TEL AVIV, Israel, October 26, 2017 /PRNewswire
Israel's agricultural technology, or Agritech, industry is in rapid growth, with a boom in number of companies, variety of innovations, and funding that's winning an outsized share of global Agritech investment, a new report shows.
The report by Start-Up Nation Central, a nonprofit that connects companies, governments, and organizations around the world to innovative solutions in Israel, singles out Smart Farming, a sector growing three times faster than other Agritech sub-sectors.
By the first half of 2017 the segment of Israeli Agritech that deals specifically with on-farm technologies raised 7% of global investment value in technologies of this sort.
This level of funding is noteworthy, especially for a tiny country the size of New Jersey, and where Agritech entrepreneurs must seek global proofs of concept on large farmland abroad, as some two-thirds of Israel is desert, with only 14% Arable land.
Smart farming is defined as data-driven solutions and hardware for increased resource efficiency and crop yield. Notable also is the growth of Farm-to-Consumer, Special Crops, Machinery & Robotics, Food Safety, and Alternative Protein.
Of the 460 active Israeli Agritech companies tracked in Start-Up Nation Finder, Start-Up Nation Central's innovation discovery platform, more than 25% were founded in the last five years, and 50% over the last ten, indicating a sector which, despite its historical roots in Israel's collectivist kibbutz movement, is characterized by a boom of new companies and innovations.
"Leveraging innovation and talent in the high-tech sector along with decades of experience in overcoming agriculture challenges, the Israeli Agritech sector is becoming a force to be reckoned with," said Prof. Eugene Kandel, Start-Up Nation Central's CEO.
Israeli Smart Farming solutions in IoT systems, machine-learning algorithms, and big-data analytics are being deployed to analyze soil, water, and plant tissue; in solar-powered, wireless sensors that enable crop/livestock monitoring and precision agriculture; in drone-mounted sensors for analysis of fields; and in ultra-sensitive smart irrigation systems that assess crop conditions.
Source: Start-Up Nation Central
Illustration Photo: Water Sprinklers in Zahalla, Tel Aviv, Israel (credits: Janie Easterman / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))