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Agrosmart monitor crops to help farmers make better decisions regarding irrigation, diseases and pests

Photo of Mariana Vasconcelos
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How does your idea apply new technologies to make agriculture and water systems more resilient in the face of climate threats?

Agrosmart connect farmers to their crops, using sensors to monitor crops needs and environmental conditions in real time. We combine that with satellite images and weather data and apply data science to generate recommendations and insights to improve operations and understand better the impact of climate events and weather behavior, creating a more sustainable and climate resilient agriculture.

Agrosmart monitors crops installing different sensors in the fields measuring up to 14 environmental conditions locally to identify the crops microclimate, and real time needs. We combine that with satellite imaging and weather forecast to help farmers make better operational decisions. Our first market was irrigation since we identified we could cause an immediate impact financially and environmentally. That is because Agrosmart decision in irrigation takes into account a more broad analysis, not only considering how much water the plant evapotranspirated, but also how much of this water demand was fulfilled with rain in that plot and how much water is still available in the soil. With the correct understanding of the hidrical needs, Agrosmart tail the recommendations to fit the farmer equipment capacity and the energy discounted rate, giving him the way to maximize the crop potential within his operational limitations. With that, farmers can save up to 60% of water, 40% of energy and increase yields in up to 20%. The return can be noticed already in the first season. By this solution Agrosmart was able to prove its concept and break the barrier to create connected products for farming. Since we have large crop areas with almost none infrastructure, we had to develop our own electronic to read different kind of sensors and have a larger communication range. We use a mesh network where one sensor talk to the other with no need of signal or energy, until they reach our datalogger that requires cell phone signal or any internet access to send the information. With the information arriving every 15min we run the algorithms to make the recommendations. We currently cover 50.000 hectares and by the impact we can cause in the farming operations we have been recognized as the youth leadership in Brazil for digital agriculture being awarded with sustainability prizes and strong corporate partnerships like with Coca Cola. Now as a second step we are introducing new products such as weather forecast, satellite imaging and with the amount of data we collect from real time monitoring, we are feeding a machine learning that is able to identify the patterns within regions and crops all over Brazil to improve intelligence in farming. We have established strong partnerships for channels, as an example Naandajain, Global leader in dripping systems that will not only help sales in Brazil but open doors in LATAM. We are also introducing Hyperspectral technologies in Brazil building a library based in the spectral signature of the tropical crops characteristics.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We have already validated our irrigation and weather forecast models in Brazil and now are doing it in other countries in Latam. Now we want to improve our models in diseases by using machine learning to correlate climate events with crops conditions to act in a preventive way.

We are excited to learn about ideas at diverse stages of development. At what stage would you currently classify your idea as? (multiple choice)

  • Operating Business: I have fulfilled the stages of testing, undertaken a full scale roll-out, and am currently operating this idea as a business.

How do you plan to grow or scale this idea?

1)Inbound marketing: we are the main digital agriculture content producer in Brazil attracting a large amount of leads 2) Outbound marketing: We have a sales machine to prospect, cold call and close deals from farmers lists 3) We strongly bet in creating distribution channels that are strategic to enter certain regions and markets to have larger reach and create barriers for entrance 4) We focus on customer success to up sell and to have word of mouth as it is the main way farmers decide to buy.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

We could get a lot of help for improving our design and making our product more plug and play, lower sensors costs and making our app usability a good experience for different countries. Also it would be very helpful to get a deeper understanding within AI and how we use it to leverage our insights.

This idea emerged from:

Mariana is daughter of farmers and grew up close to their daily challenges with lack of labor force and decisions being made totally in intuition, causing the farmers to have a need to be in the fields all the time to observe and make decisions. We saw an opportunity to solve a problem that we had inside our homes but that was common to farmers all over the world. Making better decisions would have a direct impact in food security and reducing environmental footprint

Tell us about your work experience:

We are 18 people among agronomists, meteorologists, hardware, software and business . Mariana is daughter of farmers, CEO at Agrosmart and board member at 4lab an IoT NGO, with degrees from UNIFEI, ESALQ-USP and Singularity University. Raphael is a designer and co-founded other IOT Startups. Thales is electrical engineer and leaded a robot-war team being world champion for 5 times. Uri did his Masters in Israel while worked for the ag Ministry, later he brought two of the main irrigation companies in the world to start operations in Brazil .

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Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Mariana!

Thank you for sharing Agrosmart - - with us. What are the competitors to Agrosmart? What is Agrosmart's Unique Selling Point?