The organizers of the upcoming Animal AgTech Innovation Summit spoke to Aidan Connolly (CEO at Cainthus) about digital solutions for precision livestock farming.
What are your predictions for investment and innovation in the precision livestock farming space for the rest of 2020 and into 2021?
I think we have seen an explosion in AgTech investment into livestock applications to a degree that I do not think that we have seen in prior times. This is partially driven by a more interesting deal flow but also, I feel that livestock technology is looking more promising than other sectors, in terms of profitability and also opportunities for the next period of time, on a relative basis.
What does the animal ag industry need to focus on going forward as priorities and pain points shift because of the pandemic?
I think that the animal AgTech industry is going to focus its priorities in terms of the removal of labour, both from the farm and from a health safety perspective, biosecurity and not least availability. Everything that can be done to remove the requirement for physical presence on the farm, by expert advisors, remove the requirement for people on the farm and enhance the people who are doing the jobs, is clearly going to be extremely attractive and this would stretch into the traditional sector of sensors, cameras, drones and of course robots, but would also open up the opportunities for machine learning, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and 3D printing to a degree that perhaps people have not considered.
Why do you think it’s important to bring the animal agriculture ecosystem together in a virtual format for this September’s Animal AgTech Innovation Summit?
Well, I do not think we have a choice. I still prefer face to face and the opportunity to meet people. I think networking is massively important in any business and even more important in agriculture, but given the nature of the pandemic and the true interest that people have in embracing technology faster, the timing is very good to bring everybody into a format where they can exchange those ideas.
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