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Soon we will reach 8 billion people on our planet, which means 8 billion hungry mouths to feed . It doesn’t take much imagination to understand that this presents a considerable challenge. The challenge is not simply to achieve it, but to do it in a responsible and above all, sustainable way for the planet.
At the beginning of the technological revolution, sustainability was neither a concern nor an issue of interest; resources were considered infinite and all problems could be solved with technology . In the boom of the late 1980s, we saw various industries grow at an exacerbated rate thanks to the introduction of computer systems to their business models to automate processes or improve production standards. Technology plays a fundamental role in creating value through computing power. Today, all aspects of our lives depend on technology and, above all, innovation .
Innovation happens when there is an unmet need or an opportunity for improvement presents itself. With about 90% of the world’s fisheries overexploited and approximately 70% of the land area used for food production globally; It is easy to see an opportunity to innovate our food production systems and a need to produce more high-quality food in the coming decades.
So where is the innovation?
Relatively young, aquaculture is one of the most promising industries of the 21st century, notable for the intimate relationship between sustainability and productivity; Quite simply, aquatic organisms prefer good environmental conditions to grow. This particularity places aquaculture (production and conservation of aquatic organisms) as an ideal candidate to solve the problem of the 8 billion hungry mouths in a sustainable way; Aquaculture impacts 8 of UNESCO’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 . Another of the notable characteristics of aquaculture is its rapid adoption of technologies and continuous innovation; The need to produce viable and attractive economic models for investment demands strict controls on production systems and an enviable agility for any company to respond to environmental or climatic changes. In our 25 years of experience in Aquaculture Advisory evaluating aquaculture projects in Latin America and around the world, we have identified the importance of integrating cutting-edge technology into the business model to develop competitiveness.
This has created a business ecosystem in which the problems that aquaculture faces such as real-time data management, new feed alternatives and genetic optimization of specimens present an opportunity for tech startups to develop solutions for software, biotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence. This codependency between the food production sector and the tech sector offers mutual benefits where aquaculture companies gain early access to solutions: increasing their production, mitigating risks; while tech startups introduce their value offerings in early stages to the market: achieving proof of concept and an opportunity to test their business models under market conditions.
Currently, aquaculture is the fastest growing food production industry in the last decade; reaching 50% of the production of food of marine origin. Through the advancement of technology and the development of enterprises in the tech world, aquaculture will innovate and contribute more to improve the well-being of people and the planet; providing a sustainable solution to meet the growing demand for quality food.
Thus, it is not difficult to see a direct relationship between the microprocessor, our food and sustainable development.