by Dan Bigman for Forbes
Forbes is in Salinas, California, this morning for our first AgTech Summit, bringing together the Salinas and Silicon Valleys to discuss one of the most important challenges humanity faces in the decades ahead: How do you feed a world of 10 billion people?
That’s the expected world population by 2030, which means we’ll need to increase food production by 70 percent by them. How do you do it? No one knows for sure, but this much is certain — it won’t be done without big advances in technology.
So here, under a tent in Salinas, we’ve gathered 400+ of the most influential and inventive people in the ag business to talk about what’s happening now, and what comes next. We’ll hear from big household names like John Deere and DuPont, but also from a host of small startups you’ve never heard of, like Blue River Technologies, who’s tractor-pulled scanning array allow for unprecedented amounts of data collection on a plant-by-plant basis across whole fields, and Precision Hawk, who’s drone-based camera arrays allow farmers to overfly their fields and upload scans for analysis, giving them insights into their fields never before possible (both of them gave excellent presentations yesterday at an in-field demo day just outside Salinas.)
We’ll hear from them, and many more today as this unique gathering of farmers, scientists, investors and inventors gets underway. Feeding the world is a colossal challenge — but it’s also a great business opportunity, one we’ll learn a whole lot more about in the next few hours. We’ll keep you posted.