Agri-tech: A growing industry


It is estimated that by 2050, the world will have over 9 billion people – almost a 35% increase from where we currently are. Whilst this presents lots of issues, one of the biggest is working out how we are going to actually feed all of these extra mouths.

Agri-tech is growing and fast becoming the most important solution in driving food production efficiency in UK agriculture – with the aim of helping to feed the world’s expanding population. Haven’t heard of it? Find out more…

What is Agri-tech?

Essentially, agri-tech is ‘agriculture’ and ‘technology’ squashed together, and means just that – the use of technology in agriculture. The whole point in agri-tech is to keep the industry alive and moving forward with the use of data, aiming to improve yield, efficiency and profitability.

Why is it important?

Agri-tech is just a glimpse of what farming in the future is going to be, stemmed from the current global demand for food, and for the projected consumption of the world in the not so distant future. The UN expect world population to be a staggering 9.7 billion by 2050, so plans needs to be in place to ensure we can feed everyone.

Key Agri-tech facts

  • Agri-tech accounts for £14.3bn GVA in the UK and 542,000 jobs
  • In 5 years, output in the agri-tech sector has grew 16%
  • The fastest growing sub-sector of agri-tech is precision farming and engineering. Robotics are now being developed to support the likes of driving tractors, killing weeds (a step away from chemical methods), plant seeds, mow grass and much more
  • The UK Government is investing lots of time and research into the fledgling industry, and has recently produced an industrial strategy that outlines aspects such as turnover, employment, exports etc. The strategy report can be found here…
  • As part of the Government’s involvement, 120 Catalyst Projects have been funded that range in purpose rom ensuring better animal welfare for chickens, to increasing cocoa yield through different methods of virus prevention.

If you’re interested in what the UK is doing to help support and grow agricultural technology innovations, you can visit the GOV.UK blog here.

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