Agtechs gain more share in the market

CCBC supports virtual event aimed at companies that develop innovative solutions for the agricultural sector

By Sérgio Siscaro

Innovative and disruptive solutions have been emerging in several field sectors – and it couldn’t  be different with the agricultural sector. Called agtechs, agrotechs or agritechs, these startups are characterized by the use of technology to improve planting, harvesting, farm management and data management processes, among other applications. In the case of Brazil, a country whose agricultural sector is one of its main generators of wealth, the contribution of agtechs can be decisive in raising productivity in the field.

The proliferation of agtechs is in line with the prognosis made by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) in its 2030 Vision study, published in 2018. In its publication, the state-owned company identified some megatrends for the future of agricultural activity in the country, such as: socioeconomic and spatial changes; intensification and sustainability of production systems; climate changes; adding value in the production chains; consumer role; and technological and knowledge convergence in agriculture. These challenges would require, according to Embrapa, the use of innovative technological solutions, which can increase productivity and reduce environmental and social costs of production.

According to data collected by the Brazilian Startup Association (ABStartups), out of a total universe of 13,300 active startups in the country at the beginning of October 2020, about 3.5% of them work in the agricultural sector. These agtechs are located mainly in São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. And its performance has been increasingly demanded by Brazilian agribusiness. Data from the Brazilian Precision Agriculture Commission (CBAP) indicate that 67% of the country’s agricultural properties have already used some type of innovative technological solution. 

From ideas to the real world

In order to discuss the possibilities opened up by the application of new technologies in the field, Canadian startup accelerator Fabrique_A, from Montreal, will promote, between October 26thand 30th, with the support Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CCBC), the Fusion Agtech Challenge initiative. It will be an online event that will bring together agtech entrepreneurs and specialists from Canada, Brazil and France, in order to validate solutions brought by startups that operate in the agricultural sector – thus minimizing the project risks.

Through workshops and exploration and experimentation sessions, the Fusion Agtech Challenge will help participants find the ideal format for their product, after solving variables such as the problem to be solved, the best options for executing the idea, and the development of a prototype.

In addition, the event will allow participating startups to explore new opportunities that contribute to developing their business, discover new markets in which their solution can be implemented and establish connections with other players in the sector. At the other end, Brazilian agribusiness companies that wish to share their challenges with the agtechs will also have space in the program.

CCBC supports the event by publicizing it with startups and agribusiness companies; creating content about the technology market in the Brazilian agricultural sector and indicating experts to participate in the design sprint sessions.

More information about the Fusion Agtech Challenge can be obtained by email: [email protected]