2017 AusFAC Competitors
Congratulations to AgUnity, crowned Australian Agripreneur of the Year 2017.
David Davies from AgUnity is helping increase incomes for the smallest farmers in developing countries via the use of blockchain tech. We have two entities: one, AgUnity, is a commercial entity that builds the technology and runs pilot projects to prove the impact, and the other, AgriLedger, is a charitable trust that allows us to partner with and receive funding from NGOs.
From our pilot projects, we develop case studies that support grant applications from (as one example) the AusAid incentive fund, to enable us to set up co-operatives and provide free phones and AgriLedger to around 1,000 farms in Bougainville.
In Myanmar we’re partnering with IFC.
In Kenya, and later Ghana and Ethiopia, we’re partnering with African Development Bank.
Farmers receive everything including the phones for free, and in a relatively short time (e.g. one growing season) see an substantial increase in their disposable income.
AgriLedger is also a digital wallet and an online store.
Via the app, we encourage farmers to use their newfound additional income in positive ways.
We allow companies to provide ethical products and services into a new, completely untapped market. Things such as solar lights, farming equipment, and micro-loans can be accessed by the farmers directly via AgriLedger.
Companies providing these services pay us royalties, around 10%, however we ensure the farmer is always getting better value than they otherwise would have.
The royalties fund more product R&D and more pilot projects and grant applications.
Over 1 billion small-scale farmers earn their income from Agriculture, yet up to 50% of a farmer’s crop value ‘vanishes’ between harvest and sale.
Huge inefficiencies in planning, a lack of empowerment and a lack of access to proper farming resources result in poor harvests, spoilage of crops and poor prices at point of sale.
Farming cooperatives are seen the most effective and equitable way to increase farmer’s incomes by overcoming these inefficiencies, however poor record keeping and a lack of transparency often results in farmers being taken advantage of through corruption and graft.
Our solution is to enable trust between farmers and co-operatives by providing a smartphone and our blockchain app, AgriLedger, to farmers in the developing world, all for free.
This app enables farmers to easily record all transactions in an immutable ledger between each other and their farming cooperatives, and to plan better, buy and sell together and cooperate to share resources.
In our pilot projects in Kenya and Bougainville, farmer incomes increased by 3x on average from a single season to the next, all through sharing resources and buying/selling together.
Farmers can understand with confidence, even if they cannot read or write, that if they hand over their crops to a co-operative, they will receive payment for these crops for exact amount they provided, and trust the AgriLedger app.
Anastasia Volkova from FluroSat Grow more with less. We sell derived imagery products and agronomic insights produced using crop and paddock specific analysis to the growers, decreasing the time to decision making and increasing the number of traceable data points to access the effectiveness of a taken agronomic decisions.
We combine drone and satellite data with weather and farm information, current as well as historic, to adjust the optimal crop performance predictions to every paddock to account for soil variability and difference in agronomic practice.
We sell data processing and analytics services directly to agronomy service providers.
These companies hire hundreds of agronomists and service thousands of farmers.
Having them as a client means tapping into a vast network of agronomy branches and specialists servicing farmers.
Agronomies pay for general servicing involving scientific processing and calibration of captured drone and available satellite imagery; as a top-up, agronomy can request individual trials with custom model development and historic analysis if they want to extend the service for a client.
Main problem: uninformed decisions in agriculture (95%).
These decisions affect the amount of fertiliser, water and chemicals applied to the crop to enhance its growth.
We put actionable layers of scientifically-proven data and pre-made to-do lists under the fingertips of growers and agronomists so that their business can become less of art and more of a managed predictable controllable process.
Solution: Grow more with less.
We collect multi-/hyperspectral images of the crop using drones and satellites, identify stressors limiting yield potential and produce recommendations to farmers.
We advise growers where when and how much fertiliser, fungicide and water to apply.
Our insights help farmers significantly save money on input costs and improve yields.
Combined improvement in agricultural efficiency estimated at 5-25% of the yield.
Damian Zammit from WaterSave International is using sensor technology to reduce the water, power & fertilizer consumption on farms by 20-40%.
As a Northern Australian company, we specifically identified a need to address the impact that farming is having on the Great Barrier Reef.
After spending months speaking to farmers across the region, we identified that power and water consumption were critical pain points for farmers.
Hence www.watersave.io was born in March of 2017.
Our tech team are building new hardware devices and retrofitting for LoRaWAN & Sigfox IoT networks.
We’re then delivering data to clients in a practical format via our custom software platform.
This allows us to provide a complete end-to-end IoT solution for our clients and manage each element of the IoT system architecture.
