PA Consulting’s Oliver Lofink, a digital agriculture expert, is quoted in an article in The Economist. The piece looks at digital agriculture, the change in the chemicals industry and how a consumer and regulatory backlash can threaten old business models.
The article notes that digitisation has scope to answer consumers’ concerns about indiscriminate use of chemicals, and also to generate a new stream of profits. It explains that many firms are racing to offer digital farming tools, which can provide advice to farmers using big data, satellite pictures and weather information.
The article goes on to say that five years after Monsanto bought Climate for nearly $1bn, it still produces “only a tiny slice” of overall revenues and as a young tech firm, it is focusing on market share rather than profit. But Oliver explains that it is also possible that tractor-makers, such as John Deere of America, turn out to be better at selling digital tools for precision farming than chemical firms.