Israeli Agritech startup SupPlant teamed with PlantVillage, a Penn State University initiative, to reach 500,000 smallholder maize farmers, the majority of whom are women in Bungoma and Busia.
These farmers are small but have a significant share of the approximately half a billion farmers globally who farm on less than two hectares.
SupPlant has developed sensor-free irrigation suggestions. A system that is extremely low-cost weather forecasts and crop stress alarms, in addition to AI-enabled agronomic counseling, to help smallholder farmers become more resilient to climate change and avoid crop failure.
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Unfortunately, plants are sensitive; even brief periods of high stress can result in the death of a whole harvest.
PlanetVillage initiative collaborates with Kenyan partners such as Mediae’s iShamba and Shamba’s Shape Up System, reaching 9 million farmers each week. SupPlant’s goal is to help at least 2 million smallholder farmers across Africa and India by 2022.
Climate change and extreme weather events pose a threat to the lives of smallholder farmers. Droughts, erratic rains, and heatwaves all contribute to the likelihood of catastrophic crop failure.
Existing options are either prohibitively expensive or imprecise in their ability to assist smallholders in navigating the climate.
According to David Hughes, founder of PlantVillage and Dorothy Foeh and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Global Food Security, “Supplant’s unique dataset, agronomical expertise, and patented algorithms represent an extremely exciting step forward for farmers facing drought.” Our initial pilots have been successful, and we are looking forward to accelerating delivery at scale and seeing amazing benefits throughout the forthcoming harvest season.”
The majority of AgriTech startup companies target less than 2% of the world’s producers and disregard the world’s 450 million smallholder farmers.
SupPlant has grown 12X in the last 18 months by serving the conventional AgriTech market of corporate growers and just announced $10 million in growth funding to sustain this development.
The leadership and investors of the company are committed to assisting all sorts of farmers in creating a more sustainable environment.
According to Jeffrey Swartz, former CEO of Timberland and co-founder of Boresight Capital, which led the most recent round, “as climate change rages, SupPlant’s answer demonstrates how world-class technology and motivated executive teams can enhance our society.
“We support SupPlant across a number of essential crops and geographies, from smallholder farmers to large-scale food producers, since they enable farmers to produce more, better food sustainably.”