Farmers need to embrace agritech to forge ahead
Farm491 is a leading UK based agritech incubator and innovation space based at the Royal Agricultural University, supporting entrepreneurs as they advance their business with potential for impact in the agricultural sector.
Through membership, entrepreneurs are rooted in the Farm491 ecosystem of farmers, industry partners, investors, mentors and like-minded entrepreneurs, enabling them to create a business that works for the agricultural sector.
Ultimately, Farm491 wants to ensure that all entrepreneurs have the best opportunities for success and are aligned with industry needs.
Agritech is a very broad term, but encapsulates so many innovations right across the food supply chain, from on-farm technologies to post-farm gate technologies. Despite having a broad range of members innovating in various areas within agriculture, there is one core message that Farm491 ensures is communicated to each – that farmers must be at the forefront of innovations.
Farm491 is very keen to ensure all of its members are engaging with farmers’ right from the initial idea generation stage.
Without knowing what farmers really want or need on farm, agritech companies cannot expect for their products and services to be adopted.
Something we have developed at Farm491 is a “farmer network” and we would really encourage any farmer to join. The network includes newsletters detailing current opportunities to work alongside agritech start-ups, either through on-farm testing or providing honest and valuable feedback.
We also aim to host pitch days where our members can pitch to our farmer network and receive some constructive advice and opinions. For anyone wishing to join the farmer network please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Any feedback to our members is really valued and appreciated.
Agritech has the potential to help reduce impacts on the environment, through, for example, reducing emissions, reducing nutrient pollution and crucially, reducing food waste. However what must also be a key consideration for farmers is adopting technology for the sake of profitability.
If farmers are able to make well-informed decisions based on insights, they will be able to save both time and money.
Sarah Carr, Outreach Officer, Farm491