We’ll explore the Top 10 Most Advanced Countries in Agriculture Technology. We’ll skip the in-depth analysis of the agricultural industry, the concerning food insecurity issue, and the noteworthy trends to keep an eye on in 2023. Instead, let’s delve into the nations that are leading the way in adopting advanced technology in agriculture.
Apocalypse of Agriculture
The consequences of unsustainable agricultural practices are evident as around 40% of the land has deteriorated to the point where it’s no longer suitable for productive farming, as reported by the UN. Furthermore, a significant 90% of the world’s topsoil is at risk of degradation by 2050. Adding to the concerns, there’s a substantial gap of 11 gigatons in greenhouse gas emissions reduction needed to prevent temperatures from surpassing the 2°C target by the middle of the century.
Agriculture’s demand for water is also a pressing issue, consuming about 70% of the planet’s fresh water supply. This is alarming as we’re swiftly depleting this crucial resource. Forecasts by Pew Trusts indicate that by 2025, more than half of the global population could be living in regions with water scarcity. On top of that, UN estimates suggest that the world’s population will reach 10 billion by 2050, leading to an expected 59% to 98% rise in food demand, as highlighted in Harvard Business Review.
Read More: Highest Electricity Consumption Countries
Meeting this growing demand necessitates a food production increase of over 50%. However, striving for such growth under current conditions would place us deep into unsustainable territory. It’s evident that without significant changes, the current trajectory isn’t sustainable for the long-term.
Solutions Using Technology
The outlook appears grim, especially considering the current trajectory of population growth. To avert a potential crisis that could lead to widespread hunger, civil unrest, and global chaos, technology emerges as our most viable solution. Addressing this concern, agricultural technology, often referred to as agri-tech, is set to play a crucial role in the coming years. Its significance is bound to increase substantially in the near future.
The Agritech Sector: A Study
The implications of this fact are evident in the quantitative projections for the agri-tech sector. It was valued at $19.5 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to achieve a substantial growth, reaching $46.4 billion by 2030. This growth trajectory is underpinned by a robust Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.3%, according to insights from Spherical Research.
Additionally, governments, particularly in the United States, are poised to play a significant role in supporting the agri-tech market through subsidies, considering the urgency of the situation, which has been factored into the forecasts. However, it’s worth noting that investments in agri-tech have encountered challenges due to supply-chain limitations and stagflation, which could potentially disrupt the expected timeline.
Leading Agri-Tech Companies and Trends in 2023
Several pivotal advancements in agricultural technology are intricately tied to addressing the urgent challenge of sustainability that the sector faces.
One noteworthy technology in this realm is Indoor Vertical Farming, a crucial innovation that has demonstrated the potential to drastically reduce land and water usage by as much as 99% and 70%, respectively. Key players driving this innovation include AeroFarms, InFarm, and Agricool, with a presence in the United States, Germany, and France, respectively.
Additionally, N-Drip micro-irrigation systems emerge as another significant solution, offering a remarkable 50% reduction in water usage while simultaneously enhancing crop yields. Notable companies in the micro-irrigation sector encompass Lindsay Corporation (NYSE:LNN) and The Toro Company (NYSE:TTC), among others.
Surprisingly, the influence of Information Technology companies also extends to this domain. For instance, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has introduced FarmBeats, a solution employing machine learning and cloud computing to monitor soil temperature and moisture, thereby aiding efficient irrigation management to conserve precious water resources.
The common thread binding the majority of advanced agri-tech countries is a twofold combination of advanced economies and elevated agricultural output. The imperative of achieving high agricultural yields has driven these nations to channel their efforts into agri-tech innovation to ensure the sustenance and growth of their agricultural outputs.
Move on to the top 10 most advanced countries in agriculture technology.
1. United States
Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 3,475
The United States leads the pack as the most advanced nation when it comes to the abundance of companies dedicated to agri-technologies, outshining all other countries with an impressive count of 3,475 startups. Among the prominent players in this industry are Apeel, Plenty, Indigo, GrubMarket, and Ginkgo Bioworks.
Numerous cutting-edge technologies have found their way into the fabric of the US agriculture sector. Notable examples include Precision Agriculture, a method that harnesses data and technology to enhance farming efficiency, and Indoor Vertical Farming, which offers innovative solutions to optimize land and water usage while producing crops in controlled environments.
2. United Kingdom
Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 689
In the realm of agritech and smart-agriculture, the United Kingdom boasts a thriving ecosystem with a robust count of 689 startups. Over the span of the last two centuries, substantial portions of the country’s land have gradually succumbed to degradation due to intensive agricultural practices.
Back in 2017, Michael Gove, who served as the environment secretary at the time, issued a stark warning about the UK’s soil fertility, indicating that a fundamental decline in fertility could manifest within 30 to 40 years in many regions.
This pressing crisis has spurred the UK to channel significant investments into agritech solutions, ultimately giving rise to the burgeoning smart-agriculture industry. This sector gained substantial traction, culminating in a valuation of $17 billion in 2018.
