Securing Daily Bread: EOSDA Solutions For Food Industry
World agriculture has undergone significant transformations over the last ten years. In the face of global food demand and climate change, precision agriculture practices have been gradually substituting the traditional farming approach, intensively utilizing chemicals and machinery to grow crops.
Whereas food production is concerned with feeding the growing population, it also seeks to reduce the detrimental industrial agriculture’s impact on the environment and supply people with healthier foodstuffs. Satellite monitoring technologies can help food producers meet these challenges by providing insightful information on crop state for making informed decisions.
We’ve talked to Oleksandr Dzhevaga, Account Executive at EOS Data Analytics, about the company’s plans on establishing more presence in the US and Canadian food production industry and the benefits food producers can get from working with EOSDA.
Why Did We Decide To Enter The Food Production Sector?
The US and Canada have the most technologically advanced food production industries based on the democratic, value-based market approach, affordable loans, transparent business conditions, and government support. However, only up to 39% of the small and medium food production companies operating on 600-1300 acres utilize precision agriculture technologies powered by remote sensing in their business operations. This relatively low adoption rate opens up broad opportunities for food production improvement.
Smallholding farmers are quite low-key when it comes to adopting precision agriculture practices because of the investments they need to implement new technologies. Unlike tractors, combines, and other tangible assets that can be easily resold, the equipment purchase and installation, together with time and effort to get familiar with modern tech, are not recoverable expenses. Given the financial risks the assimilation of precision agriculture technologies entails, farmers have to be sure to recoup the costs. But on the other hand, agtech adopters can substantially reduce operating costs and increase yields, which will result in maximizing profits.
What Is The Capacity Of The US And Canadian Food Production Market?
Food production and manufacturing markets are huge in both countries. In the US, agriculture, food, and other related industries cumulatively contributed $1,055 trillion to the country’s economy in 2020, with $134,7 billion coming from farming businesses.
The Canadian food production industry was worth $117,8 billion in 2019, and it accounted for 2% of the national GDP. Also, the government states that the agri-food sector provided one in nine jobs in Canada and employed more than 2 million people.
What Goals Does EOSDA Set Coming Into The Food Production Sector In The US And Canada?
We see our goal in delivering reliable satellite-driven data to food producers empowering them to make better-informed crop cultivation decisions. Our EOSDA Crop Monitoring, an online satellite-based precision agriculture platform for near-real-time field monitoring, is designed to help farmers reduce input costs and increase yields using analytics retrieved from the processed satellite images.
Also, adhering to the sustainable agriculture concept, we intend to promote satellite monitoring as the technology capable of making agriculture more environmentally friendly. For instance, with the help of vegetation and productivity maps in EOSDA Crop Monitoring, a farmer can reduce chemical application preventing soil degradation and loss of microbial diversity.
We believe that utilizing satellite-driven analytics in agriculture can boost the US and Canadian food production capacity and deliver more provisions to the international markets to satisfy the global demand.
How Many Hectares Of Farmlands Are Covered By EOSDA Products In The US And Canada?
We currently have 11,000+ ha being monitored in Canada. Our US clients are monitoring more than 58,000 ha, and the number keeps growing as we work on increasing our market presence.
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What Issues Do Food Producers Currently Have In Working With Data That We Can Help With?
Food producers’ most significant challenge is a lack of accurate analytics data for employee and machinery control, fields productivity analysis, yield prediction, crop issues prevention, and rational use of fertilizers.
For example, one of our clients, Del Monte, American food production and distribution company headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, is one of the country’s largest producers, distributors, and marketers of processed and branded food. The company is using the EOSDA Crop Monitoring platform to remotely monitor the state of their pineapple plantations, and they find the platform to be a great addition to their expensive and time-consuming drone monitoring system.
EOSDA Crop Monitoring provides Del Monte with the weather forecasts and NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) and NDRE (Normalized Difference Red Edge Vegetation Index) data crucial for their prediction models.
What EOSDA Crop Monitoring Features Are The Most Useful For Food Producers?
