13 Most Advanced Countries in Agriculture Technology

In this article, we discuss the 13 most advanced countries in agriculture technology. You can skip our detailed analysis of the agricultural industry, key agritech players and trends to watch in 2023, and go directly to 5 Most Advanced Countries in Agriculture Technology.

Why the need for Agriculture Technology?

Agriculture is considered an essential ingredient for economic growth in a country. It has a 4% share in global GDP. The world population is growing and it is expected that it will reach a staggering 10 billion by 2050. In 2022 alone, 783 million people have faced hunger. In such a scenario, it becomes incumbent to be prepared for meeting the food needs of such a large number, which is estimated to increase by 50%. Furthermore, it is also felt that the aim should not be only to produce more food but to ensure that it is produced sustainably.

At the end of the day, agriculture technology seems to be the answer to contemporary problems. It allows the production of food through new ways including vertical farming as well as alternative proteins dairy products. Agriculture technology can help move the world towards producing sustainable ways of food and ensuring the safety of our planet and future generations. With catastrophic climatic changes, 70% of world’s fresh water supply used in agriculture and widespread land degradation, without agricultural transformation, there is going to be no future. Thus, agriculture technology, most commonly known as agritech, has become exceedingly important for many countries.

Agriculture Technology Industry forecast

Spherical Insights has placed the global agritech market size at $22,142.7 million in 2022, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.1% from 2022 to 2032. Is has also been predicted that North America would grow the fastest during this period.

Among various agricultural technological advancements, precision agriculture is estimated to reach a value of $12.9 billion by the year 2027. It is anticipated that this tool would help increase the crop yields by 10-20%, along with a 30-50% reduction in water and chemical input usage.

Many countries like China, Brazil, Russia, the United States and India — are playing a crucial role in changing global agriculture landscape. 1,773 agritech companies, globally, have received investment from 2000-2021. Of these 474 are headquartered in Europe.

Technological Solutions

There are multifarious agriculture technologies that have erupted in response to the current dilemma. These include AI, drone technology, e-commerce input markets, robotics, IoT, blockchain, GIS software and GPS agriculture, satellite imagery, merging datasets, indoor vertical farming, precision agriculture, automated irrigation systems, automated milking systems and chemical pest controls.

These solutions are poised to address many problems, including low productivity, high input costs, volatile prices, lack of market access and poor infrastructure.

Key Agri-Tech Players and Trends to Watch in 2023

Addressing the direst need of the agriculture sector — sustainability — decisive agricultural technologies are the best solution.

For instance, Indoor Vertical Farming is a form of agriculture technology, which can reduce land and water usage by 99% and 70% respectively. Prominent companies adopting this technique are AeroFarms, Arcadia Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: RKDA), Origin Agritech Limited (NASDAQ: SEED), InFarm and Agricool, based in the US, China, Germany and France, respectively.

Origin Agritech Limited (NASDAQ: SEED) is a vertically integrated technology company, that specializes in agricultural biotechnology research, development production, sale and distribution of crop seeds. Arcadia Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: RKDA) is a leader in science-based techniques for improving the quality and nutritional value of crops and food ingredients and applying the company’s proprietary crop innovation technology — ArcaTech™.

Another technological innovation that saves 50% in water usage whilst improving crop yield is N-Drip micro-irrigation systems. Major companies developing this tech include Lindsay Corporation (NYSE:LNN) and The Toro Company (NYSE:TTC), among others.

Let’s move on to the list of 13 most advanced countries in agriculture technology.

A farmer in a field, surveying the increased yields of a crop cultivated with agricultural technology.

Our Methodology

For our list of 13 most advanced countries in agriculture technology, we’ve ranked them based on the number of agri-technology startups operating in the countries. We’ve sourced the data from Tracxn, a premier platform that tracks startups in different countries across more than 230 sectors. We’ve also talked about some important agritech companies in each country.

Most Advanced Countries in Sustainable Agriculture

13. Japan

Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 120

Japan is one of the top East Asian country on the list of most advanced countries in agriculture technology. They are expected to have a $5.789 trillion GDP for the year 2023. Agricultural sector accounted for 1% of its GDP in 2022, according to the World Bank. Japan aims to double their agriculture exports from 2019, which at the time have being recorded at $9billion. In anticipation of the market need, the country aims to export $19 billion worth agricultural products by 2025.

The government is also aware of the need for further development in the sector. With that in mind, the recent amendment in April 2023 of allowing corporations to own agricultural land has come in the midst of a most needed stimulus for young agriculturalists. The country is also transforming its agricultural industry through technology.  Spread and Routerek are two examples of highly innovative companies that are creating waves in the industry. While Spread produces hydroponically grown lettuce, Routerek has developed sensor-based systems for drip irrigation.

12. South Korea

Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 129

South Korea is one of the largest economies, ranking at number 13 and extremely advanced, as depicted by its 6th ranking in Global Innovation Index for the year 2022.  It has a GDP size of $1.665 trillion as of 2022. In the same year, its agriculture sector accounted for 1.6% of its GDP. The country has rice as its main crop.

