AgriTask analyses multiple parameters and offers statistics that enable farmers to maximise the number of crops they produce, ensuring the highest quality possible
Israeli agriculture technology company ScanTask announced that it has created AgriTask, an agro-optimisation tool for farmers, exporters, food conglomerates and international agriculture ministry extensions that improves yield and productivity while reducing sub-par crops and high monetary losses. AgriTask aggregates multiple business intelligence parameters into one system, giving decision-makers an overview on which they can base their agronomic decisions, such as the best time to plant new crops and which areas of their fields produce the highest yields.
A high-yield industry
Agriculture accounts for 6.5 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product, totaling approximately US$7.6 trillion each year. The field is primarily based on traditional management methods and known for low usage of data-based technology. Farmers experience pest- and disease-related annual losses of over US$250 billion each year, some of which are due to usage of incorrect pesticides and chemicals, and others due to lack of field production process optimisation.
ScanTask was co-founded in 2008 by Israel Fraier and Yuri Magriso.
Aggregating data-based technologies
AgriTask offers multiple data-based technologies that measure various aspects of the farming cycle, including weather forecasting, irrigation, soil analysis and crop protection modeling. Farmers receive real-time, user-friendly data based on their own work processes. The configurable system adapts to each individual farmer’s habits and aggregates data in a non-intrusive manner, creating a simple, easily implemented system that any farmer or organisation can utilise.
ScanTask’s Fraier explained to Geektime that while other companies offer expensive, partial solutions, AgriTask provides an integrated platform with many different points of data, giving farmers a comprehensive solution at a price point they can afford. Geektime covered PhyTech last year, a company that offers a similar solution that is mostly used within Israel and focusses more specifically on sensor usage and data.
AgriTask has roughly 30 large scale clients worldwide, spanning all continents, especially in developing areas such as South American and African countries. Clients include Passion Flowers, the largest flower exporter in Colombia, Saturno, a major grape exporter from Peru, and Suzano, a global eucalyptus conglomerate in Brazil.
Fraier cites a field in Brazil as a perfect application of the system. In the past, farmers would spray all of their crops with pesticides to lower the number of pests. AgriTask presented the farmers with pinpointed information detailing the areas more susceptible to pests than others, enabling them only to spray the affected areas and not the rest, a process known as partial spraying. This led to a drop of 18 per cent in spraying expenses, which translated into approximately US$1.8 million in savings in just one season. Ecologically, this is a huge benefit for the environment, with less pollution being generated.
Farmers aren’t AgriTask’s only target audience. Agricultural buyers with multiple growers can use the system to determine quantity and quality of crops and estimate amounts they will be able to sell, and often purchase the system themselves for the farmers. Governments, especially in developing countries, who have a vested interest in helping small farmers, will now have the transparency to determine which farmers to assist and how their investments can be maximised. Insurance companies are able to utilise AgriTask to forecast potential problems or successes and determine if premiums should be raised or lowered for each individual farmer or conglomerate.
Implications for the end consumer
The potential effects of AgriTask’s decision support tool extend far beyond the industry. Lower pesticide use means healthier food for us all as pesticide use is kept to a minimum. Additionally, savings this massive can lead to lower costs for consumers as long as these savings are implemented, of course, and not racked up as additional profits for the farmers and conglomerates.
The article Israeli ScanTask’s technology can improve crops and reduce costs first appeared in Geektime.
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