Eatable Adventures on how technology can solve the ageing farmer timebomb

Madrid-based Eatable Adventures – one of the top three food-tech accelerators in the world, has just closed 50% of its €30 million investment vehicle Europe Foodtech Acceleration Fund I SCSp. The new investment vehicle focusses on technology-based seed projects in the agri-food sector, encompassing the Spain Foodtech and FoodSeed acceleration programmes in Italy, with a third programme set to launch soon in Europe.

Some 60% of the fund’s exposure is specifically agri-tech over food-tech related, Cabañero told AgTechNavigator. “After investing in areas like food delivery quite significantly, investors are moving towards more sustainable and more social and more impactful investments. And for us this is taking us more to agri and the need to sustain primary production.”

One huge challenge that Eatable Adventures seeks to address is the issue of ageing farmers. The average age of farmers globally is 65, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation. It warns there are not enough young farmers to replace them when they soon retire. “There’s a big problem,” said Cabañero. “Couple that with the fact in many countries agricultural and farming facilities are being transformed into solar farms and energy production, it means the capacity to produce new food in the future is going to be severely jeopardised.”

The ageing farmer timebomb therefore threatens the future of farming at a time when innovation is most needed to address food security and environmental challenges. Fertilisers are increasingly needed as soils are depleted, for example, but this brings environmental effects. Energy costs are rising, while global warming is creating extreme weather events and increasingly unstable growing conditions. “Put all this together and there is a strong need to start taking action into the agricultural landscape and we see that there a number of elements that are needed that will be coming to resolve this situation.”