There’s nothing more important than our food supply. America is a country synonymous with wheat farms and orange trees. But according to McKinsey & Company, about a third of food produced is lost or wasted every year. Globally, that’s a $940 billion economic hit. Inefficiencies in planting, harvesting, water use and trucking, as well as uncertainty about weather, pests, consumer demand and other intangibles contribute to the loss. On the consumer end, inadequate packaging and labeling can lead to waste and potentially life-threatening illness due to food-borne pathogens.
These are problems desperately in need of solutions and many of those solutions can be found in emerging technologies.
Big data is moving into agriculture in a big way. Need proof? Several well-known investors recently dropped a combined $40 million into Farmers Business Network, a data analytics startup. Venture capital has flooded the ag tech space, with investment increasing 80% annually since 2012, as investors realize big data can revolutionize the food chain from farm to table.
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