September 30, 2022 #Business and Exportation

The rise of AgTech: Ten Chilean companies driving innovation in agriculture

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Technology in agriculture

Agriculture is one of the main economic activities of our country and there are already several startups that are innovating not only to improve the yield of Chilean fields, but also to combat climate change.

Drones, artificial intelligence, nano-blades and machine positioning platforms are some of the technologies used to revolutionize the field. On International Agriculture Day, we invite you to learn how Chilean agriculture is creating the future.

Instacrops: the internet of plants

Founded in 2015 by engineer Mario Bustamante, the Chilean startup Instacrops is a virtual assistant that allows farmers to visualize historical information and also monitor in real time the fields through an application that allows them to detect water problems, irrigation, fertilizers, weeds and diseases. In this way, farmers can receive alert notifications directly on their cell phones for the main indicators of the soil, or about the approach of climatic events. The objective? To keep farmers fully informed about the needs of their farms. The startup has operations in the USA, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

AgroMatch: the "Airbnb" of agricultural machinery

Considered an "Airbnb" for the rental of agricultural machinery, AgroMatch is a AgroMatch is a platform created in 2018, which allows small farmers to rent machines at times of low utilization in other locations where the seasons of the year do not coincide. This solves the problem of underutilization of the machines of small users, extending their period of occupation. All this using artificial intelligence and the internet of things, which allows combining the demand for machines with the supply and availability of machines for rent. The company allows you to rent various types of machines, as well as hire or offer agricultural services, buy new or used machines, and place the machines for rent or sale.

AgroUrbana: vertical agriculture with LED lights and hydroponic farming

Created in 2018, the AgroUrbana is the first company in Latin America to introduce vertical agriculture, which per square meter produces 100 times more than traditional agriculture, which is possible thanks to the hydroponics technique, which does not use soil, but water and nutrients. Its technology based on LED lights and hydroponic cultivation allows growing vegetables and legumes consuming only 5% of the water needed in traditional agriculture. Its founders, Cristián Sjögren and Pablo Bunster, created this company in response to two major challenges: feeding a growing population while taking into account the impact of climate change; and the need of consumers to know more about the preparation of the products they consume.

Wiseconn: optimizing irrigation

The water crisis that the planet has been facing has forced many industries to reinvent themselves. And agriculture is no exception. Seeking to contribute to the reduction of water consumption, the Wiseconn allows farmers to optimize irrigation through automation, control and monitoring of plantations, based on software created especially for this purpose. The company, which has been in business for more than 12 years, is already present in the United States (where it has reached 1,000 farms using its technology), and is expanding to other Latin American countries, starting with Colombia.

Altum Lab: artificial intelligence to predict phenomena in the field

The startup Altum Lab -foundedin 2017- uses a model of artificial intelligence called Bruna, a set of algorithms that, based on historical information from agricultural and aquaculture companies, predicts certain phenomena such as, for example, crop yields. The objective is to solve the problem of production demand forecasting, based on sales forecasts, sales prices and other variables related to production. Today, besides being present in Chile, it has operations in Peru, Brazil and Mexico. But they want to expand to more markets in Asia and Europe. That is why they are in the capital raising stage.

Kran Nanobubble: better performance with nano-bubbles

Created in 2017 by Jaime de la Cruz, a Kran Nanobubble provides sustainable solutions thanks to its nano-bubble technology: small and invisible beads that are inserted into a liquid medium and can contain any type of gas, such as oxygen or nitrogen. They serve several applications in agriculture, such as plant growth, plant health, making irrigation water more efficient, oxygenation and water reuse. For example, in agriculture, injecting oxygen nano-beads into the roots makes them absorb nutrients more efficiently.

AgroDrone: innovating in the application of phytosanitary products

Using drones, a AgroDrone Chile is dedicated to the application of phytosanitary products in an innovative way compared to traditional spraying and fertilization techniques. This technology allows an efficient application in lands of difficult access such as areas with steep slopes, where there are no roads or areas close to bushes or houses; avoids soil compaction; reduces the use of phytosanitary products by 30% and reduces the use of water.

AgroInventario: reducing agricultural losses

Upon discovering that every year 400 million dollars are lost due to the misuse of stocks in the Chilean agricultural sector, in 2019 Tomás Valenzuela and Vicente Pérez created the startup AgroInventariowhich, through an electronic balance with special software, manages to reduce chemical losses, as well as optimizing time and resources in agricultural wineries. This allows farmers to make quick decisions, buy correctly and reduce the expiration period. Today they work with farmers from the Metropolitan region to the Lakes region, and are looking to internationalize their company.

Patagonia Biotechnology: algae for agriculture

From Puerto Montt, in the south of Chile, to Patagonia Biotechnology is a company specialized in the production of seaweed extracts from Patagonia, nourished by the cold Humboldt Current, the richest marine ecosystem in the world. These extracts are used to support the different stages of plant nutrition through more than 40 seaweed-based products, to be used in both organic and traditional agriculture. Its products are currently present in Chile, Peru, USA and soon in other Latin American countries.

Food for the Future (F4F): reusing organic wastes

Addressing food needs and reducing the amount of organic waste sent to landfills are the challenges that Cristián Emhart and Alejandro Tocigl have decided to face with the Food for the Future. But how? By feeding this organic waste to an insect (the black soldier fly), which then transforms it into food for fish and animals. With this project, unique in Latin America, they avoid over-exploitation of marine resources and deforestation by substituting fish meal and soy for this sustainable protein.


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