Guest post by our colleague @Joannah Wanjiku in Nairobi Kenya
Israel has cultivated a legacy of agricultural innovation in the face of scarcity for many years. With advanced research, entrepreneurial farmers and technologists, and government support, the country has produced an Agritech sector that today numbers more than 500 globally oriented companies excelling in many different areas.
Interest in technologies for agriculture will continue as farm management adopts data-driven agronomy. Digital imaging, sensors, and artificial intelligence platforms are set to change farming from precision to ‘predictive’ agriculture. From predictive agriculture to crop insurance, these Israeli firms are bringing technological innovation to modernize the agriculture industry. Discover their innovative solutions below:
- Agritask provides a holistic agricultural operations platform designed to enable fact-based, on-time decision making. The company’s clients consist of growers, buyers, farm input companies, governments and nonprofit organizations, research institutes, and insurers and creditors. The Agritask platform enables clients to capture and make use of agronomic data and is designed for high per-client flexibility.
- Agro Shelef and the Agriculture Research Organization of Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture have codeveloped Tamar-Tech, a nontoxic product for pest control. Tamar-Tech is derived from edible vegetable oils and is manufactured with an innovative emulsifier. It is a safe, nonpolluting product that can control a wide range of pests without leaving any pesticide residue.
- Biofeed develops technology designed to deal with one of the most pressing problems in fruit-producing countries: fruit fly infestation. The company has patented its Slow Fluid Release (SFR) technology, a liquid mixture of lures and additives that may include food substances, feeding stimulants, and control or therapeutic agents. Biofeed offers its technology via a broad range of professional applications, including a special line of products developed to control fruit flies.
- Farm Dog offers a pest and disease management platform designed to help growers optimize their field treatments, increase yields, and promote environmental sustainability. The company’s solution aims to ensure that fields receive the right treatment, at the right time and location, via AI-enabled workflow software and analytics. The Farm Dog app enables users to track pests, diseases, weeds, trap counts, and more. Farm Dog was named a top five agriculture application of 2017 and holds strategic partnerships with John Deere, a multibillion-dollar pesticide company, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- Farmster is a digital produce marketplace that does not require farmers to have internet access. Farmster’s AI-driven SMS chatbot allows farmers to publish information about their upcoming harvests without the need to buy a smartphone, download an app, or use any data. Buyers are able to search for produce using the Farmster app and then connect with farmers over the phone. The platform is live in Kenya for the FarmKenya Farmer’s Market.
- Groundwork BioAg produces mycorrhizal inoculants for commercial farming. Containing concentrated and vigorous beneficial fungi, the company’s Rootella and Dynomyco inoculants can improve soil nutrient uptake in plants, increase crop yields, improve resistance to several types of stress, and reduce fertilizer requirements. Groundwork BioAg has demonstrated significant yield increases in numerous major crops, including corn, soybeans, sorghum, tomatoes, onions, and cannabis.
- N-Drip is the developer of a gravity micro-irrigation system that utilizes existing flood irrigation infrastructure to provide efficient drip irrigation. The system uses pressure lower than 0.06 bar and is compatible with dirty water, requiring no filters. N-Drip does not rely on external energy, instead making use of the field topography and gravity power to reduce conversion costs and increase operational efficiency with the goal of conserving water and fertilizer while increasing yields. N-Drip received the Overall Award for Excellence in Disruptive Technologies at the Transformational Business Awards.
- PickApp leverages labor-activity data to help farms reach peak performance. Using farm-activity data collection methods and user-friendly intelligent farming tools, PickApp is enabling data-driven real-time management and high-level decision making of labor-intensive farms.
- Saillog leverages proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) and computer-vision algorithms for agricultural solutions and crop protection. Saillog’s algorithms are deployed on its mobile application, Agrio. Growers upload images of crops with suspected pathologies then receive identifications and treatment suggestions from the AI-based software. Agrio uses prediction models to monitor the spread of diseases and pests and then dispatch warning notifications to impede infestations.
- OKO uses satellite and mobile technology to bring affordable and simple crop insurance to smallholder farmers. OKO creates index partnerships with weather data suppliers and uses them to create parametric insurance products underwritten by a locally licensed insurance company. Farmers can also benefit from OKO’s weather alerts, farming tips, and access to affordable microcredit. OKO won the Orange Social Venture Prize in 2019 and the ITU SME Competition in 2020 and has been listed as one of the “Inclusive Fintech 50” by MetLife Foundation and Visa.
To know more about Agriculture Technology industry in Israel, please feel free to reach out to Ashish Verma – Senior Trade Officer – Economic and Trade Mission (New Delhi).