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Google Ventures supports AgTech

Farmers Business Network receives $15 million from Google

Recently there has been a surge of investments into innovative solutions for agriculture.

Everyone must eat in order to survive and people are trying to crack the code and figure out how to feed 9 billion people by 2050. AgTech is taking off and farmers are being linked to technologists and financial resources like never before.

Google ventures recently invested $15 million into a farming-focused technology startup, Farmers Business Network (FBN). "FBN connects the world's farmers together and allows them to share knowledge to farm better," states FBN co-founder Charles Baron. FBN launched last year and has spread to farms in 17 US states. "FBN taking that anecdotal conversation and backing it with data and putting it in a usable format online." The platform lets farmers pool and share data gathered from arrays of sensors and computers involved with tilling the soil. Data is analyzed by computers in the Internet cloud to extract insights on anything from which seeds grow best in which soil to optimizing irrigation tactics or anticipating weather patterns. Currently farmers must produce more food on decreasing amounts of farm land. Therefore, resources and tools that enable farmers to "farm smarter" are great investments both socially and financially. 

Approximately, $2.36 billion in venture capital was pumped in AgTech last year, and a little over a billion dollars was invested in AgTech in the first three months of this year according to Rob Leclerc, co-founder of AgFunder.com.  

The AgTech sector includes biofuels, bio-plastics, fish farming, genomics, farm to shop without spoiling, and utilization of food waste. The Internet of Things and drones are inspiring others to provide innovative solutions in the farming industry as well. Add cloud computing and analytics to the mix and farming is now becoming sexier. Keep your eyes peeled on this sector.

- Just another AgTech point from Jewell Sparks

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