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Accelerating Agriculture & Food: Top 3 Digital Trends for 2021

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The agriculture and food industry has transformed over the past 50 years. Advances in machine technology have led to more efficient cultivation, improvements to fertilizers and irrigation engineering have increased yields, and digital technology has enabled smarter efficiencies and built resilience across crop cultivation and livestock production. Yet, despite these tangible improvements, agriculture and food sectors face a multitude of challenges.

With the global population expected to increase from 7.8 billion today to 9.7 billion by 2050, we’re approaching a crunch point in our ability to feed the world. The global food system also has a huge environmental footprint; deforestation, global greenhouse gas emissions, soil and marine habitat degradation – the list of climate concerns are extensive, as food producers face the challenge of feeding a growing population. 

Aside from primary food production, there’s an entire set of equally concerning challenges across global food production, manufacturing and supply chains. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused turmoil across all sectors, and the industry is at a continued risk of disruption, with ongoing volatility in costs, policies and the impacts of the pandemic. 

Consumer behaviour is also constantly evolving. As consumers demand more sustainable production techniques, the onus is on producers to comply with ethical standards for all elements of the food cycle. 

Agri-food is no stranger to the benefits of digital technology, so with digital transformation firmly on the agenda for the sector, we look at the three top trends we expect to see accelerate in 2021: 

  • Increased accessibility to AI innovation
  • Connected Supply Chains
  • Direct to Consumer business models 

Download our longread to find out more about the future of Agriculture and Food