Best of 2017: AgFunder’s Top 7 Guest Articles

Our evergrowing global subscriber base of agrifood tech entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, agrifood corporates, governments, and enthusiasts means that we have an incredible amount of expertise in our 45,000-strong network. And luckily for us, this expertise often makes its way onto the pages of AgFunderNews.

We are very thankful for all our guest writers — there have been over 45 in 2017 — who have contributed some of our best-read articles overall.

Here’s a look at the top 10 most read this year.

(If you want to contribute to AgFunderNews in 2018, please get in touch with [email protected].)

1. The Challenges for Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture

Written by Joseph Byrum, ex-senior R&D and strategic marketing executive in Life Sciences – Global Product Development, Innovation, and Delivery at Syngenta, this article laid out some of the key challenges in building AI tools for agriculture. In a year where artificial intelligence became an essential buzzword for many startups trying to raise funding, Byrum offered some necessary caution in how this technology is applied to agriculture.


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Joe has now left Syngenta to work exclusively on artificial intelligence capabilities at a financial services firm and we look forward to other contributions from him in the future as he compares how the finance and agriculture sectors adopt new tech. You can find more of his writing on AgFunderNews here.

2. Biology & Chemistry to Revolutionize Agriculture

Created by venture development organization TechAccel for exclusive publication in AgFunderNews, and published just a few weeks ago, this market map offers insights into the various different categories of ag biotech. A meaty guest contribution from Brett Morris, principal at TechAccel,  the article takes a look at some of the key characteristics of startups working on gene editing, breeding and trait technologies, cloud biology, vaccines, animal health & nutrition, and biologicals & microbiome.

3. Five Trends in Agritech Innovation in India to Watch Out for in 2017

Hemendra Mathuragribusiness investment lead and venture partner at Bharat Innovations Funda new $150 million early-stage fund in 2017 with a focus on agtech, cleantech, health-tech, and enterprise-tech ventures, is a regular guest contributor in AgFunderNews. You can find more of his writing here. Before joining Bharat Innovations he worked at SEAF India Investment Advisors, the SME-focused venture capital investment firm. He also held agrifood-related roles at Yes Bank and Rabobank.

4. What is Precision Agriculture?

Remi Schmaltz is CEO of Decisive Farming, a Canadian software program for farms offering precision agronomics, data management, crop marketing, and telematics services. He has extensive agriculture knowledge after taking over his family’s ag retail company Dynagra Corp with his brother where he started incubating new technologies in farming resulting in the launch of Decisive Farming in 2011. In this post he wrote about precision agriculture, what it means, and how it’s changing.

5. From Bitcoin to Agriculture: How Can Farmers Benefit from Blockchain?

Blockchain was definitely a buzzword in 2017, particularly with the rapidly increasing value of bitcoin, but also in agrifood. A co-written guest post from two Australia-based contributors came in as the fifth best read guest post during the year. Emma Weston is co-founder and CEO of Full Profile, where she leads blockchain strategy and development under the AgriDigital brand, and a grain grower. Weston and co-author Sarah Nolet, founder of food and ag consultancy AgThentic, explained how the agriculture industry is using blockchain, and the challenges ahead for this segment of the industry.

6. 4 Things Every Investor Should Know About Vertical Farming: Lessons Learned From AVF Summit

While still a relatively small part of the agrifood tech ecosystem when it comes to overall funding volumes, articles offering insights and resources for budding indoor farmers or investors about how to approach indoor agriculture are often popular. Chris Powers is an entrepreneur, writer, and urban agriculture evangelist who is on a mission to grow and promote environmental technologies. Here he offered his four key takeaways from the Association for Vertical Farming’s Summit in Amsterdam in June.

7. Remote Sensing Market Map: 20 Remote Sensing Startups and the Varied Data That Fuels Them

Igor Ivanov is chief commerical officer of Gamaya, a Swiss agtech startup developing proprietary hyperspectral imaging technology, using drones, to provide farmers insights about their fields. He offered a survey of the leading remote sensing companies.

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