There is no question that the world is entering a new agricultural food revolution, with new technological innovations remaining necessary in order to solve the many current and future problems facing global food security and sustainability. Several panelists were brought in during the 2017 Bayer #AgVocacy Forum to discuss how the industry is going to be able to fund the new technologies required for the next food revolution and where the investment focus needs to be prioritized. Panelists included Louisa Burwood-Taylor, chief editor, AGFUNDER USA, Ben Chostner, vice president, business development, Blue River Technology, and Steve Tuttle, president & CEO, Agrimetis.
Burwood-Taylor explained that the willingness to invest in the industry absolutely exists, with investments in the ag-tech industry increasing from 500 million in 2013 to 4.6 billion in 2015.
Ag biotech funding is especially popular, she said, with investments in that area specifically up 150%, which totals over 700 million dollars.
Chostner and Tuttle both highlighted the importance of eliminating global food waste, and the incredible costs associated with it, as the industry continues to invest in expensive technologies.
“When you look at the amount of waste in the food channel after production is finished, we have to do a better job of educating ourselves on how to use that food,” said Chostner. “The waste is unacceptable. When you look at the demand coming, we have to reduce that waste. We cannot continue on the economies of scales we are and accept that kind of waste.”
“We’re trying to invest in new technologies because of the labor shortage and in an attempt to increase our progit margins, but with the cost of new equipment and technologies skyrocketing, we may need to work on increasing demand for produce that has imperfections so we can utilize the technology to harvest those imperfect products,” said Tuttle.
Catch the whole session here:
Funding the Next Agricultural Food Revolution
View and download photos from the event here: 2017 Bayer AgVocate Forum Photos