Forbes article advocates for economic stimulus package specifically to fund energy efficient technologies and IoT innovations for agriculture, such as Wexus Technologies.
In "Green New Deal Needs to Include Agricultural Technology," Forbes contributor Austin Frerick suggests policymakers no longer ignore the importance of the agricultural industry in climate change discussions, policy, and funding. He calls for a "Green New Deal" to help farmers cover the cost of implementing energy efficient agricultural technologies, thus speeding the rate of adoption. And encourages lawmakers to provide the agricultural industry with similar financial support for innovations as it has with many other industries including solar, wind, and even digitizing medical records.
Austin recognizes that "farmers simply do not have the capital to invest in these cost-saving, environmentally friendly solutions." Yet, these technologies also have many benefits to farmers and the environment:
I spoke with Village Capital's Allie Burns about this potential. For example, data-driven tools can dramatically reduce the use of toxic pesticides by tracking insect populations on a farm (see DTN’s recent acquisition of Spensa Technologies), or help farmers monitor water and energy use through sensors and cloud technology (see the example of Wexus Technologies). More generally, they can help farmers grow more food with fewer resources.
The article also highlights the co-benefit of investing in domestic startups and by "limiting this program to American entrepreneurs fosters the innovation and competition that drives broad-based economic growth." Innovation is accelerating rapidly in agriculture and a Green New Deal could provide a needed boost:
More than half of farmers now use at least one “precision agriculture” tool that harnesses data to improve efficiency on the farm. Investors are starting to talk about precision agriculture as the next big thing in IoT, and the market is expected to more than double from to $7.8 billion by 2022.
Photo Source: Getty via Forbes.