Introducing… agri-tech innovations from South America

In the first of a series looking at agri-tech innovation taking place across the globe, International Business Development Manager Dr Jenna Ross provides a run-down of some of the exciting developments happening in South America.

One of the great delights of being CHAP’s International Business Development Manager is the opportunity to attend a wide range of amazing international conferences and meet a fantastic diversity of people on a daily basis. And despite the impact of COVID-19 and its restriction on physical travel, I get the chance to jump between meetings in Australia in the morning, to Brazil in the afternoon, all from the comfort of my computer screen (minus the jetlag!).

However, I have to admit, that despite this ease of ‘virtual travel’, I was particularly disappointed not to be able to attend the World AgriTech South America Summit in person. But never wanting to miss an opportunity, I welcomed the chance to make connections virtually, in the hope of getting out to Brazil next year.

 

Building contacts

My personal links with LATAM mean that I have a ready-made love affair with the continent, so it has been an absolute pleasure to start building up CHAP’s network in the region. During the summit, I met a wide range of interesting stakeholders, with numerous follow ups and face-to-face meetings planned for my Farmers Club Educator Award travels in 2022. But for me, a particular highlight of the conference was the start-up and pitching sessions, which provided a glimpse into exciting emerging AgriTech solutions from LATAM. The pitches were presented in a ‘Dragons Den’ style format and an opportunity for startups to showcase their solutions to thousands of international participants.

Start-up sessions covered a wide range of innovative solutions, and since you may not have had the opportunity to join, I wanted to provide a brief rundown of some of these exciting businesses and technologies from LATAM:

 

Companies to watch

  • Space Ag from Peru, uses drone and satellite data, API integration and a scouting app to collect data to allow for more informed decision making, inputs and yield improvements.
  • Agrolend is a Brazilian startup targeted towards small and medium sized farms looking to access sustainable credit. Their technology utilises innovative credit analysis without the need for physical guarantees.
  • Deep Agro from Argentina has developed recognition software that uses AI for weed recognition and selective application of herbicides, thus looking to reduce application costs associated with blanket treatment.
  • Brazil’s Gavea Marketplace has developed a digital blockchain-based exchange solution which makes trading and execution of physical commodities more efficient and cheaper by connecting buyers and sellers.
  • Colombia-based Demetria specialises in sensorial digital fingerprints associated with coffee to improve traceability and quality. It uses AI and data from NIR sensors for codifying the experience of certified ‘cuppers’ (expert taste testers).
  • Michroma, an Argentinean biotech startup, has developed fungal biofactories to produce ingredients such as colorants in a sustainable, scalable, and cost-effective way using precision fermentation.
  • ucrop.it, also from Argentina, uses blockchain crypto-confidential technology to offer crops transparency for remote crop-cycle certainty.
  • Argentina’s Tomorrow Foods designs and develops plant-based protein systems for the food industry in a sustainable and CO2 neutral way.

It is clear that innovation is happening in agri-tech across the world, and CHAP is working hard to link with organisations large and small to develop agriculture fit for the 21st century and beyond. I will continue to build links with forward-thinking organisations, businesses and innovators around the globe, and bring these to you in the next ‘Introducing…’ blog. Watch this space.

If you have any questions about becoming a member of CHAP, or would like to reach out to the CHAP team to discuss other project opportunities, please email us at enquiries@chap-solutions.co.uk