In my experience, food producers benefit the most from the combination of different vegetation and moisture indices and weather data to assess the crops’ health and forecast yields.
Also, they need frequently-updated EOSDA Crop Monitoring analytics to timely detect problematic field areas and prevent yield loss. And finally, field productivity historical data for yield prediction, VRA (Variable Rate Application) maps for differential seed planting and fertilizing, field leaderboard for productivity comparison, and group accounts for multiple users are the features food producers often utilize in their daily operations.
Separately, I would like to touch upon the API integration capabilities EOSDA offers under ready-to-use or white label solutions. It’s much more effective to have a unified analytics system than to switch between multiple applications, leading to miscommunication between team members and higher expenses caused by new services implementation. We allow clients to utilize our datasets via API connected to their existing precision agriculture platform and access satellite imagery, statistics, and weather data.
As to Custom Solutions, food producers would be the most interested in yield modeling and forecasting. This functionality is essential for food security, helping to define the country’s import and export plans and delivering critical information on crop development to make timely decisions. Particularly, yield forecasting enables food producers to manage food scarcity risks and ensure people have good-quality and reasonably-priced products.
What Partnership Options For Food Producers Do We Offer?
I would say that most food producers we’re working with aren’t necessarily looking for partnerships and would rather opt for the out-of-the-box EOSDA Crop Monitoring platform, API, or custom solutions.
What Is The EOSDA Solutions Implementation Flow For The Clients From The Food Production Vertical?
At the beginning of our collaboration, clients check a full-featured trial to ensure our solutions meet their requirements. Once a client completes the platform testing, we address all the questions that may arise and assign a customer success team that will be directly involved in the client’s account further development.
The out-of-the-box EOSDA Crop Monitoring platform and API solution can be used immediately after the subscription is purchased. Even though the platform is pretty straightforward and easy to use, we continuously stay connected with the customers to ensure they won’t have any difficulties utilizing the tool. Also, we regularly ask for feedback and gather insights on how to improve our products and customer experience.
The deployment of custom solutions usually takes up to 6–12 weeks to be completed. However, the timelines may vary depending on the specific requirements and the complexity of each particular case.
What Benefits Will Food Producers Achieve Once Implemented The EOSDA Solutions?
By utilizing EOSDA Crop Monitoring, our clients will get:
- Vegetation indices and weather data to properly evaluate the crop state;
- Historical NDVI and field productivity analysis for yield prediction;
- Time- and cost-saving unified solution for all company members;
- Customized solutions meeting specific requirements;
- Team console for managing employees, external users, and partners;
- Various reporting options to ensure every team member is on the same page.
What Outcomes Will Food Producers Have In The Long-Run Cooperation With EOSDA?
Let’s look at our clients’ achievements — I believe the numbers will be the best answer. With the help of EOSDA solutions, our clients:
- Increased income of $40–61 per acre;
- Improved fertilizer application efficiency by 7–14%;
- Reduced pesticide and herbicide use by 9–14%;
- Decreased fuel usage by 6-16%;
- Cut water consumption by 4-21%.
We’re excited to bring the power of satellite imagery analytics to the food production sector and introduce more food producers to AI-powered EOSDA Crop Monitoring tools. We believe precision agriculture technology will deliver valuable insights to increase yields and ensure food security in the US and Canada.
About the author:
Rim Elijah joined EOSDA in early 2020. She holds a double degree in business administration and political science from Stockholm University.
Rim is VP of Sales at EOSDA. She is overseeing all aspects of business model development and implementation, maintenance of positive business & customer experience, and the growth of the company’s global coverage. She is responsible for closing deals, scaling up ongoing projects, as well as the development and implementation of process control within the Sales department. Rim also regularly takes part in negotiations with important clients.
So far, Rim has managed to successfully establish a number of strategic partnerships with an emphasis on the delivery of sustainable solutions in various regions of Africa and Asia.
In addition to her main responsibilities, Rim is presently involved in the upcoming launch of the first agri-based satellite constellation by EOSDA, scheduled for mid-2022. She manages relationships with the EOS SAT investors.
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