AgriHub in Year One: Empowering Brazilian Growers with Innovation

In recent years, producers in Mato Grosso have experienced a stagnation of productivity and increased production costs, limiting crop production and thus tightening their overall margins. With growing demand for the commodities of Mato Grosso, this productive sector finds challenges in serving it without adding area for production.

Among all the problems reported by farmers in the field, two are highlighted: 1) a lack of innovative culture; and 2) the non-established habit of using available technologies. In this region, there is a lack of using information to reduce production costs and increase productivity, despite the fact that there are technologies available to measure production and generate important statistics for decision making, from the process of buying inputs, to even help in marketing.

Facing this context comes the AgriHub — a hub of innovation to encourage the creation, adoption, and testing of technologies for agriculture and livestock. The intention of the project is to propose the empowerment of rural producers in the implementation of innovative technologies, as well as in the provocation of the different entrepreneurial communities for their creation and development, and finally the development and diffusion of new technologies.

Daniel-Latorraca-addresses-group-at-AgriHub
Daniel Latorraca, superintendent at research agency Imea, is responsible for connecting the new startups with the farmers in the AgriHub.

For this process of innovative crop implantation to be possible, the focus of the actions have been directed to the rural producers of Mato Grosso, preferably those who have a risk appetite, value research, are visionary, and value new trends. In October, the AgriHub project completed its first year of existence. And in this first year of intense work in the state of Mato Grosso, excellent results were achieved.

Here are some of the highlights from the first year of the project:

  • Seminars and workshops were attended by more than 5,000 people.
  • 640 sales leads were generated.
  • Visits to various Israeli companies and institutions.
  • Three Hackathons were performed with the following innovations:
    • Hackathon No. 1 Winner — Agritrade. Objective: To generate savings in the costs of purchasing inputs using anonymous price comparison. Company has been mentored and is already operating. For more information, visit www.grupoagritrade.com.br.
    • Hackathon No. 2 Winner — ColorGrain. Objective: To assist in the classification of soy by means of color tone with the help of artificial intelligence identifying the good, fermented, and burned grains. The company has already gone through mentoring and the app will be released in November. For more information, email [email protected].
    • Hackathon No. 3 Winner — SEPCA. Objective: To create an estimation of sugarcane production, based on the ZAE method, taking into account water indexes, leaf mass index, and dry mass. Company has been mentored. For more information, email [email protected].

Two professionals should be congratulated for their actions with the AgriHub/Hackathons: Daniel Latorraca, superintendent at research agency Imea, who was responsible for connecting the new startups with the farmers in the AgriHub; and Heygler de Paula, AgriHub COO, for fostering innovation in the Hackathon and having a key role in structuring the project. Thanks to these individuals and many others involved with the AgriHub, we know that this project will continue for the next year and we have no doubt that new innovations will emerge.

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