A thousand exhibitors, more than 600,000 visitors expected … The Salon de l’Agriculture opens its doors this Saturday, February 23 with the traditional wandering of the Head of State. An unmissable event that attracts both professionals and visitors. If visitors come to contemplate the animals and are fond of the regional and international products presented, this high mass of the agricultural world also welcomes, as every year, the innovations which invent the agriculture of tomorrow. Because the sector is constantly changing, attentive to the benefits that robots, drones, apps and other connected objects can bring. More than 8 out of 10 farmers use the Internet for their business, according to a BVA study for Groupama published ahead of the show. “It is a confirmation of the fact that farmers are very connected” comments Delphine Létendart, director of the agricultural market at Groupama, a group which insures more than one in two farmers in France.
Even more significantly, 67% of farmers already use at least one new technology object for their farm, mainly a GPS on a tractor, a camera on the farm, a camera on a tractor or a connected weather station. And this use of new technologies is found in all types of activity, although it is a little more widespread in field crops. One in two farmers even plans to invest in at least one technology that they do not yet own in the next two years, with planned investment amounts averaging 3,650 euros. A trend which should again benefit cameras on the farm, GPS on tractors and connected weather stations but which could also lead to the emergence of other technologies that are still little used today, such as drones, weeding robots or connected insect traps. “This shows that a development is underway and concerns very different farms” notes Delphine Létendart.
The AgTech sector is exploding
Enough to delight the many start-ups growing in the AgTech sector. An exploding sector. Because in the world, AgTech investment funds went from 38 in 2005 to 450 in 2017. “The amounts invested in AgTech went from 185 million dollars in 2008 to 10 billion in 2017” also recalled in June Paolin Pascot, co-founder of Agriconomie, an e-commerce site for seeds, fertilizers and agricultural equipment, and president of La Ferme Digitale. This association brings together start-ups promoting digital technology and technological innovations in agriculture. The association has been present for several years at the Salon de l’Agriculture.