OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Leveraging Climate Smart Agriculture practices with the use of technology

Using technology to translate nature and enable better decisions to sustainably improve food production.

Photo of Danilo Poloni
3 1

Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Agrosmart S.A

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

https://agrosmart.com.br/

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 3-10 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Campinas, São Paulo.

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Brasil

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

The “Green Belt of São Paulo State”. One of the major single vegetable producing region in Brazil.

What country is your selected Place located in?

Brasil

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

This region has a historic economic and social importance for the State of São Paulo and the country as a whole. Thousands of small producers make their living from farming in this region. However, real estate pressure, climate change, difficulties in family succession (young people do not want to stay in the countryside) and low technology adoption, have put agricultural production in this region at risk.

Agrosmart was born to help rural producers through technology and with partnerships with other stakeholders in the value chain. This region has strategic importance for supplying large supermarkets and retail chains. For this reason, we are in contact with these players in order to bring more technology to these producers, improving agronomic management and providing strategic information for the development of the region.



Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

The “Green Belt of São Paulo State” accounts for 25% of the national production of vegetables.

The Belt is divided into two major areas - east and west - with the state capital as the center. Among the municipalities that make up the eastern region are Mogi das Cruzes, Santa Isabel and Suzano, in it are more than 4 thousand small rural producers. In the western region, the Green Belt consists of cities such as Ibiúna, Itapetininga, Piedade do Sul and Sorocaba and has approximately 3 thousand small rural properties.

According to the “Society of Warehouses and General Warehouses of São Paulo”, Ceagesp, the São Paulo Green Belt accounts for 25% of national vegetable production and 90% of greens and 40% of vegetables consumed in the capital of São Paulo. The proximity of agricultural production areas to the consumer market can potentially  favor transport, reduce losses, prices and also the ecological footprint (less transport means less air pollution).



What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)

250

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

8000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

We need to increase food production in 70% by 2050 and we are facing a scenario of water

scarcity and climate change. 72% of the food we eat comes from family farming where the level of training and use of technology is low. 70% of the planet freshwater is used for irrigation and half is wasted due to lack of knowledge of when and how to irrigate. Access to

information and understanding of the crop for climate resilience are essential to overcome

this challenge. Developing countries in Latin America and Africa account for much of this

goal and have very little infrastructure and applications that generate data and information

for the farmer. 


Farmers lack information to help them make decisions in the field, especially with regard to irrigation and crop development. As a result, the farmer ends up using more water than necessary in his crops, resulting in reduced productivity, increased operating costs and use of agricultural inputs, in addition to wasting water, aggravating the water crisis. 


In addition, farmers have difficulty controlling their plantation. They do not know how much water and resources are being consumed and when is the right time to start planting. Finally, the extension of the plantations also makes it difficult to identify problems in cultivation, such as diseases or lack/excess of water. Despite having a lot of knowledge obtained through observation and experience in the field, the rural producer still depends a lot on his intuition and being physically on the field to try to infer what they should do.



Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Agrosmart wants to transform agriculture by helping producers to be more productive and sustainable, generating relevant information and helping them learn from their crops. Using sensors and satellite data we monitor crops in real time to help the farmer understand what is the need of the plant. We have the weather forecast with the lowest error in the market and the irrigation model with the highest impact, saving up to 60% water, 40% energy and a productivity increase of up to 20%. The recommendations are daily directly via application or SMS, in addition, producers have a history of data to understand their results, compare to other producers in the region, assess the consumption of inputs and energy, and how environmental conditions impact their production and how they can take advantage of what was positive to recreate the best scenarios. Based on what we learned from collecting ground truth data, we generate market intelligence and agronomic models based on Seed Genetics, Soil Type and Microclimate. That opened the doors to not only support farmers but

impact all food value chain. Our solutions support seed and agro industries in their R&D and product placement, as well as food and beverage industries to increase transparency and sustainability in their supply chain.


Tropical agriculture countries have low internet infrastructure in the fields. Agrosmart is the first company to break the connectivity barrier and create connected products for farming in Brazil. Since we have large crop areas with almost none infrastructure, we had to develop our own electronic to read different kinds of sensors and have a larger communication range. We use a mesh network where one sensor talks to the other with no need of connectivity or energy, until they reach our data logger that requires cell phone signal or internet access to send the information. With the information arriving every 15 min we run the algorithms to make recommendations to the farmer. While competitors’ platforms are focused on adapting their modules for local reality regarding connectivity and agronomy parameters, we built our platform for countries with low infrastructure and different climate zones.Agrosmart has an open protocol for different sensors in the market, identifying and integrating the best sensors for each crop, soil type and climate characteristics. 


We are a full-service provider that delivers end-to-end solutions - from connectivity infrastructure to advanced AI models and recommendations. Therefore, clients don't need to buy solutions from different suppliers and switch between providers in order to access insights.



