Agriculture currently accounts for nearly 13 percent of global carbon emissions, representing a significant opportunity for technology advancements. Beyond increasing efficiencies within the sector, sustainable and regenerative agricultural solutions can also reduce emissions in the atmosphere. In other words, the process of identifying and implementing agriculture technology (agtech) not only benefits the industry directly, but also has the potential to reduce the impact of all other industries.
For these reasons, agtech is a unique investment opportunity and has shown great promise even with current economic uncertainties. A market analysis from April 2020 calculated that total global investment in the sector had reached $6.9 billion, doubling from $3.4 billion in 2017. This new investment is critical for agtech growth, but so are technical and scientific breakthroughs. The IN2 program expanded its focus to agtech in 2018 in order to bring more solutions to market, faster. The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (Danforth Center) was brought on as a program research partner, and now provides staff and resources to guide and support selected agtech startups. The Danforth Center is an independent nonprofit research institute founded to improve the human condition through plant science, and IN2 leaders from the Danforth Center have identified a number of trends that have recently influenced the industry.