Technavio analysts forecast the global precision agriculture market to post a CAGR of more than 14% by 2019, according to their latest report.
The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global precision agriculture market for 2015-2019. To calculate the market size, the report considers the revenue generated from sales of the following precision farming products: automation and control systems, sensing and monitoring devices, and farm management systems.
Technavio analysts highlight the following four factors that are contributing to the growth of the global precision agriculture market:
- Growing awareness and acceptance
- Need to maximize food production
- Optimization of inputs
- Control over farm data
Growing Awareness And Acceptance
According to the report the acceptance and adoption of any technology is influenced by return on investment (ROI) and the farmer’s ability to bear risk. Despite the fact that precision farming technologies have been available commercially since the 1990s, their awareness and uptake has been relatively slow. However, with advances in socio-demographic factors like improved education and computer literacy among farmers, the adoption rate has increased in modern times.
“Awareness of the benefits of precision farming technologies, revealed in the form of improved yields and profitability, have provided the biggest incentive for their acceptance and adoption, driving growth in the market,” says Faizan Akhtar, a research expert from Technavio’s agricultural equipment research team.
Need To Maximize Food Production
With the growing global population, demand for food is rising but the size of arable land is decreasing. Farmers are thus facing the pressure of maximizing production within these limitations and are seeking out progressive techniques to make their farmlands more efficient. These factors combined are expected to drive the popularity of precision farming technologies in the market because they allow more effective management of farmland and thus increase production in a sustainable manner.
Optimization Of Inputs
Agricultural inputs like seeds, irrigation, and fertilizers account for a major cost to farmers and are witnessing a rise in prices. Farmers have strived to mitigate the costs associated with inputs and simultaneously increase yields. Precision farming technologies such as variable-rate technology (VRT) provide this benefit as they facilitate control of the timing, quantity, and placement of inputs for any given area on the farm. This allows for better efficiency of planting because it allows farmers to optimize and customize inputs and reduce the misapplication of products.
“The VRT tools can be used to evaluate the natural soil variability of a field and reduce irrigation in areas where soil is detected to better retain water. Precision farming can thus translate into major cost and energy savings through efficient use of resources. This is expected to drive demand in the market over the next five years,” says Faizan.
Control Over Farm Data
Farm data security and privacy is a major concern of the precision farming market. This farm data is related to planting, production and harvesting practices and can be sent by farmers to ATPs (agricultural technology providers). Vendors in the market including Deere and Company and Monsanto have developed services that make use of these data, analyze them, and offer field prescriptions and benchmarks to aid farmers in decision-making. While some farmers are open to this, others refrain from allowing ATPs to use them.
Certain farm data tools such as FARMServer have facilitated the sharing of data, vesting its privacy and security in the hands of the farmer. This could help accelerate the advances in the precision farming field through collaborative efforts between the farmers and agribusinesses.