23 Best Agriculture Startup Ideas

Person with gardening gloves picking strawberries.

Agriculture is a vital, billion-dollar industry that employs millions of workers in the US. Though many think of “agriculture” as just relating to typical farming, it can range anywhere from food and beverage production to apparel — meaning you can find a niche just about anywhere.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best agriculture startup ideas to get you thinking about your business’s strengths and goals. These are just a few of the many ideas available — the possibilities are endless!

Best Agricultural Startup Ideas

As the global population continues to grow and the demand for sustainable food production increases, agriculture startups are playing a crucial role in shaping the future of farming. Here are some exciting agriculture startup ideas that are driving the transformation of the farming industry and addressing critical challenges such as climate change, food waste, and resource conservation.

1. AI-Driven Vertical Farming Solution

Vertical farming is increasingly popular because it supports the protection of natural resources like land, space, and water. This method of farming has become valued for bigger harvests with lower expenditures of resources, including time. You could bootstrap an AI-driven vertical farming startup with as little as a sunny backyard and some shelving and sell at local farmer’s markets or to local restaurants. 

A second approach to AI-driven vertical farming is to be the supplier for vertical farm growers who need AI cameras, drones, and physical equipment such as scaffolding and water and fertilizer delivery systems for higher levels that are out of reach. With this business model, you wouldn’t be directly involved in the growing, yet you’d be an integral part of it.

2. Agritourism Platform

Agritourism is when the non-ag community is invited to view or experience the agricultural process. Common examples are petting zoos, where children can interact with farm animals and apple-picking orchards, where the public can pick their own produce for a fee. You can profit from your own agricultural endeavors by creating some kind of experience on your agricultural land that the public would be willing to pay for.

Another way to profit from the agritourism model is to become the middle man who brings markets to and drives tourists to local farms. With this business model, you would be paid a commission by the farms for each group you bring to the farm.

3. Organic Greenhouse Farming

Organic greenhouse farming is the process of growing produce in a controlled environment where everything from the soil to the nutrients to the temperature can be carefully regulated. If you’re doing organic agriculture, doing so inside a greenhouse makes it more effective, since plants aren’t exposed to overspray from nearby agricultural concerns and other air pollutants. 

This kind of startup can be started with a minimal investment in a small greenhouse on your land, as well as organic seeds or starter plants and basic greenhouse supplies. You could sell to area stores and restaurants, who would pay premium prices for organically-grown, local produce.

4. Forestry Management App

Forest management software is important for a wide range of forest management needs, such as cost management, timber production control, harvest operations, land surveillance and more. Most commercial forestry operations utilize some kind of software for managing their operations, and this is a possible way for you to create a startup business in the agricultural industry.

To create a forest management app, you would need to either know how to write app software code yourself, have the financial resources to outscore the app creation, or ride the learning curve of mastering app-writing platforms online. Note, too, that the app would need regular updates to keep up with emerging new operating systems. This is definitely an agricultural startup idea best suited for tech-minded individuals.

5. Coffee Bean Cultivation

As a business person in the area of coffee bean cultivation, you can be assured of a never-ending supply of customers. Coffee is deeply embedded in cultures around the world. But coffee is also valued for its health benefits. Coffee beans are used as a primary ingredient or source ingredient in body scrubs, laxatives, skin creams and more. 

To get in on coffee bean cultivation, you would need to have some kind of ownership or partnership in a coffee bean plantation. This may be from leased land, fractional ownership or controlling interest in a plantation. Finally, you would likely need to partner with an individual or company with connections to coffee bean plantations in Latin America and other places where coffee bean growing is ubiquitous.

6. Green News Publication

A green news publication can take the form of a website or a free or paid local, regional or national printed publication. It would contain evergreen and timely news that is of interest to green growers, those interested in personal health and commercial companies that supply this market.

This agriculture startup idea could be implemented in a very short time, with very little time or money investment. With the plethora of available platforms available online, you could use templates to start a green news platform with a website builder, magazine or newsletter templates and, of course, source material. You could monetize this endeavor with paid advertising and/or using a subscription model.

