Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the agriculture industry. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we decided to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising Agricultural Cycle Automation Startups.
Heat Map: 5 Top Agricultural Cycle Automation Startups
For our 5 top picks, we used a data-driven startup scouting approach to identify the most relevant solutions globally. The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 interesting examples out of 438 relevant solutions. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.
BoxFarming – Crop & Seed Selection
Before heading to the agricultural fields, farmers must ensure that they select the correct crop for the type of land they own. Then, they must ensure that they purchase or use the right seeds, either by genomic selection or using historical farm data. Both these steps are hugely important for a farmer to produce good yields from their land. It is also inaccessible and unaffordable for many small farmers in the world today. Indian startup BoxFarming aims to eliminate rural poverty by harnessing digital technologies to improve farm practices and yields. They use a combination of the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to develop their solutions. Their crop advisory service helps farmers decide which crops and seeds must be used, and the tools and fertilizers that go along with them. They also develop farm management software to improve efficiency and they create linkages between buyers, sellers, and farmers.
AgriBORA – Field Sensing
Once the crops and seeds have been selected, the farmer must try to sow or plant them in the best locations possible. Traditionally, this would be done manually which can take hours on the field and requires some expert understanding of the land. Advancements in drone and satellite technologies have opened the door for high quality, precision surveying and mapping for agriculture. German startup AgriBORA provides near real-time geo-data to support lending and insurance decisions in the agricultural sector, thereby reducing the risk of agricultural investments and creating opportunities for inclusive finance for small farmers. Also, they provide farmers with localized weather information which allows them to plan their activities better.
Radical Growth Solutions – Smart Irrigation
The acute shortage of water in many parts of the world combined with deteriorating quality and rechargeability has pushed technology companies to develop solutions that will waste less water while storing more. In agriculture, watering the crops is probably the most important task, and so reduced wastage and increased precision have lasting benefits for the farmer. Pakistani startup Radical Growth Solutions develops KASHTCARE, a smart IoT irrigation system controlled by climate and soil sensors that ensure plants get equal amounts of water, only when they need it. They aim to improve crop yield and field performance. Their IoT stations can be set up to provide data for disease prediction models and provide alerts for specific local weather conditions.
Zasso – Crop Protection
Another important task in agriculture is protecting the crops against weed growth and pests. Every year, tons of produce is lost to pests and disease. Traditional methods to remove weeds is not only time-consuming, but there is a growing demand from consumers for buying fertilizer-free produce. Novel innovations in computer vision and AI have allowed for high precision and automated weeding and disease control solutions that work for everybody. Swiss startup Zasso develops Electroherb, their patented control and power modules that bring electricity to a high voltage, and sends it to specially designed applicators, which deliver it safely down to the weeds, and back to the device. It is an electro-physical treatment that controls weeds and invasive plants without the use of herbicides. It avoids soil contamination or any other negative environmental impacts on the agroecosystem due to its residual-free and direct action on the weeds.
Abundant Robotics – Automated Harvesting
Harvesting is probably the most difficult agricultural task to automate. Every crop has a particular technique to harvest them, from simple picking from branches to complicated separations that have to be made to extract the produce. There are several robotics companies working to solve specific, crop-related harvesting issues. This has resulted in a slew of harvest automation solutions based on the crop type and growing conditions. The US-based startup Abundant Robotics develops robotic systems to provide ‘harvest-as-a-service’ for harvesting apples. Their main goals are to achieve productivity gains from automation while simultaneously helping solve crippling worker shortages in the agriculture industry.
What About The Other 433 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence for your Proof of Concept (PoC), partnership, or investment targets. The 5 startups showcased above are promising examples out of 438 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria and collaboration strategy, get in touch.