Builders' Almanac 2021

Forecast 4: Agtech

What will Canadian Agtech Look Like in 2021?

Harvest Builders Staff

Trends, recommendations and forecasts for Agtech in 2021

Agtech

Overview

Agriculture and agri-food accounts for 2.6 percent of Canada’s total GDP. Globally, it’s a $5 trillion-dollar industry. By 2050, demand for food for human and animal consumption will increase by 100 percent. More farming isn’t a satisfactory answer, since the world is already struggling to keep up. By 2030, the world will be unable to meet 30 percent of water demand, and it’s already degraded over 20 percent of arable land. There are significant opportunities for innovative companies to use technology to improve farming practices, introduce efficiency, and streamline processes through data-driven decision making. 

Trends

Recommendations

  1. Focus on ways to address existing efficiencies in the agricultural industry. Farmers face pressure to produce greater amounts of food with less land under challenging climate conditions and increasing regulations. In addition, they have to use outdated channels for gaining access to credit, a serious pain point considering the cash-flow intensive nature of agriculture. Entrepreneurs who design tech-enabled ways to streamline processes in the agricultural industry can enjoy significant traction. 
  2. Consider farming’s intersection with other industries. There are several exciting opportunities for “deep technology” innovation in the agricultural industry. That said, the best step for companies may be investing in specific processes of the value chain and seeing where agriculture intersects with other industries. For example, fintech has a significant role to play in the agricultural industry such as helping farmers access credit or their investment in sustainable farming practices and equipment. 

Watch out for

Today’s farmers are managing massive financial transactions for crop inputs using pen, paper, and checks. The companies running the campaigns are making decisions based on spreadsheets. There’s a need for companies that can bring the user-friendliness and data-driven decision making of B2C e-commerce to B2B agricultural purchases. Agro.Club, a Winnipeg-based agtech company, is building a digital-first, user-friendly experience for crop input purchases, connecting farmers, retailers, and manufacturers through one seamless marketplace.

Harvest Builders Staff
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