Just 20 years into the 21st century, we have already seen remarkable changes that we could never have anticipated. We've come up with 20 predictions that explore what the next 20 years may have in store for your organization.

An agricultural revolution is underway, as new technologies transform the way we produce food and the way we consume it—triggered by the world's growing population, threats to global food security and the demand for sustainable food production.

What we eat, how it is produced and how if gets from the farm to our tables will dramatically change in the next two decades. In fact, the agricultural sector will be the industry that experiences the most significant digital transformation thanks to powerful technologies such as The Internet of Things (IoT), drones, robots, artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing.

We will produce and eat food in a whole new way

Chances are that crickets, and mealworms will be staples in our diets. And when you do opt for a burger, the meat will likely be grown in a lab and you'll know how it was made.

Many current concerns about global supply chain issues, sustainability and the world's food supply, carbon footprints and climate change will be resolved in the next two decades. will be harnessed to make the world a better place – one in which we protect the environment and feed the world in a sustainable way.

Within the next 20 years, the agriculture sector will have fully embraced the Internet of Things (IoT), which will allow us to better understand supply and demand, manage risk and increase yields, while reducing waste. Advanced connectivity—from low-power wide-area networks (LPWAN) to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites—will be available even in rural areas, enabling the IoT everywhere.

Ag-tech will help farmers produce more and better with less. Robots, aerial drones and connected temperature and moisture sensors will allow for precision agriculture, where water, fertilizer and pesticides are only used when and where needed, eliminating waste and pollution. Crop production will be more efficient, taking up less land per yield, particularly through the use of vertical and subterranean farming.

A combination of drones, artificial intelligence and edge computing will provide data to produce accurate, localized weather forecasts, enabling smarter farming decisions and helping navigate climate change, volatile weather conditions and new business models. Robotic farmers will be standard, vastly increasing efficiency and eliminating time-consuming, repetitive, and dangerous tasks from farmers' day-to-day activities.

But new jobs based on AI and robotics will also emerge, as the agricultural industry experiences the most significant digital transformation of all industries in the next 20 years that will have profound effects throughout the value chain. Food producers and retailers, for instance, will capitalize on data insights, keeping abreast of new food preferences and environmental impacts in the food chain. There will be greater transparency within food supply chains to meet consumers' and regulators' demands for more safety, efficacy and nutritional content of the products they consume.

Through selective gene editing, the next two years will herald a vast increase in the variety and durability of crops by enhancing their immunity to disease and tolerance to drought, which will also help the environment. Our reliance on plant-based foods will grow, while we'll see a significant increase in alternatives to traditional animal proteins—including lab-grown meat—with increasing consumer demand for ethical and sustainable alternatives. Cultivated meat removes issues of contamination from animal waste and the overuse of antibiotics and hormones in animals—and large-scaled cultured meat production will use lower emissions and use less water and land than conventional livestock farming.1

Globally, we will consume more insects as viable and renewable sources of protein. Eating insects, or entomophagy, will be common as they are full of protein, rich in micronutrients, don't need as much space as livestock, and emit lower levels of greenhouse gases.2 Farming insects will help solve issues of climate change, biodiversity loss and world hunger.

1 No-kill, lab-grown meat to go on sale for first time, The Guardian, December 2, 2020
2 They're Healthy. They're Sustainable. So Why Don't Humans Eat More Bugs?, Time, February 26, 2021


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Trends, breakthroughs, milestones, and insights on our path towards agribusiness evolution.

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