Industrial farming is evolving to embrace new hi-tech concepts in food production to increase efficiency and productivity. The growing agri-tech sector aims to put the power of technological tools in farmers’ hands, pushing the boundaries to make farming much more efficient and profitable.
New advancements include monitoring systems using sensors, drones, wireless networking and satellite information so that farmer’s can keep a closer and more detailed eye on the state and health of their crops and animals, meaning they can react faster to emerging situations and make more efficient use of resources with better timing. Automation of labour intensive jobs frees workers to spend time on other tasks and areas of the business. UK farmers are finding that adopting technology is becoming more and more crucial in their industry.
Food producers globally are facing unprecedented amounts of pressure on multiple fronts, such as competition from international markets, the challenges of a changing climate and feeding growing populations. More recently, the war in Ukraine and the cost of living crisis has been hitting the UK economy hard. Brexit has been the cause of labour shortages in workplaces where they might once have been filled by foreign workers.
It’s hard to believe there are any positives to be taken from this thanks to the media's constant feed of doom and gloom, but we are happy to pass on the good news that agri-tech has some exciting developments afoot and has been recognised as a growth area for some of the UK’s rural economies.
Here in Devon’s agricultural landscape, the County Council has been awarded £500,000 through the Government’s UK Community Renewal Fund, to support and grow the agri-tech sector in Devon. This represents an exciting opportunity for the County to become a leader in agri-tech innovation.
Last week, Hillside Product Design attended the Devon Agri-Tech Accelerator (DATA) launch event in Cullompton and met with a number of Devon-based farmers, producers and manufacturers who were all keen to explore the opportunities a new Agri-Tech Alliance can provide. Having experience in developing products within the agri-tech sector, we were delighted to be given the chance to share our knowledge and network with some very unique and innovative companies.
We look forward to supporting DATA going forward and helping to connect Devon’s Agri-Tech sector by sharing opportunities and finding innovative solutions to Devon’s agricultural challenges.