Agriculture innovators have been warned not to be too distracted by everything new and shiny in the tech world, and instead to focus their attentions on how technology can solve real problems, according to a report by ABC News.
Drones have been attracting attention in the past few years, becoming mainstream in industries and recreation, however during the 2017 AgTech Investment Forum in Toowoomba, participants were told that simple apps have been getting better traction in terms of technology for the sector.
“In ag tech, we get really excited about robots and drones, but there are some very simple technological platforms like an app that is creating significant returns and efficiency gains for farmers. I’m talking, in second or third year of use, they’re seeing a six-figure profit increase on year three.”
– Sam Trethewey from ag tech accelerator group SproutX, quoted by ABC News.
Trethewey reminded attendees that although drones were fun, there was currently no evidence of great returns or any truly competitive advantages, but remained optimistic of future developments in the AgTech field.
Silicone Valley entrepreneur Sarah Nolet reminded tech creators that the focus of their technology should be fixing the problems of other people, allowing them to solve existing issues with their innovation. As well as being a morally driven goal, it also helps ensure financial success with a larger pool of potential customers
“Often some people start with ‘well, this is really hard for me’ and that’s a great place to start, but it’s not going to be a business unless many other people feel that pain point,”
Nolet also warned of the dangers involved in being too engrossed with new and exciting technologies, and potentially missing the potential of existing products.
“All these technologies that are coming out are going to definitely transform the food system and our lives but we might not be there yet and we don’t want to push technologies when they’re not solving real problems,”
Relatively simple technology developments, such as phone and computer applications, are having a more measurable impact on the agricultural industry than more experimental emerging technologies. This is further evidence of the Internet of Things infiltrating industries and daily life, assisted by the nbn™ rollout and recent improvements of the Sky Muster™ satellite
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