Last month in Brazil members of Agri NEST, an accelerator program of French agritech startups, met with AgriHub, and I was fortunate to be a part of the discussion. The accelerator program is designed for French startups and small companies that develop innovative solutions for agriculture and livestock to enter international markets. Also present in our meeting were members of Business France, a government agency supporting the international development of the French economy.
The group from Agri NEST included seven French ag-tech startups that are interested in starting business activities in Brazil. This experience was incredible and I would like to share the work of these startups here:
About the company: Created in 2000, Biovitis is totally dedicated to the production of pure bacterial fungal biomasses.
What is the product? Agricultural biostimulants based on micro-organisms (complementary or substitutes for fertilizers and phytosanitary products).
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How it works? Microorganisms increase the availability of mineral elements in the soil, improve soil physics, and stimulate vegetative growth and root growth.
What solutions does it offer?
- Partial or total replacement of fertilizers (minimum 50% reduction) and conventional plant protection products.
- Stimulus to plant growth and protection against pathogens.
- Increasing the productive potential of soils: it reduces depletion, detoxifies soil contaminated by metals, and recovers degraded pastures.
About the company: Created in 2018, Kapsera bridges the gap between sustainability and productivity in agriculture using state-of-the-art biodegradable formulations.
What is the product? A unique and disruptive encapsulation technology that enables production of high performance microbial-based biofertilizers and biopesticides.
How it works? The solid capsule of porous algae extract based on a liquid heart: the capsule protects it from contact with the outside but keeps the exchanges (e.g., breathing, nutrition, and elimination of waste), taking the microorganisms to the ground still active and operational. The contents and composition of the capsule can be adapted to different contacts (e.g., tropical climate, types of microorganisms, types of application).
What solutions does it offer? Increases the effectiveness of bio-inputs (e.g., dose, storage time) thus reducing the cost of use.
About the company: Created in 2015, Carbon Bee is a research laboratory of Artificial Intelligence, specialized in the branch “Machine Learning,” and more particularly in “Deep Learning”.
What is the product? Solution for real or planned weed control management (mobile monitoring equipment via a deep-space hyperspectral camera).
How it works? In real time, it controls the dose applied by the nozzle during spraying of the herbicide (sensor coupled to the bar). Cartography of the species present during a passage to a treatment (e.g., sensors coupled to tractors, drones, or quadricycles).
What solutions does it offer?
- Reduction of herbicide use
- Reducing the risk of herbicide resistance
- Mapping the dynamics of adventitious flora in plots.
About the company: Created in 2016, Copeeks’ objective is to enable agricultural professionals to monitor crops and livestock in an intelligent way.
What is the product? Customizable monitoring station, capable of receiving up to 50 sensors and cameras, being an integrative solution for precision agriculture devices.
How it works? There are three stations: agriculture, livestock, and aquaculture. The device collects various data (e.g., temperature and air composition, relative humidity) and integrates with other data. Other features include monitoring of plant production and development, pest detection, and animal welfare control.
What solutions does it bring? It combines in a single place diverse solutions of precision agriculture developed by dozens of suppliers, for the increase of production and reduction of inputs.
About the company: Created in 2001, SMAG publishes and develops practical tools for growing efficiency and provides support for digital transformation in all agricultural sectors.
What is the product? Agricultural software for farm management and traceability of production.
How it works?
- Management of agricultural, cattle, or wine-growing farms.
- Rural extension management for cooperatives and agricultural technicians.
- Management of seed production for multipliers.
- Management of services, for outsourcing companies of agricultural machinery.
What solutions does it bring? Maximize economic efficiency through better management of operations and management of intra-parcelarity heterogeneity.
About the company: Created in 2018, BetaDigitis aims to play a role in the process of helping exchanges of information, proposing means and tools.
What is the product? Application of sharing of agronomic experiences between farmers.
How it works? Inserting the cultural practices carried out on the smartphone. And then compare their cultural practices, stage of development of cultures, and results with other producers to learn from their experiences.
What solutions does it bring?
- Economic role: support for agricultural development and increase production through the acquisition of knowledge.
- Social roles: increased coexistence among farmers, increased visibility of farmers, and their agricultural practices with the consumer.
- Environmental role: quick and easy sharing of good practices.
About the company: Created in 2017, MyEasyFarm aims to help the producer make the right decisions and be more efficient.
What is the product? Platform for data exchange between agricultural equipment and different data sources (e.g., sensors, satellites, and equipment).
How it works? Planning of operations in the office, aided by models, with the transmission of each task daily to the tractors and conductors via ISOBUS, allowing the proper control of all the details of the operations.
What solutions does it bring?
- Integrates different agricultural big data solutions and allows unified management, facilitating decision making, team management, and the use of agricultural material.
- Automation and improvement of traceability (e.g., use of real data).
- Ensures independence from machine manufacturers and their software/solution to handle the heterogeneity of their equipment fleet.
Overall, I found our visit with these companies fantastic because we have significant technology demands in Brazilian agriculture. For these startups, it was the first step to entering the Brazil market to provide competitiveness and value to our farmers. To learn more about the Brazilian market, visit agrihub.org/br.