Boom in Italian Agriculture 4.0: 400 millions in 2018

The Italian market of Agriculture 4.0 has reached a value of 370 – 430 million euros in 2018, thus equaling 5% of the global total and 18% of the European one. The 300 digital solutions already launched on the Italian market are used by 55% of interviewed agribusinesses. Age and study degree do not have a strong impact on the adoption of these solutions.

Digital innovation also affects food traceability and quality with 133 available solutions. 38% of interviewed agribusinesses have improved process efficiency and 32% have improved effectiveness. There are about 500 start-ups all over the world, with 2.9 billion dollars funding collected only over the last 2 years. 65% of them are active in the eCommerce sector and 24% of them in Agriculture 4.0. Italy is the European country with the highest number of start-ups but with the lowest funding rate.

These are some of the figures presented by the Smart AgriFood Observatory of the School of Management of the Polytechnic University of Milan and of the RISE (Research & Innovation for Smart Enterprises) Laboratory of the University of Brescia during the Conference “Digital takes the field, but the match is for the whole sector!” at the University of Brescia. “Digital innovation is a strategical driver for the agrifood sector. It can ensure competitiveness to the whole sector, from production to food distribution, going through processing – said Filippo Renga, Head of the Smart AgriFood Observatory -. The success of an agribusiness is increasingly connected to its ability to collect and process the great number of generated data, above all in order to monitor costs and to measure improvements in production quality. However, sector professionals are not yet very confident on how to profit from these opportunities. This means that investing in digital skills is strictly necessary”.

The agrifood sector is also starting to show the manifold opportunities connected to a strategic processing of data – said Andrea Bacchetti, Director of the Smart AgriFood Observatory -. 71% of Agriculture 4.0 solutions can support decisions by relying on data with advanced analytic systems. About half of the interviewed farmers (45%) is aware of the importance of data but they don’t know how to process them. A correct digital data management is very important for traceability as well. This is, in fact, a key development element for start-ups that are using them in 85% of studied cases”.