7. Eco-friendly Apparel

As the world has become more aware of the negative impact the apparel industry has on the environment, eco-friendly apparel has become a burgeoning market. Startups in this sector could enjoy fast growth and scalability. 

A modest investment in eco-friendly fabrics like hemp, recycled polyester, bamboo is all that’s needed, as well as some sewing skills and good sewing patterns. You could then attend trade shows with your samples, take orders and then outsource your purchase orders.

8. Farm Equipment Leasing

If you have more than two nickels to rub together, you could invest in used farm equipment and lease it out. This kind of startup necessitates having land and facilities to store the equipment, insurance coverage and being in a rural area where farm equipment is in demand. 

Another option is to seek out farm equipment rental and leasing franchises, which do exist in some areas. This business model isn’t one of the easiest to get into, but once you do, it can be lucrative, since most of your costs are upfront.

9. Urban Gardening

Living in an urban environment doesn’t preclude you from getting into an agriculture startup business. Urban gardening is a solid way to make money in agriculture while supporting healthy life in your community. If you have access to, or can create, a rooftop garden, a backyard garden or a local park, you have the basics of what would be needed.

You could do urban gardening by yourself, or you could enlist others in the community to help. This kind of startup is as much a social endeavor as a business venture. Sales could come from local restaurants and farmers markets, but the scalability potential is limited.

10. Organic Cafe/Eatery

Organic eateries are popular no matter where they’re located, to some extent. As long as the food is reasonably priced and tasty, you’ll have customers. The fact that the food is organic is a bonus.

You can source organic food from local farmers, or combine one of the earlier startup ideas, such as community gardening, and be both the supplier and the cafe provider of organic produce. The farm to table movement is still very strong and when you throw in the organic element, it’s almost impossible to fail at this startup.

11. Herb Gardening

Herb gardening is a very inexpensive and easy way to start an agriculture business. You could start with very little, such as a sunny balcony or an indoor growing area set up with grow lights. 

You could sell your herbs to area restaurants, or dry them in a food dehydrator and sell dried herbs online. You could even make your own herb blends and sell them at local farmers markets with cute packaging.

12. Fish Farming

Fish farming can be a lucrative startup business, but it’s not without its challenges. First, you’ll want to have knowledge about whichever species of fish you’re planning to farm. Next, you have to consider the farming environment; whether it will be a cordoned-off natural body of water or a man-made growing tank. An oxygen delivery system will also be needed, as well as a good water supply and, of course, fish food. 

This isn’t the kind of startup you can operate yourself, unless you start very small. And, if that’s the case, the profits will be small as well. You’re better off with a larger enterprise so you can capture profits early and reinvest in bigger and better equipment.

13. Bamboo Plantations

Bamboo is considered one of the most profitable crops. Bamboo commands high prices, grows fast and is very much in demand. Even better, it doesn’t require much in the way of refining before you can sell your harvest. It’s used to manufacture everything from serving vessels to utensils, to household goods, to furniture to fabric. 

Bamboo doesn’t exactly thrive in every region of the world, but you might be surprised to find that bamboo grows in many states in the U.S. as well as other countries. You can either buy land and start your own bamboo plantation with shoots, or invest in a pre-existing bamboo plantation for sale.

14. Pickle Making

If you’re looking for an indoor agriculture startup business, consider pickle making. Made from cucumbers, pickles are a popular food item that can be sold online, at local markets and to restaurants. Modest startup costs would cover canning equipment, produce and labels. 

For a value-added element, consider making specialty pickles such as garlic-flavored or spicy pickles. You could start your own pickle brand and grab a respectable piece of the pickle market.

15. Edible Landscaping

Edible landscaping is one of the latest food revolutions hitting suburban areas. It’s all about making practical use of residential front and back yards. Instead of lawns, homeowners grow edible plants. You don’t need to be a botanist to see that edible landscaping can be as—and often more—beautiful than a manicured lawn.

