Agriculture technology, also known as agritech, is a fast-growing industry focused on improving traditional forms of farming through technology. The industry is particularly appealing to investors and very much an on-trend area of investment.
According to UK Government figures, the agritech industry currently generates over £14 billion in turnover and employs more than half a million workers throughout Great Britain. Agritech is expected to grow over the next 15 years. While it remains to be seen which of the many agritech developments will catch on and become a part of mainstream farming practice, these are just a few of the companies that you may hear of in the coming years.
1. The Small Robot Company aims to revolutionise the use of technology in traditional farming to make it more efficient and environmentally friendly. The company wants to replace big tractors with small, precise robots. These robots can perform tasks such as precision feeding and wedding, planting and digitisation of fields. The precise nature of these robots means that farmers can use fewer chemicals, increase revenues and reduce production costs.
2. IceRobotics have designed wearable devices that monitor, record and analyse animal behaviour. Currently these are used to monitor the behaviour of dairy cows but the implementation of these devices could be much broader. The company has been running for over 15 years and has a wide product line consisting of sensors and smart readers, including IceQube which specifically tracks milking.
3. KisanHub is a cloud-based enterprise farming platform based in Cambridge. They have placed a particular focus on Crop Intelligence. Their enterprise platform connects enterprise staff and agronomists with crop growers to manage crops better using data integration from field sensors to satellite.
4. Saturn Bioponics was founded in 2011 and designs crop production systems designed to improve the food production industry. This Birmingham-based startup uses hydroponic science and technology to increase crop yield, reduce production and labour costs and minimise environmental impact. Their Saturn Grower system and 3D hydroponics research are particularly interesting.
5. Roslin Technologies is an agriculture and biotech startup which focuses on animal science research and innovation. The company was founded in 2016 and aims to provide products and services that improve animal health and welfare as well as productivity. Their technologies include genotyping, bioinformatics and a low-cost manufacturing system that produces therapeutic proteins in chicken eggs.