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  • The agriculture-technology sector is booming.
  • Companies are working on everything from apple-picking robots to wearable technology that helps farmers grow produce more efficiently, and meet the demands of a rapidly-increasing global population.
  • The way food is grown will be radically transformed in the next few decades.

Feeding the planet’s rapidly expanding population is one of the most critical challenges for humanity.

According to the UN, the world’s population is approximately 7.3 billion people — and that number is expected to skyrocket to 9.7 billion by 2050. Some researchers expect global food demand to expand by up to 98% by the middle of this century. And ongoing issues related to rising temperatures, water scarcity, and desertification will negatively impact how much food farms are able to grow.

A number of agricultural technology startups — working on everything from apple-picking robots to augmented reality (AR) systems for greenhouses — are attempting to make food production more efficient and less impactful on the planet. By employing machine learning, drones, and hordes of sensors, these companies hope to radically transform how food is grown.

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Ag-tech is exploding — and venture capitalists are diving in

The sector has exploded in the last few years. According to Pitchbook, venture capital firms, including heavyweights like GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Monsanto’s VC arm, sank more than $1 billion into the industry in 2017, up from $823 million in 2016. Since 2014, VC’s have dumped close to $3 billion into the sector, which is becoming increasingly present in the farming world.

“We’re building bridges between Silicon Valley and Central Valley, where California grows most Read More Here