farm technology

Co-creation A Key Factor for Agtech Development

Brian German Industry, Technology

Western Growers CIT members discussing issues with California tomato industry leaders.

One of the most important aspects to consider in agtech development is a clear understanding of what the needs of the industry truly are.  Western Growers’ Center for Innovation and Technology (CIT) recently held an event allowing tech companies to meet with ag industry members to discuss the areas in which technology may be able to alleviate challenges.  Those types of interactions can facilitate a more precise focus for technology companies to work on addressing what growers in the field see as real-world problems and concerns.

“You’ve got to connect the two worlds.  I think ag, in particular, the co-creation component is really critical,” said CIT Director Dennis Donahue.  “I think the jury’s in; that co-creation, working together, is the best way to get progress and from an ag perspective, we’re looking for solutions sooner rather than later.”

CIT members getting one-on-one meetings to discuss technologies with agriculture industries.

Bridging the divide between agriculture and the technology sector will better serve both industries.  Agtech companies want to create a valuable product that growers are interested in purchasing, and farmers are interested in products that can effectively solve an agricultural issue.  Bringing the two industries together helps to ensure a more useful product is developed.  “This issue of connecting people, it’s in the best interest of the entrepreneur, or the companies that are interested in ag, it’s in the investors best interest, and we certainly think it’s in our grower-member’s best interest,” said Donahue.

The more input that farmers can provide in the process of agtech development can help create a more well-rounded product that can serve a greater number of growers.  Strong communication between the agricultural industry and technology developers is essential because of the varied nature of agriculture.  “Even within commodities, the nuances for one grower might be different than another in terms of their priorities,” said Donahue.  “There’s general, but then there’s specific and so that’s the opportunity and the challenge of agriculture.”

Listen to Donahue’s interview below.

About the Author
Brian German

Brian German

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Multi-media Journalist for AgNet West