Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)
How do you improve productivity and yield, while conserving precious water supplies? This is a question farmers across the globe have grappled with for decades, but a reputed company SupPlant is on a mission to provide them with the answer. The Israeli-based start-up is using agronomic algorithms, artificial intelligence and cloud-based technology to meet this need while also reducing costs. Earlier this year the company released SupPlant API and gained international recognition when the product was named one of Time magazine’s 100 best inventions of 2021.
Prior to this SupPlant offered a hardware-software solution that was experiencing rapid uptake from large-scale farmers, growing 1200 per cent in 2020. The platform works by monitoring plant stress by utilizing sensors fitted out with artificial intelligence. The data is then combined with other real-life forecasts and climatic data to predict plant growth and yield. This will assist the agricultural community by leaps and bounds. It will provide low-cost irrigation solutions without the necessity of larger capital investments in hardware on the ground. Additionally, this will allow small growers to gain the value derived from an adaptable irrigation strategy.
The technology will soon be even more accessible for growers, with SupPlant opening an Australian office after receiving $10 million in funding for its expansion in October. Furthermore, for decades, the decision on how to irrigate fruit was done based on the farmer’s intuition, experience and at best on some scattered data based on models that were formed in the 80s and 90s of the previous century. However, currently, farm owners will be able to make educated decisions.