The primary source of livelihood for most of the global population is agriculture. Agriculture is also the main source of national income for most developing countries; hence, the need for optimized farming techniques has been on the rise. In addition, as an impact of COVID-19, the requirement for digitization in every field has been a primary demand, with the agriculture sector being no exception.
In recent times, a high emphasis has been laid on the effects of conventional agriculture on the environment. Some of these concerns include the depletion of natural resources, misuse of synthetic chemical inputs into the soil, and contamination of water resources. As per World Bank, to meet the growing global food demand owing to the increasing population, which is expected to reach 9.74 billion by 2050, optimized and smart ways of growing and monitoring crops have been innovated, thereby driving the implementation of smart farming techniques. This has led to a great rise in alternative production systems within both small growers and large-scale commercial productions.
In recent years, developers of agricultural machinery have been investing and using a noticeable amount of advanced sensor technologies in their precision farming and environmental monitoring devices, such as soil salinity monitors, soil carbon flux monitoring, portable photosynthesis system, and time domain reflectometry, to name a few. Smart sensors have been deployed in precision agriculture to derive data that aids farmers in monitoring and optimizing crops and cope up with changing environmental factors.
Farmers have achieved better control over growing crops by using various smart agriculture technologies, making it more predictable and improving efficiency. Different companies and research institutes have extensively worked on diverse types of crops. Agriculture sensors are combined with software and services to customize the production of various farm produce, including field crops, permanent crops, livestock, and other agriculture operations.
This scenario has popularized the concept of smart agriculture and has propelled the demand for various digitized farming devices. Smart sensors have emerged as high-rated device catering to diverse farming applications, such as detecting soil quality, climatic conditions, and irrigation requirements. The effect of sensor deployment ranges from fine scales on a process of a plant cell to large scales such as the remote sensing survey of grassland, forests, and agriculture at a global level.
Through the use of positioning sensors, farmers can examine crop health on a micro scale, sustain resources, and reduce harsh environmental impact. The smart sensing technology enables farmers to remotely monitor their fields’ pest population on a real-time basis. This, in turn, helps them to take immediate action to protect their crops, utilizing online cloud services and a dashboard.
Major promotion programs by the government help the agriculture sensors industry directly or indirectly to grow further. For instance, the Asia-Pacific Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture (APFITA) actively encourages the development and applying cutting-edge information and communication technology (ICT), Internet of Things (IoT), computer vision, remote sensor networks, robotics, big data analytics, machine learning, and other frontier technologies for efficient and sustainable agricultural practices.
As new players aggressively seek to increase their market shares and drive out competition from established players, the market is expected to frequently see product upgrades from these new players.
The market participants are also creating unique products to meet particular customer demands. For instance, in July 2020, dol-sensors A/S launched the new DOL 53 Ammonia sensor for poultry farms. The sensor can measure ammonia correctly between 1.5 and 100 ppm.
Global Agriculture Sensors Market, Market Dynamics
The global agriculture sensors market is expected to contribute to increased global food production as there is no dependence on arable land and climatic conditions, and year-round crop production can be achieved through these alternative farming techniques. With these techniques, a shift toward indoor growing and vertical farming is achievable, which is a big opportunity for the global agriculture sensors market.
A challenge for the growth of the agriculture sensors market is the cyber security and data threats. Due to the continuous monitoring of crops, a large amount of data is produced. This data is hard to handle and store and can even be targets to malicious practices and data security threats in case of cyber breaches.
With a better adoption of alternative farming techniques, countries with low agricultural production due to climatic conditions and low arable land can reinvent their agriculture sector. This would help the countries to diversify and limit their vegetable and fruit import. The global agriculture sensors market is expected to grow more in the coming years with increased emphasis on alternative and vertical farming and increased government initiatives throughout the world for uplifting the global agriculture industry.
