Sustainability is one of the megatrends shaping our lives and so it does for agriculture: The sector is by nature aligned with this approach and we see many solutions on the market that are trying to make fruit growing greener and more sustainable.
There are many environmental and socio-economical aspects that influence our sector of interest, in different stages of the production chain. From scarce resources management over waste recycling, to new solutions for pesticides and fertilizers: many topics related to sustainability play a huge role in agriculture.
Water is one of the most important resources for agriculture and the decisions about irrigation are crucial for growers. Therefore, getting more information and controlling tools for water can be strategic elements for a good growing process.
SmartWatering wants to leverage sensors to automate the irrigation process and decisions, based on soil and climate conditions. HydroPoint also provides a system, able to give insights on water flows and leaks. Instead, a solution that wants the plants to take the lead in watering decisions is CommonSensors, which makes irrigation activities be based on specific valves, controlled by the plants.
Production is just the intone step in the fruit value chain, and it is linked closely to the classification and packing of fruits themselves. From a sustainability point of view, finding new ways to pack fruits is an important responsibility of the agricultural sector and there are quite a lot of startups operating in this sector.
Biodegradable packaging is the main driver in reducing plastic: at IUV, for example, the team has developed an edible-biodegradable film that can be used to pack and keep safe food. In a similar direction, Packtin can get packaging material from industrial and agricultural waste and get new material with a circular approach. Also, reusable packaging is an innovative way to deal with packaging food: Cellugy and Arekapak, for example, use bio-cellulose and natural material to produce resistant and reusable packaging.
Last but not the least, one of the most interesting trends we can observe in the agriculture sector regarding sustainability is the reduction of chemicals for growing activities or the research to find alternatives to the most common chemical products. For example, Nitroterra can provide clients with customized biofertilizers, created on soil analysis data. Very innovative and fancy solutions are also the ones from Toopi, which has developed urine-based fertilizers and from Ficosterra, which uses algae and microorganisms to favor the development of crops and plants.
After this look at the main innovation trends in agriculture, we can state that this sector is definitely going to break the old cliché of having a mostly traditional approach; In fact, this sector is going to develop incredible technical innovations. The megatrends digitization, robotics and IoTs and sustainability have arrived in the daily lives of farmers and will support them in various scenarios. We are keen to follow the further developments of the previously described trends and very curious, what technologies have in store in the next years.