The Brazilian start-up FarmGo helps farmers increase yields by providing accurate benchmarks.
FarmGo specialises in collecting data. The company provides what they call accurate benchmarks regarding crop properties, tendencies and their development. In order to to so, FarmGo combines all available information regarding agricultural patterns across Brazil since 2016.
Thus, the start-up can tell a farmer whether “everything is OK” or whether there’s an occurring problem in soy, maize, cotton and sugar cane that affects yield, in a specific region and to a precision of meters. Their system offers easy access to structured data regarding climate, soil analysis and productivity maps, combining many lays of information for each part of the field.
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“We have consolidated our solution after 3 years of research and FarmGo has been operating for a year now. Currently, we can support farmers with very precise analysing technologies in order for them to improve their harvests and profitability”, says Ricardo Matiello, founding partner of FarmGo.
For example, yield can in some cases show significant differences on the same farm. A farmer needs to know why. The FarmGo solution is able to foresee certain tendencies and can identify possible problems in crops during their development.
To this end, FarmGo have more than 4 million hectares monitored, using technologies such as drones, satellite networks, artificial intelligence and IoT (Internet of Things). Using the information provided by these systems, a farmer can identify earlier problems and optimise growing conditions, for better yield.
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“We create benchmarks for each area. If we find any lack or insufficiency, odds are there is a problem. Today, we are a big data company which uses predictive analysis for more than 450,000 hectares across Brazil”, says Matiello.
FarmGo has almost 1,200 connected farms and its customers are mostly cooperatives agronomical consultants and insurance companies. Their goal is to grow up to 1,5 million hectares in 2019.
When nerds discover agriculture
Two different worlds were joined in Londrina, a city of 580,000 inhabitants in Paraná state, Brazil. On one hand the agricultural tradition (it once had the biggest area of coffee on the planet) and on the other a vibrant urban youth, motivated and eager to change the world.
The first to see the potential was George Hiraiwa, former Agriculture Secretary of Paraná. In 2015 he decided to combine isolated efforts from SRP (Paraná Rural Society), private sector, university, research centres and – especially – the ‘nerds’ to create a robust innovation community. It is known as Redfoot.
“I discovered innovation in a different area. As an agricultural engineer, I started to team up innovative developers with farmers. I am just a facilitator, just one of many participants. This is my pleasure. It is really amazing to see how ideas come true to improve the entire production chain. They are changing the world,” says Mr Hiraiwa.
Since 2016, the Redfoot community produced more than 20 ag start-ups that provide solutions for several cultures (soy, coffee, sugar cane, maize, etc.), animal production (even bees) and different links of the entire ag value chain.