The constant and unceasing growth of the world's population gives rise to an increasing demand for food. To meet this demand, farmers around the world are introducing ever more sophisticated and sophisticated farming technologies that allow them to get more crops per unit area. In addition, thanks to new technologies, production costs are reduced, and more profit is obtained. That is why the issue of continuous modernization and the introduction of more and more new and progressive technologies is so important for plant growing enterprises.
Satisfying the growing demand for food is a task that faces not so much the farmers themselves, who are guided only by the intensification of profits, but science as a whole. Also, more progressive farming methods are designed to reduce the negative impact of agricultural activities on the environment. And the state should monitor the fulfillment of this task, as an arbiter helping to maintain a balance of interests between agribusiness seeking profit and the population for which a clean environment is important.
The experience of many countries with different climatic conditions and economic potential has clearly demonstrated that achieving better results in agriculture simply by increasing the amount of fertilizer applied and expanding the area of \ u200b \ u200bfield is the wrong way.
Fertilizers have an effect only up to a certain point, after which the introduction of additional amounts of nutrients becomes simply unprofitable. In addition, the active use of chemical fertilizers at a certain stage begins to cause significant harm to the environment.
As for the increase in cultivated areas (extensive development of agriculture), there is also a certain reasonable limit, which should not be crossed. Too high percentage of arable land in the total land fund of the region leads to disastrous consequences for wildlife, especially fauna.
From all this it follows that it is necessary to increase yields and reduce production costs by introducing modern technologies in crop production.
One of the most important areas for improving production in crop production is the optimization of current costs, that is, reducing the cost of production. And here highly efficient resource-saving technologies are of paramount importance. They not only partially reduce the environmental burden on the environment throughout the country, but are also very beneficial from a financial point of view for the agricultural enterprises themselves. The less fuel, electricity, fertilizers, seeds, man-hours and other resources are spent on the production of a unit of production, the lower its cost price and the higher the profit from its sale.
At the moment, effective resource conservation (in addition to replacing equipment with a newer and more economical one) can be achieved with the help of information technologies, which in this case should be understood as all those organizational methods and technical innovations that allow the most accurate tracking and regulate the use of all resources in the enterprise.
In all branches of the production sphere, even in such classical ones as agronomy and animal husbandry, there is a place for new, interesting approaches and technical solutions. Startups in agriculture revitalize, accelerate, and sometimes completely change the idea of directions in particular and of the industry as a whole.
The main feature of rural startups, like any other, is the lack of guarantees of return on investment and capitalization of income.
On the one hand, it is obvious that agribusiness has a future (it is impossible to imagine that people will give up plants and milk and start eating, for example, clay, processed in a special way). On the other hand, the agro-industrial complex (AIC) belongs to the category of risky (one dependence on weather conditions is worth it) and turns out to be profitable when planning in the long term (at least five years). It is the need for cheap and “long” investment resources that significantly limits the number of start-ups in agriculture.
What projects are most in demand? In the age of the spread of pesticides and GMOs, such solutions of the agricultural sector as organic products, as well as proposals that reduce the influence of specific factors - seasonality, weather conditions - are in special demand.
In Russia, a special attitude towards innovations in the agro-industrial complex: trust arises only after being tested by Western colleagues. As an example, we can cite the history of the new technology of milk “pasteurization”, developed by Dmitry Urvachev back in 2010. After long unsuccessful walks through the domestic authorities, investors for the project were found only in 2016 ... in Poland and Israel (at the moment, a patent for an invention has already been received, the technology has reached an industrial level). Or the story of Muscovites Alexander Militsin and Yegor Voitenkov. Their idea of creating small closed ecosystems-aquariums that use natural waste products of fish to grow plants, which in turn purify water, found understanding from the American company BacktotheRoots (today the new company employs 6 people, monthly income exceeds 4 million rubles).
There are many successful examples, but only… started with our own funds. This is Andrey Krivenko's project in the Moscow region called Izbenka - the largest chain through which fresh dairy products are sold; the case of raising sheep of Alexander Prokhorov from the village of Shustov; a rural startup by Sergei Koryukin in the Kurgan region - a livestock farm that has grown into an agricultural firm "Russian Field"; the beginning of the Istomin family "Zooprotein" - the use of fly larvae for the production of fodder protein and the processing of food waste (biomass is obtained much faster than competitors).
Innovative projects in Russia are supported by several structures. Among them are Skolkovo, Rusnano, Russian Venture Company (RVC). So, in order to receive investments with ideas related in one way or another to agriculture, it is recommended to contact the Skolkovo Foundation - at the end of 2015, this organization was the first to support startups in the agro-industrial complex (to date, investments have been made in three projects).
The report of the "Open Government" (a governmental group of experts), available on the RVC website, talks about the initial level of work of Russian venture capital structures that invest in innovative projects - start-ups in agriculture have to be content with this for now.
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