What is agro-industry?
The food industry is the business sector encompassing agriculture and agricultural-related business activities. The business includes all the steps necessary to send an agricultural product to the market: production, processing and distribution. It is an important component of the economy in countries with arable land, as agricultural products can be exported.
Understanding the agro-industry
The food industry treats the various aspects of farming agricultural products as an integrated system. Farmers raise animals and harvest fruits and vegetables using sophisticated harvesting techniques, including the use of GPS to direct harvesting operations. Manufacturers are developing machines that are more and more efficient and capable of driving themselves. Processing plants determine the best way to clean and package livestock for shipping. While each subset of the industry is unlikely to interact directly with the consumer, each focuses on efficient operation in order to maintain reasonable prices.
Market forces have a significant impact on the agrifood sector. Changes in consumer taste modify cultivated and bred products. For example, a change in consumer tastes compared to red meat can lead to lower demand – and therefore prices – for beef, while increased demand for products can change the mix of fruits and vegetables that farmers amount. Firms that cannot evolve quickly based on domestic demand may seek to export their products abroad, but if that fails, they may not be able to compete and stay in business.
Key points to remember
- Agro-industry is a combination of the words “agriculture” and “business” and refers to any business related to agricultural production.
- Companies in this industry encompass all aspects of food production.
- Climate change has put increasing pressure on many companies in the food industry.
Countries with agricultural industries are under constant pressure from global competition. Products like wheat, corn, and soy tend to be similar in different places, making them staples. To remain competitive, agribusinesses must operate more efficiently, which may require investments in new technologies, new ways to fertilize and water crops, and new ways to connect to the global market. World prices for agricultural products can change rapidly, making it difficult to plan production. Farmers may also face a reduction in usable land as suburban and urban areas expand into their regions.
Use of new technologies in agro-industry
The use of new technologies is vital to remain competitive in the global agrifood sector. Farmers must reduce crop costs and increase yields per square acre to remain competitive. The new drone technology is at the forefront of the industry. A 2020 article by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) identified Six ways drones are revolutionizing agriculture. These techniques, including soil and field analysis, planting and crop monitoring, will be essential to improve crop yields and advance the agrifood sector. The main areas of concern related to the use of drone technology remain the security of drone operations, privacy issues and insurance coverage issues.
Examples of agro-industry
Because agribusiness is a large industry, it integrates a wide range of different companies and operations. Agribusinesses include small family farms and food producers up to multinational conglomerates involved in the production of foodstuffs on a national scale.
Some examples of agribusinesses include producers of agricultural machinery like Deere & Company (DE), seed and agrochemical manufacturers like Monsanto, food processors like Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), as well as farmers, agrotourism companies and manufacturers of biofuels, animals. animal feed and other related products.