Sustainable Agriculture Startup Profiles
One of the greatest problems confronting farmers today is how to control plant disease and pests while minimizing environmental impact and remaining profitable. When synthetic chemical pesticides were first developed in the early 20th century, they were embraced as a less harmful solution to the highly toxic inorganic chemicals (sulfur, lead and arsenic) that humans had been using to kill insects on their crops for the past 4,500 years. However, evidence pointing to the environmental damage and adverse human health effects caused by the synthetic chemical pesticides that fueled the Green Revolution continues to mount.
AgraQuest, a biotechnology company that develops biological and low-chemical pest management products, believes that it has the solution: Biopesticides.
“In order for a sustainable farm to exist you need to have a sustainable business.” – Benzi Ronen, CEO and Founder of Farmigo.
About three years ago Benzi Ronen launched Farmigo, a technology startup that develops software that allows organic farmers to more efficiently manage their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and Farm Direct sales operations. Ronen has a technology background and prior to Farmigo, he spent 14 years building internet systems for large multi-national companies around the world.
From the creators of the Science Barge, the floating hydroponic greenhouse project supporting sustainable food production and powered 100% by renewable energy, comes a new company that builds, designs, finances, and operates hydroponic greenhouse farms on supermarket rooftops. It’s called BrightFarms. By growing produce on site, the company enables grocery retailers to alter their produce supply chain in a way that improves the planet and their profits.
In fact, there’s an entire system – including a smartphone application – developed by ClimateMinder, a Glendale, California based startup company, that enables growers to wirelessly monitor environmental conditions in both greenhouses and open fields.
In the middle of a 72-acre apple orchard situated in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, agricultural entrepreneurship thrives. Ten emerging startup companies reside here charting paths for the commercialization of innovative agricultural products and technologies. This is The Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park, also known as the Technology Farm.