The global intelligent irrigation system market size was valued at USD 1.10 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 3.38 billion by 2031, growing with a CAGR of 13.3% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
The Smart irrigation system is a technology that improves agricultural systems and practices. This sophisticated system monitors weather reports, soil conditions, plant water consumption, and other activities. The system adjusts the watering schedule automatically. The market is in greater demand in agriculture, golf courses, and residences. The government takes the initiative to promote farming and water conservation by implementing effective policies. This is contributing to the growth of the Smart Irrigation Market. Implementing automated monitoring systems in the agricultural industry is another driving market demand.
The agriculture sector accounts for 70% of the total water used, and around 60% of this share is lost either due to evapotranspiration, land runoff, or inefficient, traditional methods. This distress can be resolved with the help of technology-equipped intelligent irrigation practices. Integrating intelligent technologies in irrigation systems will help the agriculture industry overcome the vagaries of monsoons and traditional irrigation practices. Various intelligent irrigation practices and solutions under the garb of precision farming are adopted in several parts of the world. Sensors and communication technologies are available to facilitate smart irrigation, from checking the soil moisture levels to monitoring changing weather conditions. The advantages of these technologies will amount to significant water savings.
The high costs associated with this technology and limited technical knowledge and skills among farmers are the key restraints hindering market growth, globally. The high initial investment and the need for efficient farming tools and up skilling further make farmers apprehensive about adopting this technology.
Commercial sensors for irrigation systems are costly, preventing smaller farmers, especially in developing nations such as India and China, from implementing them on their farms. However, several manufacturers are currently offering low-cost sensors such as soil-moisture sensors, rain/freeze sensors, fertigation sensors, and flow sensors that can be connected to nodes to implement low-cost irrigation management and agriculture monitoring systems. In addition, new sensors such as leaf water stress monitoring, multi-level soil moisture sensors, water salinity monitoring sensors, and water turbidity sensors made with colored and infrared LED emitters and receptors are being proposed due to the demand for inexpensive sensors for monitoring agriculture and water. This reduces the total cost of an intelligent irrigation system. Consequently, the smart irrigation market is expanding in developing nations.
Smart phones equipped with a variety of user-friendly agriculture-related applications are evolving into strong, portable tools for homeowners, turf managers, and smart home contractors in both developing and developed nations. Few irrigation controller manufacturers currently provide automated irrigation scheduling based on voice assistance services. Farmers can access all farming-related information on their smartphones, including the soil moisture content and temperature variability across the field, enabling them to effectively use the information to schedule irrigation.
The global intelligent irrigation system market has been segmented on the basis of type, component, and application.
By type, the market has been segmented into soil moisture-based irrigation systems and weather-based irrigation systems.
Soil-moisture-based irrigation systems comprise soil moisture sensors, which measure volumetric soil moisture content and accurately determine the moisture level in soil and transmit the reading to the controller. Weather-based controllers use daily evapotranspiration, which measures the loss of water due to evaporation and transpiration. Therefore, whether-based irrigation has the edge over other segments in the smart irrigation market.
Based on components, the intelligent irrigation system market has been segmented into controller systems, soil moisture sensors, rain/freeze sensors, flow management solutions, and others.
The sensor segment holds the largest share in the smart irrigation market, owing to the enhanced productivity brought about by sensor-based smart irrigation devices, coupled with technological advancements in sensor technology. Sensor-based systems are capable of analyzing precise data from a wide range of field sensors, such as temperature, soil moisture, rain, and humidity sensors.
Based on application, the intelligent irrigation system market has been segmented into agriculture and non-agriculture.
The agriculture segment has been sub-segmented into the greenhouse and open field, whereas the non-agriculture segment has been sub-segmented into residential, turf & landscape, golf course, and others. The agricultural segment is pegged to record healthy growth in the intelligent irrigation market with increasing government initiatives that aim to promote water conservation.
Geographically, the global intelligent irrigation system market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and LAMEA.
Presently, North America dominates the global intelligent irrigation market with the highest value share among all regions. The region’s dominance can be attributed to the technological enhancements that have been underway over the last decade and collective efforts by governments and the private sector to conserve and minimize water wastage. Additionally, North America’s extensive farming practices and large-scale adoption of advanced irrigation systems and devices such as controllers, sensors, and flow meters have made the region the key consumer in the global market. The presence of major players such as Toro Company, Banyan Water, Rain Bird Corporation, Stevens Monitoring Systems, Rachio, and Weathersmatic also contributes to market growth in the region.
Europe is expected to be next in line, after North America, and the region is pegged to witness substantial growth in the intelligent irrigation market, owing to the significant investments in new-age hydroponics and other precision farming methods. Since many nations are concentrating on using renewable water resources for agricultural purposes, the demand for smart irrigation systems to prevent excessive water use would create lucrative opportunities for regional market players. Additionally, according to the European Parliament, rain-fed agriculture and intelligent irrigation showed higher levels of water productivity, whereas marginal water productivity decreased with an increase in the water supply. Additionally, the European Parliament recommended using smart irrigation because they assess the field and the irrigation site's condition using a variety of controllers and sensors to determine the amount of water the field needs. Over the course of the projection period, all these factors would drive the regional smart irrigation market's expansion.
The Asia Pacific region is slated to register the fastest growth over the forecast period. Asia Pacific is recognized for its agricultural industry. The market's demand prospects are therefore promising in the near future. Rising demand in each of these places is primarily the result of improved R&D and energy efficiency. Residential areas are also using intelligent irrigation controllers more frequently. Significant factors influencing the growth of the smart irrigation market in the region include the rising adoption of remote sensing technology and the integration of IoT devices with smartphones in nations like India, China, and Australia. The emergent integration of technologies in farming practices will face hurdles in the beginning, but progressive economies such as India, China, Korea, and other South East Asian countries are showing steadfast adoption of smart irrigation. The Asian Development Bank decided to double its annual climate change fund to USD 6 billion in 2020; of this, about USD 2 million will be utilized for climate-smart agriculture, resilient infrastructure, and better preparation for climate-related disasters.
The LAMEA region is also expected to witness considerable growth over the forecast period. There has been a significant increase in the region's cultivated agricultural land. To meet the objectives of capacity enhancement, timeliness of farm operations, and efficient input utilization, agricultural mechanization in the country has shifted from traditional tools to sophisticated machinery. This has resulted in enormous financial savings and increased market revenue for irrigation systems. The high cost that farmers must bear is the only element that could limit the market. One of the biggest problems the Middle East faces is the sustainable production, storage, and delivery of water. With the launch of more test programs in the Middle East, the potential water savings that can be achieved through strictly regulated and monitored crop irrigation are becoming increasingly well-documented and enormous. In Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia, a recent smart irrigation pilot project reported a 44% decrease in water consumption and a 21% increase in crop yields compared to conventional methods.
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