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Reaping returns and the growing importance of investing in new agri tech

Reaping returns and the growing importance of investing in new agri tech

Written by Violeta Gevorkjan, Sustainability Officer at HeavyFinance

The UK government recently announced a £9.13 million investment into three cutting-edge farming technology projects, providing farmers with support to invest in productivity, animal health and welfare, innovation, research and development over the next three years. 

In the past decade, the agricultural industry has seen a significant increase in the use of technology. From precision agriculture to biotechnology, new agri tech is transforming the industry and helping to improve overall efficiency. The growing importance of investing in new agri tech cannot be overstated, as it hosts a multitude of benefits for businesses and beyond, while also helping to manage the sustainability agenda. 

Delivering sustainable food production

Delivering sustainable food production in the context of climate change is one of the most critical challenges facing the global agricultural industry. Current practices contribute to around 37 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, accelerating climate change and impacting upon food security, particularly in developing countries. Investment in new farming technologies can improve food supply chain resilience, reduce waste and food poverty. Investing in sustainable agriculture can also help reduce dependence on synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, which have been linked to soil degradation and water pollution.

To manage these challenges, it is important for businesses and policymakers to take a holistic approach to sustainability. This means considering the social, economic, and environmental impacts of new farming tech, and developing strategies to mitigate any negative effects they may present. For example, businesses can work with farmers to ensure that sustainable farming practices are adopted, while policymakers can develop regulations to ensure that new technologies are developed and used responsibly. 

Appropriate investments can aid the needs of the growing population and evolving consumer trends, which has seen 40 per cent of consumers choose brands that have environmentally sustainable practices and values.

Supporting farmers to mitigate environmental impacts

Supporting farmers to mitigate environmental impacts is another area where investment in new farming technologies can make a significant difference. According to data collected within the Agri-climate report 2022, agriculture contributes to 11 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, with 69 per cent of total nitrous oxide emissions, 48 per cent of total methane emissions, and 1.7 per cent of total carbon dioxide emissions. Investments can go toward emerging technology focused on reducing soil disturbance tillage practices, such as no-till, strip-till, and mulching, helping reduce soil erosion, improve water retentions and soil fertility. Soil is a natural tool of removing excessive CO2 from the atmosphere and the tremendous capacity sink of storing it.  Proper maintenance of soil can aid in mitigating climate change.

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The result is a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly agricultural industry, which can help to preserve natural resources and reduce the impact of farming on the environment.

Increased productivity and social progress

Investments in new farming technologies can also have a positive impact on social progress. These investments have the ability to improve individual productivity, skills development, education and awareness, as well as public health. 

With the use of precision agriculture and drones, for example, farmers can optimise their crop yields by applying an accurate amount of fertiliser, water, and other inputs to their fields. This reduces waste, increases efficiency, and ultimately improves profitability, as well as more affordable food prices for consumers. Furthermore, the use of automation and robotics can reduce labour costs, while also improving accuracy and speed in tasks such as planting, harvesting, and packaging.

Increased productivity can lead to increased income, and with that, improved living standards and national public health. Investing in sustainable agriculture can also generate new job opportunities and equal pay in rural areas, which can promote its development and economic growth. 

Fuelling the finances of these projects enhances the drive toward mass adoption. Mass adoption of new farming technologies can create economies of scale, which help to reduce the cost of these technologies and make them more accessible to small-scale farmers.

New technologies offer a multitude of benefits for businesses and beyond, from increased productivity and efficiency to improved sustainability and social progress. However, it remains important to manage the sustainability agenda, and ensure that new technologies are developed and used responsibly. By taking a holistic approach to sustainability, and working collaboratively, we can ensure that new agri/farming tech benefits everyone, while also protecting the environment and promoting social progress.

More needs to be done to support the global agricultural industry, particularly in developing countries, where the challenges of climate change and food insecurity are more pronounced. Investing in new farming technologies can help address these challenges and in turn create a more sustainable and resilient agricultural industry for the future generations.


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