Rapid changes in demand patterns and disruption of traditional farming models have forced major adjustments to the agriculture industry, according to the new A.T. Kearney report Agriculture Is Fertile Ground for Digitization.
After decades of strong growth in global agriculture demand, a slowing of growth rates is anticipated, resulting from the confluence of slowing population growth, regulatory rules that impede commercialization, and consumer concerns about agrochemicals and high-intensity farming.
The slowdown has triggered an immediate focus on consolidation and protection of profit margins. The sector quickly turned to increased M&A activity through a series of mega-deals among suppliers of crop protection, seeds and fertilizers. As a result, earnings multiples reached record highs.
“An industry under pressure is going to trigger a wave of cost cutting and consolidation,” says Carsten Gerhardt, a partner at the firm and coauthor of the rep