About 1,000 farmers in Israel, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Kenya and Thailand are reporting up to 40 percent reduced use of pesticides, substantial savings from prevention of crop damage, and improved fieldworker efficiency due to a flexible precision-agriculture platform called AgriTask.
It’s like a smart one-stop shop for agricultural technologies and best-practices data.
Developed by Israeli startup ScanTask in 2008, AgriTask translates data and integrates multiple ag-techs into simple work protocols for farmers of vegetables, field crops, fruit and ornamental trees, grapes and greenhouse flowers, and helps them comply with safety and export regulations.
Off the farm, exporters, buyers, food conglomerates, and agriculture financing and insurance companies can reap business intelligence and decision support from ground data, aerial images and forecast data shared by users across the cloud-based AgriTask platform.
All this happens on a simultaneously trilingual platform — English and any two other languages — allowing field workers and managers to use ScanTask in their preferred language.
“Agriculture managers will hardly use existing technologies unless they become easily accessible, and save the need to deal with multiple technical systems.”
“AgriTask has changed the way I monitor and manage our regional integrated pest management project,” says Avi Goldstein from the regional growers’ association in Israel’s Binyamina region, which encompasses more than 100 growers cultivating dozens of different crops.
“It is a flexible, integrative and easy-to-use an agronomic platform that helps me to identify and mitigate risks, as well as plan and execute activities across the entire region,” says Goldstein. “After five years of using the system I can watch the seasonal and annual behavior of the pest and disease trends and appearance. Therefore, I can recommend treatments for saving time, effort and money to harvest optimal and safe yields.”
Access to multiple technologies
AgriTask is meant not only for large, established agricultural enterprises, as ScanTask cofounder and CEO Israel Fraier explained shortly after the company’s on-stage demo at the World Agri-Tech Investment Summit in London in early November 2016.
“With annual losses of hundreds of billions of dollars, agriculture can easily earn the title ‘The Largest Unsupervised Production Factory.’ The reason is not the lack of data or smart technologies, but the fact that agriculture managers will hardly use existing technologies unless they become easily accessible, and save the need to deal with multiple technical systems,” Fraier says.
“Many speakers at the London summit talked about the farmers’ barriers in adopting ag-technologies and the big problem of making technologies accessible to the world’s farmers. Among all the talking on theoretical approaches and future plans, ScanTask’s presentation of the AgriTask system to leading investors and European farming corporates stood out as a real, customer-proven and practical solution for overcoming this barrier without changing their present work habits and without the anxiety and high cost of managing multiple technological systems.”
Representatives of two major European Union farming corporations that watched the demo have requested pilot projects with ScanTask, Fraier reports.
Based in Tel Aviv, ScanTask is now raising capital for rapidly expanding AgriTask globally, and for absorbing and integrating new agriculture technologies and farm systems into AgriTask’s features.
“We have presented the company and the AgriTask business to several international investment funds and at their request we are currently providing them with additional business information,” says Fraier.
“We will soon start pilots in England and we are expected to start business in South Africa, Congo, Bulgaria, Spain and other countries. AgriTask is also preparing its entrance into the US market via a major drone company,” he tells ISRAEL21c.
Fraier says the AgriTask product boasts two main differentiators: The flexibility to let farmers benefit from precision agriculture from any starting point, for example by just computerizing and correlating existing field data; and the ability to integrate with any relevant agriculture technology, and to introduce the technology to farmers and managers via one easily accessible and user-friendly system.
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