LIVERMORE, Calif. – May 17, 2023 – Can a tractor transform our global food ecosystem? When that tractor is fully electric, driver-optional, and data-driven, the answer is yes. The supporting logic behind this trifecta of features is what earned Monarch Tractor a place on the shortlist of finalists for the Food Planet Prize 2023. It’s quite an honor. Out of more than 1000 submissions, only nine nominees were selected.
The Food Planet Prize is the flagship program of the Curt Bergfors Foundation, which was formed out of recognizing the perils that the world’s current food systems pose to the health of the people and the planet. The foundation operates with the conviction that food production, distribution, and consumption must be reformed for long-term health and viability. Nominating Monarch Tractor for the Food Planet Prize underscores Monarch’s role in this critical mission.
A Significant Tractor Tackles Significant Issues
The global food ecosystem is a picture painted by numbers. Half of our planet’s habitable land is used for agriculture and 80% of the worldwide nutrient-dense foods come from small farms. The work is grueling, dangerous, and offers little, if any, return on investment. In the U.S. alone, more than 42% of farms are operating at a loss. To increase profit margins, farmers have tried to optimize operations through larger equipment and more chemicals. It hasn’t served them well. Short-term economic gains from these practices have largely evaporated while leaving a wake of negative outcomes — soil erosion, human health issues, ecosystem destruction, greater economic pressures for farmers, and proliferation of cheap, unhealthy foods.
“To transform our food ecosystem, we have to transform the most commonly used farm device on the planet, which is the small (sub-100HP) tractor,” says Monarch Tractor CEO and Co-founder, Praveen Penmetsa.
The Monarch MK-V is the only tractor of its kind on the market. The high-tech tractor works hard for farmers, providing an all-in-one solution for labor shortages, safety, and increased costs across the board. Electrification helps farmers rely less on external inputs like fuel, petrochemical herbicides and pesticides, and even maintenance service costs. The MK-V tractor also stores power and can be used as a portable energy source, giving farmers greater resiliency against rural grid outages caused by extreme weather and fires. With Monarch, what’s good for the planet is what will give small farms a path to profitability.