You also don’t need to be a botanist to get this agriculture startup going. You do need to learn about which plants grow well together, and which don’t, as well as which hardiness zone you’ll be working in. Design and design software skills are a plus, too. Equipment can be leased until you have sufficient profits to buy your own.

16. Microgreen Farming

Microgreens are nutrient-dense, which is why health aficionados demand so many microgreens for use directly on salads and other dishes. Microgreens are also a key ingredient for commercial health beverages, supplements and drink powder mixes. 

Due to the delicacy of microgreens,  they’re best grown indoors, where the environment can be controlled. If you’re operating any of the other growing ag startups mentioned above, such as organic greenhouse farming, it would be a simple matter to add microgreen farming to the mix.

17. Planting Service

Most homeowners value mature plants over seedlings, but the actual planting is cumbersome and tedious for them. With specialized knowledge and the right equipment, you could offer planting service for mature plants such as trees, shrubbery and even mature perennials to residential and commercial customers. 

You’d need a pickup truck, at least one other crew member, and various digging and measurement tools. Trees are heavy and awkward to plant upright. Think of how hard it is to get your Christmas tree straight, and you get the idea. You could offer your services to local nurseries on a contract basis or market directly to commercial and residential clients.

18. Sunflower Farming

On a per acre calculation, sunflower farming is one of the most profitable agriculture startups you could choose. Some estimates indicate you could profit in the low hundreds with just one acre. Sunflower farmers make money because sunflower seeds and oil are used for direct consumption as well as to make cooking oil.

You could get started with even less than an acre of land, since sunflowers are hardy and grow in many different kinds of soil. They do require an inch of water per week in the growing season, but need very little ongoing maintenance.

19. Sustainable Materials

The market for sustainable materials isn’t limited to things like bamboo. Other materials are finding their way into everyday items like packaging and product manufacturing. Overall, eco-conscious companies are looking to source sustainable materials that will allow them to market to like-minded consumers while still making a hefty profit.

Consider growing sustainable materials like hemp, which is used in product manufacturing and even construction. The fibers of fast-growing plants are often used to make paper for product labels and other paper products. The possibilities are endless. For this idea, it would be advised to consult with manufacturing companies to determine their needs and decide which of them you might help with.

20. Jam Production

Fruits are used to make a wide variety of jams. Your jam production business could sell to area restaurants and farmers markets. Once profits build, you could create a brand and find your way into supermarkets across the country.

You would need access to some kind of berry farm. Berries are fairly easy to cultivate, provided you’re in the right hardiness zone. You could even combine this business with eco-tourism, opening up your berry farm on certain days or weekends for a  pick-your-own experience for families.

21. Aloe Vera Farming

Like sunflower farming, aloe vera farming is considered to be very lucrative. With little water or maintenance needed, this agriculture startup has high accessibility even to those who don’t possess a green thumb. The aloe can be sold to commercial clients in the cosmetic, health, medical and food industries, and demand is consistently high.

Land and some farming equipment is needed for aloe vera farming. But like other ag startups, you can bootstrap this business by leasing equipment and buying later on. You could also supplement income early on by selling unprocessed aloe leaves to local organic food markets.

22. Gardening Classes Platform

If you enjoy people as much as plants, consider starting a gardening class platform. Rather than teaching yourself, you would be supplying the resources for other people to teach gardening to their students. In this way, this business model differs from offering gardening classes yourself.

Essentially, your role would be supplying the outdoor or greenhouse garden area. Prospective gardening teachers would use your property to either film and upload gardening classes online, or bring their students to your property for classes.

23. Irrigation Design Software

If you prefer approaching gardening from a tech standpoint, you might like to design much-needed irrigation software. This is software that measures soil moisture, calculates water needs and sometimes is connected to an irrigation delivery system. 

This is more of a tech startup that focuses on the agriculture industry and requires a tech background or at least the resources of someone who does have the requisite tech skills. Once launched, this agriculture startup has the potential for unlimited profits since it can be sold over and over again.