Smart Irrigation Market to have Good Business Opportunities in the Coming Years

Smart irrigation makes use of various technologies in the process of irrigation such as weather-based controllers, rain sensor, temperature sensor, network elements, water meter, sensor-based controller, and others. These advanced irrigation systems contain sensor networks that help in the real-time monitoring of weather and soil conditions. Developments and innovations in technology has led to the efficient water management, increased productivity of land and yield, and reduction in wastage of resources. Thus, looking at these advantages, people are now increasingly adopting advanced farming practices in order to ease down their work as well increase their agricultural yield.

Although currently at its introductory phase, the worldwide smart irrigation market is likely to show tremendous growth over the coming years because of the vital role of technology in irrigation. The overall market is set to witness a growth of 17.2% CAGR during the forecast period from 2016 to 2022, reaching a value of USD 1,504.6 Million by the end of 2022. Based on the hardware and network components segment, the segment of sensors is expected to hold a large market share in 2016. Among applications, the non-agriculture sector dominates the market, currently. However, the agriculture sector is expected to witness the highest growth between 2016 and 2022. This market is being majorly driven by the increased demand for food production and need for water conservation.

How is the smart irrigation market shaping up, geographically?

Among regions, the North American market held the largest market share in 2015, and this trend is expected to continue over the forecast period as well, with the U.S. being the biggest market among countries. However, the market in Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period, thus offering significant growth opportunities for the smart irrigation market in the coming years. It is one of the emerging markets, with China and Australia being the leading markets in this region. Factors such as increasing shift of climatic conditions, strong government support, increased productivity, and reduction in wastage of water are some of the drivers for this eco-system. Agriculture, turf and landscape, residential, and landscaping & ground care are the preferred application areas for smart irrigation in APAC.

North America is expected to hold the leading position in the smart irrigation market by the end of 2022. Governments in this particular region are very active regarding environmental concerns. They have issued stricter regulations and legislative mandates towards management of resources, especially for water. With the increasing concern for water conservation and to minimize the wastage of resources, the governments in North America are participating and providing rebates and subsidies to enhance the adoption of smart irrigation practices for residential and non-residential use.

What are the market opportunities and threats faced by the players operating in this market?

Continuous advancements in communication technology and adoption of irrigation drones are the major opportunities for the smart irrigation market. Wireless communication technologies help the growers or residential-users to remotely access their irrigation systems. Advanced wireless sensor assist in mobility and convenience. With the advancements in technology, interoperability between control center and equipment is increased, which in turn will enhance the efficiency of the overall irrigation system. Technologies such as real-time soil moisture management systems and irrigation-drones are at introductory stages. UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or drones help in collecting real-time information on field to make prompt decision on water requirements for irrigation. Drones will in minimizing under or overwater situation, leakage, and breakdown in irrigation system with the use of thermal cameras, thus leading to optimum utilization of resources.

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What are the factors impacting the growth of this market?

High initial cost of installation and lack of awareness related to smart irrigation are the major restraining factors for the smart irrigation eco-system. Smart irrigation systems require high capital investment in the installation of irrigation devices. It involves the use of various sensors, controllers, and network elements to extract the information on soil characteristics, plant type, and climate information, among others, for estimating the amount of water required by land or crops. This impact is currently high because of the high costs of smart irrigation. Marginal growers and small land holding farmers or household users find it difficult to invest in such equipment. This factor is particularly high in developing economies such as India, Brazil, and China among others.

Who are the key vendors in the global market for smart irrigation?

The major companies operating in this eco-system are Rain Bird Corporation (U.S.), The Toro Company (U.S.), Hunter Industries (U.S.), Netafim (Israel), Calsense (U.S.), Galcon (Israel), Rachio Inc. (U.S.), and Weathermatic (U.S.) among others.

What are the major steps taken by the companies to sustain their hold on the market?

The smart irrigation market is highly competitive with more number of players serving global and local markets. The major players in this market have adopted various organic and inorganic growth strategies to expand their global presence and increase their market share. New product launches, partnerships, agreements, collaborations, mergers & acquisitions, and expansions are some of the major strategies adopted by the market players to gain a stronger hold on the market.

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