May 26, 2022

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Born to play

Cultivating the Future of Agriculture & Technology

Written by Dan Millar, Chief Earnings Officer at MistyWest.

Why is agriculture these a massive offer?

Agriculture is a single of the most negatively impactful industries accelerating local weather modify – and the only field that actually has the capacity to replenish by itself and provide as a weather improve reversal agent. The agricultural marketplace and the specialized improvements designed in agri-tech will participate in a important role in building a sustainably abundant upcoming and accomplishing the UN’s Sustainable Development Targets by the calendar year 2030 – all of which are element of MistyWest’s mission and reason.

Agriculture faces the urgent mission of improving earth’s capability to seize atmospheric carbon (alongside with reducing our carbon emissions) a mission so pressing (and attention-grabbing) that a current poll of the MistyWest team positioned doing the job on carbon capture devices as the variety one impression area the place Westies want to see our function. (This was closely followed by robustness of the food offer chain and enhanced effectiveness of well being treatment).

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The exceptional placement of agriculture and agri-tech, and my position as a technologist who is new to this sector, is what led me to show up at the Globe Agri-tech Innovation Summit in March, exactly where I discovered how crucial it will be to leverage agriculture as a system for sequestering carbon. I have captured my greatest takeaways from the Summit in this article.

 

How serious is this carbon capture trouble?

To get a feeling of how impactful agriculture can be as a carbon seize technological know-how, it is significant to get a feeling of the make-up of the earth’s floor:

  • Inhabitable land would make up approximately 21%
  • The remaining 79% is ocean, glacier and barren land

Of this inhabitable land:

It is perfectly comprehended that forests are the earth’s greatest purely natural carbon-sequestering process. Nonetheless, wildfires and clearcutting continue on to unfold, and with a growing population of 7 billion (and counting), our skill to meaningfully reverse the planet’s deforestation in the around phrase is slim. The most readily offered alternative for mitigating the detrimental impacts of deforestation is to increase agricultural land’s capability to provide as a carbon sink

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Because most men and women reading this dwell in city environments, it is effortless to overestimate what share of the earth is lined by urbanization – but agricultural land dwarfs urbanized land by 25 times! Rooftop gardens are fantastic for producing metropolitan areas nicer to are living in but in terms of addressing climate modify, rising the capacity for farm land to capture carbon is the much much larger lever to pull.

 

What is currently being accomplished to seize carbon?

The route forward to improving earth’s potential to capture atmospheric carbon is to incentivize carbon sequestering as a result of carbon offset marketplaces, significantly the way the forestry field has been carrying out for many years. During the Summit’s session “Building Carbon Farming a Truth for the Farmer”, it was concluded that the critical barrier to generating this a actuality would seem to be have faith in in the quantification of soil organic carbon (SOC) stages – a measurable component of soil natural and organic make any difference (SOM) that can be sequestered to lower atmospheric carbon dioxide.

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 Satellite imaging groups these types of as World have made good strides in verifying agricultural procedures that increase carbon seize, such as go over cropping and no-until. What remains to be a challenge is calibration of Near-infrared (NIR) imaging for quantification of carbon content material as it varies massively by geography. Immediate sampling stays the most reputable technique, but is not economically feasible for massive scale deployment.

 

What other developments are occurring in agri-tech?

Agri-tech companies, these as TerraMera of British Columbia, are producing new systems via device understanding products, computer software engineering and rapid phenotyping to “unlock the intelligence in nature” and cut down the world wide artificial pesticide load by 80% by the yr 2030. Other moonshot assignments, this sort of as Mineral by X, are applying personal computer vision and machine mastering to give growers extra data on their particular person crops, so they can retain much more diverse species that will in convert maintain the diversity of the soil’s microbiome and its capacity to retail store carbon.

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 While the over organizations are producing their possess impacts in agriculture, according to the Agri-tech Summit, the essential specialized trouble to fix by the yr 2030 is the development of scalable floor truth dedication of soil carbon. Are we going to see enormous innovations in this region? Time will have to convey to.

If you are on a mission to capture carbon, mitigate agriculture’s affect on the natural environment, or acquire a novel technological innovation to support advance the UN’s SDGs, we want to companion with you. Electronic mail us at [email protected] to be put in contact with 1 of our business developers.