Reports Indicate That Agritech May Become More Important If Food Prices Continue Rising

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For many, inflation is on the mind.

Primarily driven by supply chain issues and rate hikes, food prices are consistently up 1% month-over-month. Historical data may support the belief that commodity prices go up during inflation, leading to increased global demand for seeds, fertilizer, livestock and farm equipment. 

With the 2022 crop year in Ukraine being a non-factor in production amid its conflict with Russia, anything the country produces will reportedly be used to feed its own people. This may end up being an opportunity for U.S. farmers to answer the call globally to fill the gap Ukraine must leave. Still, with fertilizer costs up by about 50% to 60% for 2022, it will be more expensive to produce crops this year, contributing to inflationary prices. 

Some analysts are now saying that the time is ripe for agritech, which uses modern methods to enhance farming, data analytics, software as a service, artificial intelligence, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and sustainable practices guaranteeing food security. It also uses robots, big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and other methods to solve the never-ending challenges of the agriculture industry.  

With food insecurity and inflationary supply-chain pressure mounting globally, the technology used in farming is receiving a heightened presence and an increased investment focus. According to the latest Bain & Co. report, the agritech market is predicted to grow by up to $35 billion by 2025. That growth is likely fueled by progress in crop yields, farm productivity, plant and animal health, sustainability, waste reduction and scalability. 

Some newer agritech companies have also become top market performers and investment darlings. Shares of Brazil’s Verde Agritech PLC AMHPF, for example, sit at $9.71, and the trailing one-year price return and year-to-date gain are at 683% and 247%, respectively. In a little over three years, its return has been 1,194.67%  at a compound annual growth rate of 134.08%.  

While agritech traditionally covers a wide variety of areas like indoor farms, plant-based pest controls and crop sensors, some traditional farm equipment companies also are getting into the space. Deere & Co. DE and Caterpillar Inc. CAT each have opened agritech divisions in the past year. 

But some agritech companies also focus on developing their own intellectual property (IP), like AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd. AGRI.  The company has reportedly been making moves in the industry by creating and acquiring IP and technology to improve farming. 
The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company says it takes a proprietary approach, bringing together crops, operations, facilities, systems and environments designed to allow plants to reach their full genetic potential. 

AgriFORCE recently announced it received a Notice of Allowance from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for its patent application titled “Structures for Growing Plants.” This patent corresponds to its previously announced patent application in the U.S. and related AgriFORCE patent, trademark and copyright applications previously filed in the U.S., Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and Central/South America.

Among AgriFORCE’s reported achievements is the five years it spent developing
its GrowHouse, associated technologies and procedures. With its proprietary design, AgriFORCE IP states its IP is designed to promote significant yield gains compared to most traditional indoor growing environments and systems.

“It is encouraging to see that all of the claims made in the AgriFORCE GrowHouse patent application have been acknowledged and subsequently allowed, without exception, which is rare for complex applications such as ours,” AgriFORCE Solutions President Troy McClellan said. “The GrowHouse design is the culmination of years of development, which we believe represents the next generation of indoor growing for high-value crops. The combination of our unique structure, energy-efficient design and automated growing system can be utilized in virtually any climate to realize higher-quality and higher-yield crops.”

The allowed patent application for AgriFORCE GrowHouse has 20 claims for different features relating to structures for growing plants, encompassing innovative design elements of the GrowHouse structure and operational systems. 

For more information on AgriFORCE Growing Systems, visit www.agriforcegs.com

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