Team members: Damian Zammit (CEO): Recognised 2014 QLD Government (DSITI) Innovation Champion. Cofounder of theSPACE Cairns Startup & Innovation Hub.
Darryl Lyons (COO): Communications, mechanical and electrical services BMS (building management system) controls.
Nathan Finney (CFO): Principal of Crowe Horwath Accounting Cairns.
Xenek Stoehr: Tech Dude End-to-end IoT systems, from code on a sensor node to message flow and decoding. End-to-end internet communications, navigation and control systems Multilingual website development.
Tony Peter: Internet of Things Developer Electrical / Mechanical engineering background Rapid prototype design & build.
Given that farming accounts for 70% of global freshwater withdrawals, a farmer’s’ ability to save water will become a key factor in their survival, based on current pricing trends.
Currently, irrigation costs are consuming 30% of farming revenues, with this number on the rise as power and water costs increase.
WaterSave is delivering an affordable, automated farm irrigation solution, which can be monitored from anywhere in the world.
Via a combination of in-field micro weather stations and soil moisture sensors, farmers are alerted when paddocks are sufficiently irrigated.
Our solutions are extremely affordable as our sensors do not require SIM cards, thus dramatically reducing monitoring costs.
In addition, our sensors can monitor nitrate levels, which assists in the reduction of fertiliser use and the associated environmental impact.
The WaterSave solution is delivered in 3 stages:
Stage 1: Establish a regional IoT network
Stage 2: Install on-farm flow meters and end-of-row soil moisture sensors
Stage 3: Semi-automation of the irrigation system
Note: Stage 4 (Full automation will be in market by February 2018)
The Farm Process
Peter Cummins from The Farm Process is about helping farmers achieve better productivity through effective use of technology.
The Farm Process started out as a commissioned on-site pack-shed management product.
We subsequently translated and released released it as a SaaS (Software as a Service) product online and softreleased to a number of local farmers.
The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
Our market research has indicated that there is a pent up demand in the farming sector for a product that is tailored to their needs, works in their unique environment, and help to simply and effectively manage the various aspects of their business.
With the recent availability of high speed 3G and 4G mobile networks on many farms, many are beginning their transition from a local IT infrastructure to a SaaS model.
One of our early customers has subsequently commissioned an asset register module, indicating the level of commitment, confidence and loyalty our customers.
In addition to this commissioned addition, we are in the process of extending the product line (via in-house development and partnerships) to include: Pack-shed management Asset and vehicle management Safety and Document control system Crop Watch Spray Diary Our goal is to fill a gap in the burgeoning market of SaaS farming software.
This is a high-growth, lucrative, blueocean market that is currently being woefully underserved.
Almost all farms we have interacted with are repeating their paperwork many times for each load of fruit that gets sent away.
This needlessly consumes their life and introduces errors. The paperbased system of record keeping also means that reports are difficult and time consuming to produce.
Through wise use of data collection and manipulation we have made it possible for farmers to enter their information once, use it where needed, communicate relevant data to their agents etc, and produce in-depth reports simply.
Gaurav Tyagi from Pycno Agriculture produces easy to use wireless agriculture sensors that plug into soil & provide users with critical information.
Pycno produces professional yet cheap and easy to use wireless sensors targeted for agriculture that plugs into the soil and provide users with critical information of the soil and the air from remote locations.
All this information is captured by the sensors and gets displayed in real time from anywhere you are in the world on our website so that farmers can visualize and understand the condition of their fields.
Users will get the notification in critical situations through text messages or calls which help them make better informed decisions about the situation of their crops and bring a reduction in the use of resources like water, fertilizers, and electricity while providing an increase in the quality and quantity of their produce.
Farmers today have no empirical data of the situation of their fields and depend mostly on previous experience to make decisions putting Agriculture as one of the most outdated yet essential markets today.
With the increase in population, food demand and scarcity of resources, there is a lot of pressure on farmers to produce more.
Using sensors, analytics, and data science can show you how by having detailed information from your fields will help you make better-informed decisions, reducing the number of resources while increasing the quality and quantity of your crops.
Pycno focuses on unassisted Plug & Play remote sensing and visualization technologies.
This includes radio communications, efficient and low power electronics together with energy harvesting and very easy to use and user-friendly devices.
This kind of technology is ideal for everyone that needs to measure parameters from remote areas of the world and be able to get to that information in real time anywhere you are in the globe in a completely autonomous and unassisted way.
Helen Fielder from Clohesy Organics. Escape to the bush surroundings, sleeping under the stars and watch the crops developing. Focus on vegetarians/vegans.