ONTARIO — Robots in the barn, precision planters on the field, drones in the sky, and smartphones nestled in every denim pocket: ‘agtech’ grows ever more present and indispensable on Canadian farms — and valuable overall — according to a recent national report by KPMG’s David Guthrie.
The North American agtech sector’s monetary value is expected to hit $729.5-billion US by 2025 and bring with it “endless opportunities” while “reinventing” farming, notes Guthrie’s report.
That mind-blowing number puts the sector at least within the near-realm of the over-trillion-dollar market caps of tech titans Google and Apple. It’s also getting up there with the value of agriculture itself, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture pegged at $1.109 trillion US in 2019.
Agtech has been riding a wave of explosive investment growth since 2015, the report says. Venture capitalists have pumped a combined $8 billion into agtech startups over just the last two years, according to Crunchbase data cited by KPMG.
Agtech runs the gamut from digital technologies to biotech advances that have been transforming Canadian agriculture for years. As key examples, the report highlights centralized control over Internet-enabled equipment (also known as the Internet of things, IoT), precision farming and automation, blockchain software code for trustworthy data sharing, as well as GMO crop technology.