Smart-agriculture ecosystem has been gaining importance in the country. In 2014, only 405 hectares of land and 23 households were involved in smart farms and smart livestock respectively. As of 2021, these figures have jumped to 6,485 hectares of land and 4,743 livestock households.

South Korea has been able to ignite some startups that are bound to be conducive towards large scale agricultural sustainability. Some major companies include Tridge, N-THING, Green Labs, G+ Flas Life Sciences and EGG Tube.

11. New Zealand

Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 290

Agricultural commodities have a significant role in New Zealand’s economy. Dairy is the biggest chunk of the country’s total exports. Aside from agriculture produce, their agri-tech sector is also strong, contributing $1.5 billion to the country’s export economy, according to the official data.  The government recognizes the role that agriculture technology has to play in export, environment and commercial gain. They hope to take the sector’s contribution to $8 billion in their economy, by 2030.

Prominent startups include BioLumic, Robotics Plus and Sprout Agritech. BioLumic manufactures and supplies ultraviolet equipment as well as treatment solutions to enhance crops’ pest/disease resistance, yield and hardiness. Robotics Plus has developed robotic equipment for horticulture produce handling, while Sprout Agritech provides services to ag-tech and food tech businesses to grow globally.

10. Italy

Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 329

Italy has come a long way to becoming one of the top economies of the world. It has also become one of the leading countries in agritech. Most lands under cultivation consists of hilly areas where agriculture has only been made possible through various techniques like terracing, irrigation and soil management.

As one of the largest food processors and agricultural producers in the EU, the agriculture sector makes up about 2% of GDP for the country. They are also diligently pursuing agritech methods for agriculture. Only recently, Kagome Co., Ltd., NEC Corporation and DXAS Agriculture Technology LDA, has made a joint venture to introduce an ICT platform “CropScope” which is a combination of  AI farming advice and automatic irrigation control functions compatible with pulse drip irrigation, in northern Italy for tomato fields.

Some of the country’s top agritechs include xFarm — provider of farm management solutions consisting of IoT tools and Agricolus — a provider of technological solutions for precision agriculture decision support.

9. Israel

Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 348

Israel is one of the top countries in agriculture technology. While the country’s whole economy grew substantially by 2022, the tech sector alone made-up 18.1% of the GDP.

Furthermore, the country has much to boast with being foremost in technological innovations like Drip irrigation and N-micro irrigation systems. They have a major role in revolutionizing the irrigation system by greatly reducing water usage and expensive equipment like pumps and water filters.

However, with the high influx of venture capital (28 times more venture capital per capita than the United States in 2021) it is no wonder that they have made leaps in producing innovative solutions. This is in spite of the fact that the US is home to some of the biggest agtech companies in the world like Lindsay Corporation (NYSE:LNN) and The Toro Company (NYSE:TTC).

Some of these innovative start-ups in Israel include agritech companies like Netafim, Kaiima, Equinom and Fieldin.

8. France

Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 445

Standing along with the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Japan and Germany, France is one of the biggest economies of the world. While agriculture makes up about 2% of the country’s GDP, France is a leading agricultural nation in Europe, making up more than one-fifth of the total value of product. They are also taking active part in technologically advanced agriculture by employing IT tools like robotic milking cows, data gathering and digital fruit and vegetable markets.

There are many agritech firms in France. For instance Limagrain which is producing and distributing GMO and non-GMO seeds. Ceva- a developer and supplier of animal health therapeutics, and Agronutris which is a manufacturer of insect-based organic fertilizers.

7. Germany

Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 462

Germany is the fourth largest economy of the world, after the US, China and Japan, and the largest economy in Europe. While the country has second highest agricultural output after France, their number of agritech startups is greater. As of 2023, 462 agritech startups are operating in Germany.

According to Global Data, the agritech industry’s value amounted to $0.6 billion in 2021, with a YoY increase of 14%. The country is very active in research and development of the agriculture technology, which is very effective for the sector. According to the National Science Foundation, the country’s contribution to the global Knowledge and Technology Intensive (KTI) industries output is one of the highest in the world, at 6%.

Its prominent startups include Infarm and Plantix. InFarm is a producer of herbs and vegetables using IoT-powered indoor hydroponic vertical farms. Plantix, on the other hand, is an app-based platform offering AI-based plant disease diagnosis.

6. The Netherlands

Number of Agri-Tech Startups: 516

As the second largest exporter of agricultural products after the United States, Netherlands occupies an important place in the list of the most advanced countries in agtech.

The country has made a great name in the technology-based sustainable agriculture sector. Famous publications like  Washington Post as well as by World Economic Forum, have honored the country by labeling it as a model to follow. A twenty year old resolve for increasing food availablity to double the resource use amount, provided a strong stimulus to the farmer industry. According to National Geographic, farmers have greatly reduced water usage required for crops to a substantial degree of 90%.

The country continues to invent unique ways of combating local agricultural issues like crop diversity and underground drainage systems. The reliance on pesticides have also been reduced and Duijvestijn tomatoes are grown in greenhouses using new technologies like geothermal energy and hydroponic systems where water demand is quite low.  Among various companies employed in technological innovation, a few startups include Protix, DNA Genetics and PlantLab.

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Disclosure: None. 13 Most Advanced Countries in Agriculture Technology is originally published on Insider Monkey.