Globally there are thousands of organisations innovating in the field of agriculture. Innovations through synthetic biology, automation and robotics, the Internet-of-Things, among others, have been transforming agricultural processes and operations, as well as empowering and providing greater opportunities to farmers and food providers across the globe.
With better tools – to address specific needs and help preserve the environment – individuals, communities and companies are able to move towards responsible and sustainable farming practices.
Ever since 2020, Ag-Tech Breakthrough Awards as a platform, aims to highlight the breakthrough products, solutions and companies, from among the existing crowded market.
The platform aims to give coverage to agricultural technology advancements of all sorts, covering solutions and innovations in farm management, adaptive or smart irrigation, harvesting equipment and technologies, post harvest monitoring, IoT and AI based solutions, analytics and automation, indoor farming, livestock productivity and management, food quality and safety, finance and insurance, food replacement tech, restaurant tech, grocery and food delivery, and leadership within the industry. Nominees are judged for their Innovation, Performance, Ease of Use, Functionality, Value and Impact; within several different categories, each with their own relevant subcategories. Judges bring to the table a mix of business, academic, technical and marketing expertise from within the Ag-tech industry.
While most innovations associated with agriculture focus on large scale farming, many of the technologies can be relevant to smaller scale operations. Among the award categories is ‘Indoor Farming’, which includes awards for greenhouse production systems, vertical farming, nursery automation, lighting, environmental monitoring, and other aspects.
Some of the companies that have won awards so far include:
iFarm (2020) with their automated vertical farms that give year round harvest of locally grown, pesticide-free tasty berries.
Connecterra (2020) using their AI application to improve milk production and animal welfare by monitoring and collating behavioural data of the cows and informing the farmer when a cow seems to be getting sick, so she can receive treatment.
WaterBit (2021) provides automated irrigation solutions with factors like soil condition, plant stage and weather which being monitored and worked around with greater accuracy.
Pairtree (2022) aggregates data from multiple devices, ‘stacking’ them for a level of analytics for greater, more wholesome decision making, providing access, visualisations, comparisons and analysis of information from many different sources together (for instance, rainfall records with soil moisture sensors and yield records).