTech innovations are attracting investment and the impact these new technologies will have on the industry,
3. Highlight how the private and public sector can cooperate to provide the finance required to allow AgriTech innovations to flourish.