Investing in Novel Agriculture Production Systems

Soil-based agriculture has dominated food production for tens of thousands of years. In recent years, so-called "novel farming systems" have become more prevalent. Many of these farming methods -- often involving Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) -- are capital intensive to start-up. Funding for these projects can be hard to come by from traditional agriculture lending sources who do not understand how to underwrite them. But for investors who want to play a role in the future of global food production, CEA projects can offer higher risk-adjusted returns. According to AgFunder's 2017 "AgriFood Tech" report, investments in novel farming systems jumped 223% from the previous year. Some examples of novel farming systems are described below.

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