According to consulting company 360 Research & Reports, the global market for digital agriculture is anticipated to develop at an average rate of 15.9% each year through 2026, when it would reach an amount of US$8.33 billion. The expectation takes into account how far innovations have come and how using technological solutions has become more widespread as a result. In all phases of the production cycle, from planning the planting and harvesting to the logistics of transporting the raw material and evaluating the outcomes, there are more and more solutions available to assist the producer and the rural manager in their daily duties.
"The use of technologies is no longer a competitive advantage, but rather a requirement for any company that wants to succeed in the market. It is possible to maximise productivity and reduce costs through software and hardware that integrate the agribusiness chain, obtaining more profit and working in a more sustainable way," claims Bernardo de Castro, president of Hexagon’s Agriculture division, a company that creates technological solutions for the agricultural and forestry sectors.
According to a survey by 360 Research & Reports, the pandemic has helped to further accelerate the digitalization trend in the agro industry. "The health issue has had a significant negative influence on the global economy, affecting both supply and demand. As a result, businesses began to prioritise operational optimisation to minimise any financial repercussions,” Bernardo explains.
Currently, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is also having an impact on the agribusiness, such as making it more challenging to export fertilisers. In this scenario, technology adoption has been crucial to avoid the high input costs and lessen the possibility of shortages in countries that rely on imports, like Brazil.
Reality in Brazil
Brazil, whose agribusiness accounts for more than 20% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), has seen an increase in investments in technological solutions for the industry. It is not surprising that the number of businesses involved in agricultural innovation will increase by 40% in 2021 alone given that on average one new agritech company opens each day at the moment.
Sensors, automation tools, precision farming software, and drones are some of the increasingly popular features. “The ideal scenario is for all of these solutions to function in an integrated manner, comprising planning, analysis, monitoring, and administration of the field activities”, reinforces the president of Hexagon's Agriculture division.
A recent survey conducted by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) found that at least 84% of farmers and rural service providers now use some form of digital technology. In addition, a Fruto Agrointeligência survey revealed that the new generation of rural producers is quickening the technological transformation in the industry by making significant investments in innovations ranging from robots to biotechnolog.