The organizers of the upcoming Animal AgTech Innovation Summit spoke to Amy Novogratz (Founder & MD at Aqua-Spark) and Bendik S Sovegjarto (CEO at Bluegrove) about digital solutions for aquaculture. Here’s what they had to say:
Amy Novogratz, Founder & MD at Aqua-Spark
How is the aquaculture industry progressing towards greater productivity and welfare through digital solutions?
The transformation of aquaculture from an opaque industry, with no to limited data driving production methods or transactions less than a decade ago, to where we are now with technologies using sensors or acoustic tech to optimize feed resulting in almost zero feed waste and increased growth rates, to AI driven farm management platforms that offer real time insights on disease treatment and ideal harvesting schedule, to solutions that bring more humane and efficient ways of culling fish, just to name a few, are starting to prove aquaculture’s potential as the most resource efficient animal protein production system and we are just at the beginning. In addition, the ability to see the data behind the industry changes the story and gives tools to a wide range of stakeholders like, retailers, labelers, investors and consumers, for example, enabling them to improve their part in the equation.
What is next on the horizon for aquaculture? What steps need to be taken to bring supply and value chains greater resiliency and efficiency?
We need much greater tech adoption across the industry and connected to that, more investment. We should start tying regulations, certifications, financing, and insurance to the data secured by these farm technologies. We are already seeing a rise of digital marketplaces and data-driven financing options made possible from the digitalization of farms – a more transparent and data driven way of trading seafood and financing farms is next and will be a real game changer.
Why do you think it’s important to bring the ecosystem together in a virtual format for this September’s Animal AgTech Innovation Summit?
Personally, I’ve really missed connecting with the wider industry! But really, the most exciting thing about the agtech and aquaculture industry in this past decade has been opening the industry to collaboration, data, and knowledge sharing platforms. From our portfolio I see that individual companies and farming operations seem to be making progress, but the momentum of the industry progressing together seems to have stalled. We need to catch up on what other areas of agtech and aquaculture value chains are up to and reconnect to the big picture. Seeing all these talks and having these conversations in one place opens our minds around our approach and possibilities of the future. Big thanks to the Rethink team for pushing through and bringing us together during these times.
Bendik S Sovegjarto, CEO at Bluegrove:
“In aquaculture, we are starting to realize it is not enough to simply apply data models and rich sensors to enhance the quantity of food production. If we want to optimize production sustainably and use our scarce resources wisely, we must make sure that technology oversees and assures the ecological balance of a farm. Focusing on ecology helps farmers gain better yields, lets consumers benefit from higher quality food, and ensures production within the limits of nature.”
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