High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Our solution was already validated by the market, showing positive environmental, social and economic impacts. Our irrigation model saves up to 60% water, 40% energy and provides productivity increase of up to 20%.Just an example, the amount of water we saved in one single farm is enough to supply 70.000 people everyday. We had also helped family farmers to gain back income helping them tackle water management in a drought crisis.


Based on what we learned from collecting ground truth data, we generate market intelligence and agronomic models based on Seed Genetics, Soil Type and Microclimate. That opened the doors to not only support farmers but impact all food value chain. Our solutions support seed and agro industries in their R&D and product placement, as well as food and beverage industries to increase transparency and sustainability in their supply chain. In that way, we help directly small to medium farmers in their day to day challenges and generate data that allow us to explore other business models with corporations helping the whole chain to become more climate resilient, as they can drive the genetic developments, seed placement and sourcing strategies to adapt to climate change.



Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

Agrosmart believes that Food and Agriculture are key to achieving the entire set of Sustainable Development Goals. Technology is creating never before seen possibilities to understand nature and soil-climate-plant relations. We need innovative and diverse solutions that will help address the global challenges of food production. Agrosmart is working with all the main stakeholders in the food supply chain to drive innovation and provide solutions to sustainably meet those needs.


We are the only AgTech startup in Brazil to have adhered to the UN Global Compact and aligned our strategic objectives with the SDGs. Initially, we identified 5 major SDGs that our business directly impacts - SDGs 2 (Zero Hunger), 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and 13 (Climate Action ).


Agrosmart is also the first SME to commit to the "Business Ambition for 1.5 °C: Our Only Future" initiative. We believe that the adoption of technology is a great contributing factor to help with the challenge of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

As previously described, we are confident that our solution will directly impact the six interconnected themes: Environment, Diets, Economics, Culture, Technology, and Policy:

Environment - Small rural producers are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. We work under the concept of Climate Smart Agriculture and our solution and methodology can accelerate the development and adoption of practices for adaptation and resilience in these regions. Some of the potential impacts are more conscious use of water for irrigation, optimization of the use of inputs in agriculture and increased productivity.

Diets - Small rural producers are a fundamental part of the food production chain that is daily on the plate of people around the world. In Brazil, it is estimated that more than 70% of the food consumed daily comes from family farming. This value chain is extremely important for the balance of diets in developing countries and is at risk due to environmental pressures and the model of industrial agriculture. Our solution will contribute to the adoption of more sustainable agricultural techniques (eg organic agriculture or with reduced use of synthetic inputs) and contribute to the maintenance of this productive chain.

Economics - To stay in business and produce sustainably, producers must also have a stable and secure source of income. Our tools help in the adaptation and resilience of producers, but it also offers strategic information to other players in the chain, such as the buyers themselves (eg supermarkets). The information generated helps to bring greater transparency to this relationship and can help to build more secure contracts for both sides. In the medium and long term, this can result in an increase in direct income for producers and their families.

Culture - Small rural producers have the value of traditional knowledge and decades of experience producing in their regions. No one knows the particulars and productive techniques better than they do. However, the effects of climate change are bringing new challenges and calling into question some agricultural practices that have always worked. Our solution leverages traditional knowledge and helps to identify and apply new techniques for these producers. In addition, our company was founded by three young entrepreneurs and is led by a young woman. We want to inspire the sons and daughters of these producers to seek innovative solutions for rural production and to carry on their family traditions.

Technology - Agrosmart has been internationally recognized for having developed a solution with a strong technological background, but above all for having found a business model to take this solution into practice for producers of all sizes. We want to consolidate Agrosmart as the leading platform in digital agriculture in the region by integrating new monitoring technologies and developing better models of recommendation at an accessible cost for any farmer. We have invested in product development to expand our data collection and modelling towards diseases and pests to offer a more complete solution. 

Policy - In addition to direct application in the context of agricultural production, the information generated by our platform (eg climate data, use of inputs, weather, satellite images, etc.) are important inputs for the design of public policies related to the promotion of new technologies, agroclimatic zoning and access to agricultural credit and insurance.


The digital agriculture market is estimated at US$ 23 billion. Latin America has the second largest market for agribusiness after the United States, about 140 million hectares are cultivated, with 70 million hectares in Brazil. In Latam we have three important factors for agricultural production: arable land, water and favorable climatic conditions. The region accounts for one-third of the world's freshwater and 28% potential for expansion of arable land. 



How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website
  • Instagram
  • Facebook

3 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Aline Carvalho
Team

Que legal ver mais uma colaboração de São Paulo! Parabéns pelo trabalho!

Spam
Photo of Danilo Poloni
Team

Muito Obrigado!!!

Spam
Photo of Danilo Poloni
Team

Boa sorte com seu projeto, Sustentarea! Muito interessante Aline Carvalho