As of 2021, this industry continued to burgeon, witnessing an additional infusion of $1.6 billion in value through extensive deals in venture capital and crowdfunding, as noted by Business Weekly. Among the notable agritech startups that have emerged within the country are FarmDrop, Eider Vertical Farming, and Intelligent Growth Solutions.
Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 632
In the pursuit of sustainable agriculture and heightened efficiency, Canada stands at the forefront with a commendable count of 632 agritech startups. The nation has solidified its position as one of the leading pioneers in agriculture technology on the global stage.
Precision agriculture has etched a significant footprint in Canada’s landscape, commanding a market share that approached the $0.9 billion mark in 2021. This accomplishment reflects an impressive year-on-year increase of 11.5%. Spearheading the charge in the realm of smart agriculture are notable entities like Semios, Goodleaf Farms, and 80 Acres Farms.
Canada’s prowess in the agricultural domain extends beyond its technological advancements. The country’s 2021 agriculture exports underscore its significance in the global arena, totaling an impressive $82 billion.
Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 526
Australia proudly claims its spot as a prominent contender among technologically advanced nations in the field of agriculture. With a substantial count of 526 agritech startups, the country has been fervently contributing to the realm of smart-agriculture products and services.
Australia’s approach to harnessing technology in agriculture is diverse and impactful. Precision agriculture, alongside initiatives such as smart irrigation for efficient water conservation, takes center stage in this progressive landscape. Renowned companies like Farmbot, Goanna AG, and Stacked Farm are at the forefront of these transformative efforts, spearheading innovation and sustainability in the agricultural sector.
Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 368
China stands as one of the globe’s most substantial agricultural producers, making a remarkable impact on the sector. Its agriculture industry’s remarkable contribution of 7% to the GDP in 2021 underscores its vital role in the nation’s economy. The country’s population, numbering a staggering 1.4 billion individuals as of 2021, presents an immense challenge – providing sustenance for such a vast populace amidst growing agricultural constraints.
In response to this critical need, China has embarked on an ambitious journey, investing significantly in agricultural technologies. This drive is fueled by the nation’s aspiration to achieve self-sufficiency in food security. Notably, the country’s smart-agriculture sector has witnessed astonishing growth, surging from $14 billion in 2015 to an impressive $27 billion in 2020, a noteworthy progression detailed by Statista. This growth has paved the way for the emergence of agritech startups like FJ Dynamics, a notable autonomous systems manufacturer catering to diverse industries, including agriculture.
However, it’s important to highlight that within the Chinese agritech landscape, the focus primarily centers on efficiency and business expansion, rather than exclusively tackling agricultural unsustainability. The majority of startups are leveraging technology to enhance operations and scale their ventures, contributing to China’s dynamic agricultural future.
6. The Netherlands
Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 320
Situated in Northwestern Europe, the Netherlands emerges as a noteworthy player on the global agricultural stage. Remarkably, it holds the distinction of being the second-largest exporter of agricultural products, standing just behind the United States in this regard.
Recognized by esteemed sources such as the Washington Post and the World Economic Forum, the Netherlands garners praise as a beacon of technology-driven sustainable agriculture. Around two decades ago, the nation embarked on an ambitious mission: to generate twice the amount of food while optimizing resource utilization.
This resolute initiative has yielded impressive outcomes, with farmers across the country making significant strides in reducing water dependency for major crops. Remarkably, water reliance has been slashed by as much as 90%, a feat acknowledged by the insightful reporting of National Geographic.
The Netherlands’ dedication to sustainable practices extends further. The near elimination of pesticide usage is a noteworthy achievement, while the cultivation of Duijvestijn tomatoes in innovative greenhouses stands out. These advanced structures harness geothermal energy and hydroponic systems, resulting in reduced water consumption. The driving force behind such ingenuity is a pervasive culture of innovation that resonates across the agricultural landscape.
Within this thriving environment, several standout startups contribute to the country’s agricultural advancements. Names like Protix, DNA Genetics, and PlantLab are at the forefront, embodying the Netherlands’ commitment to pushing boundaries and reshaping the future of agriculture.
Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 297
Germany emerges as a notable player in the agricultural arena, boasting the second-highest agricultural output globally, trailing only behind France in this aspect. Intriguingly, the country holds a slightly higher count of agritech startups compared to its French counterpart. Presently, as of 2022, a total of 297 agritech startups are actively operating within Germany’s borders.
Renowned as a leader within the European Union (EU), Germany boasts a robust economy that lays the foundation for its agricultural technology endeavors. According to insights from Global Data, the agritech industry garners a substantial valuation of nearly $0.6 billion within the country for the year 2021. This valuation reflects a noteworthy year-over-year increase of 14%, underscoring the dynamic growth trajectory of the sector. Notable names in Germany’s agritech landscape include Infarm and FarmInsect, both contributing to the sector’s evolution.
