AgTech Innovation: 4 Tips for Successful Adoption

AgTech Innovation: 4 Tips for Successful Adoption

By: TEAM International | May 20, 2024 | 14 min

Throughout human history, agriculture has been the backbone of civilization. From the earliest days of hunter-gatherer societies to the modern era, agriculture has shaped human society. The combination of technological progress and evolving consumer preferences has led the agriculture industry to a remarkable AgTech-driven transformation in recent years.

Overall, the transformation of agriculture is driven by a combination of technological innovation, sustainability initiatives, market dynamics, and environmental factors. As the industry evolves, stakeholders must collaborate to ensure that agriculture remains resilient, productive, and sustainable despite ongoing challenges. It’s all about seizing your business opportunities despite disruptions shaking up the world.

Today, innovation drives efficiency, sustainability, and productivity in unimaginable ways. The agriculture industry has embraced AgTech to increase these metrics while addressing environmental concerns and changing consumer demands.

However, several hurdles impact the adoption of this technology in agriculture. Agribusinesses are encountering challenges due to the complexities involved in data collection and analysis, leading to inaccurate yield predictions and inconsistencies.

How can you beat those challenges and succeed in AgTech adoption?

Adapting to new models and opting for digital business transformation also requires understanding the industry's intricacies. We're here to help you navigate them with less effort using our essential four tips to turn technology into the best ally for the growth of your business. Although it's a long road, growth is advantageous once you fully embrace technology in your business. It will give you a noticeable boost in a competitive market that increasingly recognizes the benefits of technology.

1. Be ready to embrace change and innovation

Agribusiness has recently experienced a significant megatrend by adopting AgTech, also known as precision agriculture, digital agriculture, and smart farming. This trend will shape the industry in the coming years, mark our words.

You can observe the sector's robust growth through various indicators such as the dynamic ecosystem, investment boom, and growing interest from traditional players in the industry.

Farmers are increasingly open to incorporating AgTech innovations to maximize their profits and minimize financial uncertainties due to rising input prices. McKinsey’s survey found that 39 percent of farmers globally are using or planning to use at least one AgTech product within the next two years.

To improve profitability, 43 percent of surveyed farmers focus on trying new products to increase yield, while 22 percent plan to change their purchasing and vendor strategies.

Large farms, over 5,000 acres, are the most willing to adopt AgTech solutions at 81 percent. Rather than focusing on adopting individual products from the smart farming line, forward-looking business owners are likely to combine farm-management software systems and precision-agriculture hardware solutions.

2. Keep in mind sustainable food systems

As an entrepreneur or investor, you might have noticed a shift toward sustainable food systems because of climate change. McKinsey’s piece on mindful eating states that almost 30 percent of the participants have reported increased consumption of sustainable food products since the last survey.

Their another survey shows that the adoption of AgTech hasn't yet fully aligned with these changes and that the shift is still in its early stages. Precision farming hardware, the main driver of sustainable farming practices, is the most widely used in North America, with 28 percent of respondents, followed closely by South America with 27 percent, and Europe with 21 percent. Asia is one of the lagging markets, but it is catching up, with only 4 percent adoption in all sustainability-related technology categories.

Precision farming is in the early adoption phase but is expanding steadily

While more advanced AgTech options are still in the early stages of adoption, there are solid opportunities for your business growth in various segments:

  • Farm management software, sensing, and IoT devices: Due to the evident labor challenges in the specialty crop farming sector, along with the rapid advancements in technology made in recent years, robotics in this field is expected to increase significantly in the medium term. This could help monitor the livestock farming area and set up automated data analysis for more efficient production.

  • Advanced solutions to help make forward-looking in-season decisions: More farmers will be attracted to AgTech, so it's essential to focus on developing early warning and predictive tools. The upcoming rise in collaboration and consolidation between sector players will enable this transition by enhancing interoperability.

  • Image capturing and analytics from satellites, drones, and airplanes: according to Agfunder's report, investors are increasingly interested in this sector of the Agrifood Tech industry. Meanwhile, Purdue University's survey predicted that imagery will be a high-growth segment in the future for US agricultural retailers.

  • Technologies related to the supply chain, especially sensors and blockchain-based systems: Blockchain's traceability feature can impact agribusiness at the farm, trading, and food distribution levels by reducing costs for farmers and improving disease outbreak/food contamination management.

3. Trust personalized and customizable products

Concerns about data ownership persist despite AgTech suppliers' increasing interest in your data and cloud-based software offerings. The Yield AgTech Trends survey reveals that 20 percent of farmers globally consider it a significant barrier to adopting farm-management software.

If you are an agribusiness owner in North America, you might be the most concerned (25 percent), while those in Asia are the least concerned (18 percent). To gain your trust and acceptance in the current inflationary environment, software vendors offer effective and personalized products that provide science-backed, actionable insights. Moreover, digital channels by which you acquire products require further attention, as less than 12 percent of global farmers prefer to buy products online.

As a farmer, you may find that the most trustworthy sources of information are agronomists, followed by neighboring farmers and sales representatives. This is because agronomists have deep regional expertise and can offer tailored recommendations. AgTech solution providers address adoption challenges by analyzing your past growing behaviors, using satellite imaging and machine learning, and incorporating hyperlocal agronomic insights from experts.

Precision farming is in the early adoption phase but is expanding steadily

4. Mind the critical role of increasing regulations

As a person involved in the agriculture industry, you should know that regulatory changes fuel the adoption of AgTech innovations. Government-sponsored programs are the primary drivers of sustainability program adoption, and you should consider participating in these initiatives.

Proposed regulatory changes in different countries will likely affect the direction of AgTech adoption and innovation, and you should shift towards using inputs with lower greenhouse gas emissions. In this case, AgTech digital solutions will help you optimize the application of high-emission inputs and prevent over-application.

Water management is also gaining attention, and you should explore such AgTech tools as remote-sensing technologies, soil-moisture sensors, advanced weather-forecasting solutions, and software interfaces to increase the sustainability and social responsibility of your farm irrigation practices.

Looking forward to future inventions in AgTech

Farmers are grappling with numerous challenges due to rising input prices, unpredictable weather patterns, and evolving consumer preferences. However, AgTech has the needed potential to play the most significant role in the agriculture industry if we address the persistent issues of the past decade regarding ROI, cost, and data collection.

With a concerted effort to overcome these hurdles, wider AgTech adoption will lead to more inclusive and sustainable growth for farmers worldwide. Moreover, conscious consumers and investors stand to benefit beyond the farm gate.

With 20+ years of experience developing custom software and expertise in implementing AI solutions for various industries, TEAM International is your reputable tech partner. We’re ready to help you navigate the path of AgTech integration by addressing the challenges mentioned above head-on. Our talents enable customers to harness the full potential of these technologies in their businesses. So, TEAM’s commitment lies in providing solutions tailored to your unique needs while ensuring you stay at the forefront of market trends.

Ready to transform your business with the best IT practices? Contact us for a free consultation, and let’s achieve your success.

Latest Industry Insights