Smart Agriculture Market: Core Technologies cultivating Growth

Smart Agriculture Market - Inkwood Research

Raising production capacity to feed the surging population is no small feat. For instance, the latest United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) stats show that the global population stands at 8 billion. Accordingly, agriculture is incorporating ‘smart technology’ to increase production efficiency and crop quality. Smart agriculture, therefore, encompasses farm management using advanced information and communication technologies to increase the quality and quantity of products. As per Inkwood Research, the global smart agriculture market is predicted to record a CAGR of 9.98% during the forecast period, 2022-2030.

Given below are a few technologies that enable smart agriculture:

  1. Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) has automated its way to agriculture, promising tremendous improvements. IoT in agriculture entails robots, drones, and sensors connected through the internet. They function semi-automatically and automatically to gather data and perform operations with predictability and efficiency. Also, with the growing labor shortage globally, agriculture robots, more commonly known as agribots, have taken the midfield among farmers.

For instance, according to Cropin, a global ag-ecosystem intelligence provider, crop production decreased by around $3.1 billion a year in the US due to labor shortages. Accordingly, recent advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) technology and sensors allow machines to train on their surroundings rendering agribots more notable. Furthermore, John Deere, an American farm equipment company, is connecting its tractors to the internet, allowing farmers to track their tractor productivity on their phones.

But how will IoT benefit smart agriculture?

IoT facilitates waste reduction, enhanced product distribution, and cost management, attributed to better control over production. Besides, monitoring livestock health or crop growth can mitigate the risks of yield loss. Furthermore, automation offers enhanced efficiency. The use of smart devices can automate multiple processes across the production cycle. For instance, pest control, fertilizing, and irrigation.

Similarly, data collected by smart agriculture sensors, including crop growth progress, soil quality, weather conditions, cattle health, etc., can be used to track overall performance, efficiency, and output. Also, better internal process control means minimized production risks.

  1. Robotics

The agriculture sector is embracing new technologies like robotics. This can potentially redefine the role of farmworkers and ease the workload while ensuring efficiency in input costs, increased yields, and crop efficiency. For instance, robots use machine vision technology to determine the readiness of crops for harvesting, identify crops, and avoid hazards. Machine vision entails multiple cameras that feed information to the robots and enable them to locate and access crops. Also, it makes robots perform tasks like packing, sorting, harvesting, growth monitoring, and weed picking.

Furthermore, with regard to seeding, automated drone seeders are projecting potential use in agriculture. They can enable replanting in impenetrable patches without endangering workers. Also, they seed with more precision than conventional drone seeders or broadcast spreading seeders. This is done by generating a field map that includes information on soil properties such as soil quality and density.

  1. Big Data

Big data processes a large amount of information from various sources and ensures the interoperability of digital tools to exploit, analyze, and organize data. With smart agriculture becoming data-enabled and data-driven, there is abundant data in scope and quantity. For instance, technologies like Global Positioning Data (GPS) allow data to be allocated to a specific land area. Whereas data collected from sensors help calculate and subsequently administer the required fertilizer composition for that particular area.

Accordingly, big data is used in smart agriculture for:

  • Risk Management: Farmers can leverage big data to determine the chances of uncertain events like shifting weather patterns, drought, crop failure, and other calamities.
  • Operational Management: Sensors in vehicles offer a lot of data that can assist fleet and equipment management, resulting in increased productivity and minimized downtime.
  • Yield Production: Yield production utilizes mathematical models to gain insight into the biomass index, leaf, chemicals, yield, and weather alongside machine learning to enhance decision-making and statistics. This further enables insights into the type and location of the plant/crop.
  • Food Safety: Modern farming is adept at handling and instantly detecting microbes and contamination. Similarly, data collection centering on chemical proportion, humidity, and temperature smoothens the overall agricultural progress. Early detection helps minimize wastage and reduce costs.

As per our assessment, Agriculture Asset Management is the fastest-growing software in the solution segment, with a CAGR of 12.15%.

Vertical Farming: A Layered Future for Smart Agriculture?

The increasing population has raised the demand-supply gap for food, highlighting the need for alternative farming techniques like vertical farming. Vertical farming is a revolutionary approach to food production in vertically stacked layers like shipping containers, warehouses, skyscrapers, etc. It facilitates a large quantity of nutritious and quality fresh food without relying on high soil fertility, skilled labor, high water usage, and favorable weather.

According to World Bank, urban areas house almost 56% of the world’s population. At the same time, the land constraints in metropolitan areas have led to producers finding new ways to generate fresh vegetables. Vertical farming will thus enable users to grow crops in multi-story structures in layers. As a result, the optimum use of vertical space, the scarcity of cultivable land, the demand for fresh, organic, and high-quality food, and balanced energy utilization raise vertical farming demands. Such trends define the global smart agriculture market growth.

By Akhil Nair


Which are the prominent companies operating in the global smart agriculture market?

Afimilk Ltd, Aker Technologies Inc, AGCO Corporation, AgEagle Aerial Systems Inc, AgJunction, etc., are among the prominent companies operating in the global smart agriculture market.

Which country offers lucrative opportunities for smart agriculture?

India offers lucrative opportunities for smart agriculture.