In an era where environmental sustainability and food security are paramount, the world of agriculture is undergoing a profound transformation. Regenerative AgriTech, a groundbreaking approach that combines cutting-edge technology with ecological wisdom, is at the forefront of this change. As the world grapples with the challenges of traditional farming, Regenerative AgriTech offers innovative solutions that are capturing the attention of both investors and eco-conscious farmers.
In our latest sector focus article Olivia Sibony, AIN’s Head of Impact and founder of Impact Amplified, explores the reasons for the rising interest in regenerative agricultural technology, the hurdles that this sector must overcome, the promising investor opportunities, and the trailblazing companies leading the way in this transformative field.
What is regenerative AgriTech?
Regenerative AgriTech is a farming and land management approach that enhances ecosystems and food production sustainability through technology. It prioritises soil health, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration by minimising soil disturbance, using cover crops, crop rotation, and livestock integration.
This practice emulates natural ecological processes to build resilient and productive agricultural systems, addressing climate change, biodiversity, and food security while preserving the environment. Technology plays a pivotal role in optimising resource management, improving efficiency, and supporting data-driven decision-making for eco-conscious farmers.
What are the reasons for the rising interest in agricultural technology?
Agriculture is a significant contributor to global carbon emissions, accounting for 30% of emissions, 70% of water usage, and almost 90% of deforestation. While the population continues to grow, traditional farming methods yield less.
Climate change effects, including unpredictable weather patterns and declining pollinators, further exacerbate the situation. Although technology can’t replace the need for human sustenance, it offers opportunities to disrupt and transform the agriculture system, addressing this substantial market’s challenges.
What challenges does agritech need to overcome and what barriers still exist?
Agriculture is an industry steeped in tradition, which has traditionally been slow to change. In addition, many parts of the system are interconnected, which makes it hard for people to adopt change.
But if we compare it to the banking system, which is heavily regulated, we have nonetheless seen innovative players disrupting the banking system and reaping huge rewards. Similarly the agritech sector is seeing a growth in ambitious entrepreneurs using new technologies that offer new opportunities to transform the food industry.
What is the investor opportunity?
The investor opportunity is huge. The global regenerative agriculture market size was valued at USD 9.08 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 31.88 billion by 2031, at a CAGR of 15.17% during the forecast period.The market is driven by a number of factors, including:
- Increasing awareness of the benefits of regenerative agriculture, such as improved soil health, water quality, and biodiversity
- Rising demand for sustainable and ethical food products
- Government support for regenerative agriculture initiatives
- Technological advancements in regenerative agriculture practices
North America is the largest market for regenerative agriculture, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific.
AI and new technologies help better understand health soil management and crop health to increase yields, machines are able to turn air into water to reduce water usage. Within the gates of the farm itself, a huge array of innovations are transforming the industry, and this is just the beginning.
The regenerative agriculture market is still in its early stages of development, but it is growing rapidly. As more and more people become aware of the benefits of regenerative agriculture, it is likely to become increasingly mainstream. It is the perfect time for investors to get on board.
Which companies are doing interesting things in this space?
Biohm is a regenerative biotech company, pioneering innovative solutions. They convert organic waste into insulation materials using mycelium for the construction industry, all while being carbon-positive and manufacturing locally.
Additionally, they produce waterproof sports clothing and harness mycelium and bacteria for energy production. Their four strains of mycelium are capable of degrading plastics, such as Polyurethane (PU), Polyethylene (PE), Polystyrene (PS), and Polyester (PET), breaking them down into sugars, benign hydrocarbons, and carbon dioxide. Mycelium consumes the sugars and hydrocarbons, while photosynthesizing organisms transform the carbon dioxide into oxygen.
All of their technologies take their roots from regenerative agriculture practices.
Smart Oasis Farm use precision agriculture in disused containers to create food in urban environments.This innovative approach guarantees yields, low energy and minimal food miles. It was created by a Ukrainian farmer, with part of the funds going to fund more production in Ukraine.
Bio Natural Solutions converts organic waste into a spray that extends the shelf life of fresh produce, reducing the reliance on plastic packaging and chemical sprays. This innovative biotechnology benefits the global export of perishable goods like avocados and mangoes, effectively curbing food waste while reusing organic materials.
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