We’ll need to produce 70% more food by 2050 to sustain a world population expected to grow to 10 billion. Yet agriculture startups struggle to get the funding, manufacturing, and test facilities needed to build tech that could boost food production. To fix that disconnect, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and Flextronics Lab IX today launched Farm2050, a collective that will support AgTech startups with capital, design, manufacturing, and test farms to try out their inventions.
The Farm2050 partnership includes Google, DuPont, Agco, UTC’s Sensitech, and 3D Robotics. Flextronics’ Head of Lab IX Lior Susan tells me “It’s still not sexy to do agriculture. You don’t see IPOs and big acquisitions that pull Sand Hill into the game.” That’s why Farm2050 is necessary to foster an AgTech ecosystem.