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Investors turn to Israeli Agritech

Israel tech aimed at farmers has drawn 7% of global investment in on-farm technologies, raising $80m in the first half of the year.

Source: The Times of Israel:

Israeli agriculture technologies for farmers have attracted some seven percent of global investment in the first half of 2017, a new report shows.

Israeli agritech firms, whose technologies are used by farmers to improve the yield of crops and better monitor produce — called on-farm technologies — raised $80 million in the first half of the year, according to data released by Start-Up Nation Central, a nonprofit organization that connects companies and organizations to Israeli technology firms.

In 2016, Israel placed among the top five countries in terms of number of investment rounds in agritech, and the amount raised in the sector per capita was double that raised by US firms, the report said.

The smart farming sector, in which data-driven solutions and high-performance hardware for increased resource efficiency and crop yield are used, is a fast-growing sector within agritech in the so-called startup nation — with half of the 60 Israeli companies that operate in the field having been set up in the last five years.

In the past decade, the Israeli agritech sector has produced a high number of new, technologically innovative companies addressing global agricultural issues, such as food insecurity and safety, manual labor shortages, and environmental strains, the report said. There are more than 460 active Israeli agritech companies operating in Israel today, over 25% of which were founded in the last five years, and 50% of which were founded in the last ten years, the data showed.

Israel is known globally for the inroads it has made in agriculture since its early days of existence. Its pioneers, through sheer hardheadedness and the use of innovative methods like drip irrigation,  managed to drain the swamps and make the desert bloom.

Ever since, the country has maintained its agricultural expertise, with research and development in universities and institutes producing cherry tomatoes, drought-resistant cucumbers and heat-tolerant tomatoes, among others.

Israeli entrepreneurs are using IoT systems, machine-learning algorithms, and big-data analytics to spearhead innovation in farming, and they use these technologies to analyze soil, water, and plant tissue.

Solar-powered, wireless sensors that enable crop and livestock monitoring are being used to analyze the fields, along with smart irrigation systems, digitalized farm management systems and drone technology to map out the crops and to oversee the distribution of fertilizers and pesticides.

Read the full article here.

The Australian agricultural industry is touted as the country’s next $100 billion dollar industry and collaborating with Israel can provide Australia with key advantages.