While agritech may hold a relatively modest share within the broader landscape of German startups, the research and development conducted within the country wield a significant impact. Illuminating this fact, the National Science Foundation reveals that Germany’s contribution to the global Knowledge and Technology Intensive (KTI) industries output stands at an impressive 6%. This figure positions Germany among the world’s leaders in this critical domain, highlighting its commitment to knowledge-driven innovation and technological advancement.
Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 292
France stands as a powerhouse in agricultural production within the European landscape, securing its position as the foremost producer of agricultural goods in the region. Notably, the agricultural output for the year 2021 contributed a significant 1.6% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), underscoring the pivotal role of agriculture in its economic framework.
Within the realm of agritech innovation, France is home to a thriving ecosystem of 292 startups as of the year 2022. Among these noteworthy ventures are Ynsect, Limagrain, and Agronutris, each carving a unique path in the agritech landscape.
Ynsect spearheads pioneering efforts by delving into the development of insect cultures, ingeniously transforming cereals into valuable nutrient sources tailored for pet feed. This innovative approach holds the potential to revolutionize the way we address nutrition in the realm of animal care.
Limagrain, on the other hand, embarks on a different trajectory, specializing in the production and supply of both GMO and non-GMO-based seeds. This strategic focus on seed technology contributes to enhancing agricultural productivity and sustainability, aligning with the broader global goals of food security and efficient resource utilization.
Agronutris takes a distinctive approach by serving as a manufacturer of insect-based organic fertilizers. This forward-looking initiative taps into the rich potential of insects to offer sustainable and eco-friendly solutions to enhance soil health and nutrient enrichment.
Collectively, these French agritech pioneers exemplify the nation’s commitment to driving innovation and sustainability within the agricultural domain, showcasing the diverse avenues through which technology intersects with farming practices to shape the future of food production and resource management.
Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 225
Israel emerges as a pivotal player in the realm of advanced agricultural technology, underscoring its significance in this dynamic field. Notably, the country boasts the ingenious contributions of Simcha Blass, the visionary mind behind Drip Irrigation—a groundbreaking irrigation technique lauded for its exceptional efficiency. Drip Irrigation stands apart by demanding 20-50% less water compared to conventional methods, positioning it as a beacon of resource-conscious innovation.
Further amplifying Israel’s prowess, Professor Uri Shani, a distinguished water expert, takes the spotlight for conceptualizing the N-Drip micro-irrigation system. This cutting-edge system not only curtails expenses associated with pumps and water filters but also remarkably slashes water consumption by an impressive 50%. The confluence of these inventive initiatives not only fosters sustainability but also demonstrates Israel’s commitment to redefining water management paradigms.
At the heart of this thriving ecosystem is an atmosphere ripe with innovation, which propels Israel to the forefront of global technological advancements. Remarkably, the country’s ability to draw 28 times more venture capital per capita than the United States in 2021 is a testament to its fertile environment for innovation. Even in the face of global giants like Lindsay Corporation (NYSE:LNN), The Toro Company (NYSE:TTC), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Israel shines bright as a hub of technological ingenuity.
The landscape of agritech in Israel is richly adorned with remarkable enterprises such as Kaiima, Equinom, and Fieldin. Each of these ventures contributes to the tapestry of innovation, collectively weaving a narrative that showcases Israel’s exceptional journey towards reshaping agriculture through technology. With luminaries like Simcha Blass and Professor Uri Shani leading the charge, Israel’s impact on the future of agricultural technology remains both profound and promising.
10. New Zealand
Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 185
In 2019, agriculture held a substantial stake in New Zealand’s GDP, accounting for 5.65% of the economic landscape, as reported by Statista’s data. Within this vibrant backdrop, New Zealand’s agritech sector emerges as a robust contributor, injecting a noteworthy $1.5 billion into the nation’s export economy—a testament to its resilience and impact on the global stage, as affirmed by official government records.
Among the luminaries in this fertile landscape are BioLumic and Opo Bio, two pioneering startups that exemplify innovation at its finest. BioLumic stands out as a force in manufacturing and supplying ultraviolet equipment and treatment solutions, a transformative approach aimed at fortifying crops against pests and diseases. Beyond bolstering resilience, this technology also amplifies yields and hardiness, casting a promising light on the future of agricultural productivity.
Equally remarkable is the stride made by Opo Bio, carving a unique path by delving into cell-culture-based meat products. In a visionary move to mitigate the environmental impact of traditional cattle farming, Opo Bio’s endeavors hold the potential to reshape the agricultural landscape and pave the way for more sustainable practices.
Collectively, these endeavors embody the spirit of innovation that courses through New Zealand’s agritech realm. As the country capitalizes on its strengths and pioneers solutions for global challenges, the impact of startups like BioLumic and Opo Bio underscores New Zealand’s journey towards a more resilient, sustainable, and technology-driven agricultural future.