Global Agriculture Sensors Market (by Application)
The growing trend for advanced technologies and smart systems being used in an agricultural field, along with the increasing need for crop management and equipment and weather tracking, has led to the demand for the agriculture sensors market. Agriculture sensors systems provide data that assist farmers in accurately monitoring and optimizing crops by adapting to constant environmental changes. The major applications of agriculture sensors include crop monitoring, climate monitoring, livestock management, irrigation management, and others.
The global agriculture sensors market in the application segment is expected to be dominated by the crop monitoring segment. Followed by crop monitoring is the irrigation management segment, which accounts for the second-highest share in the concerned market. Irrigation management forms the second most important step in the growth process. Timely irrigation and monitoring of the water and moisture content are necessary for the crops’ healthy growth, which is why water management is likely to propel the application of related sensors.
Global Agriculture Sensors Market (by Product)
Agriculture sensors have been gaining increasing traction in the agricultural sector on account of their high efficiency and ability to reduce the depletion of natural resources. Innovations backed by technology have paved the way for introducing a diverse range of sensors such as humid, water, optical, electrochemical, and others.
The market is segmented into different types of sensors, including electrochemical sensors, humidity sensors, mechanical sensors, optical sensors, irrigation sensors, location sensors, and others. Among the other segments, the location sensor segment has the highest revenue share and made a substantial contribution. The latitude, longitude, and altitude of the needed field area are determined by location sensors using GPS satellite signals. Precision technologies are placed where they are most needed using the location information these sensors offer. Location sensors are also installed on livestock to track the location and activities of the livestock. To deploy precision agricultural technology in farming, several sensors are necessary.
Global Agriculture Sensors Market (by Region)
The global agriculture sensors market is anticipated to witness significant growth over the forecast period, especially in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and other regions. This significant growth is majorly attributed to the increased integration of technology in the agricultural sector along with government initiatives to support the same. The supportive government policies and the economic advantage provided by economies of scale operation have made farm consolidation a common phenomenon around the global nations, especially in developing countries.
For instance, in April 2021, the U.A.E. government announced the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate to accelerate innovation in agriculture and research and development activities in the sector. The Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate is a joint initiative by the U.S. and the U.A.E. The initiative aims to work on climate change and global hunger by increasing investment in, and other backing for, climate-smart agriculture and food systems modernization 2021-2025. Additionally, the WaterBee Smart Irrigation Demonstration Action project of the European Union sought to demonstrate and evaluate a smart irrigation and water management system that is an intelligent, flexible, and easy-to-use but accurate irrigation scheduling system at an affordable cost that makes use of recent technological advancements in wireless networking, environmental sensors, and advancements in crop modeling.
The global agriculture sensors industry represents a fragmented market in nature and is majorly dominated by agricultural companies that take the lead by acquiring or collaborating with technology-based firms to diversify, innovate and upgrade their solutions. The companies operating in the industry have developed strong strategies in recent years to survive the competition in the fast-growing IoT-integrated agriculture market. For instance, in August 2021, CropX Inc. acquired Dacom Farm Intelligence with an aim to expand into Europe. This corporate strategy represents a major consolidation of agriculture digital twin capabilities, geographic datasets, and acres serviced.
Food shortage has been a major problem across the world driven by food wastage. Herein, sensors play an important factor in providing a comprehensive data analysis of the produce quality from its growth until its harvest. This enables the farmers to deliver the produce to the customer without any degradation. The market is witnessing a high demand with an aim to reduce food spoilage by inspecting agricultural produce to reach consumers in an efficient way. In addition to examining crop health, it also includes wireless assessment of shelf period, improving resource knowledge of produce among stakeholders to achieve timely decisions in the supply chain, and real-time prediction of perishable agricultural produce.
With better adoption of alternative farming techniques, such as agriculture sensors, the market is expected to flourish in the coming years. Also, with better awareness about alternative farming techniques and the benefits that these entail over conventional farming, the agriculture sensors market will be well accepted and adopted by growers around the world.