Tech companies looking to exploit the agricultural industry are at risk of damaging small farming business, if they only focus on large scale producers.
Speaking at the LAMMA Farming 4.0 Zone, Sarah Carr, outreach manager for agri-tech incubator, Farm491 said although technology has the potential to mitigate against a number of problems, there are caveats to consider.
She said: “Farmers are often categorised by stereotypes. Businesses then use these stereotypes to create a product which might only be suited to large scale arable farmers for example, forcing us into a pigeonhole.
“If someone is creating tech that only works for big farmers, then will we lose our small farmers and the heritage that comes with it? This might not be the best way forward for the environment or food security.”
This complex set of characteristics within the farming industry means there cannot be a one size fits all approach, she added.
“We need to be working with farmers to ensure we’re creating solutions to real problems that they actually experience.”