Mariana Vasconcelos is a farmers daughter, so she has experienced first hand the difficulty of making decisions about crops based only on "intuitions." That is why she created Agrosmart in 2014, a company dedicated to provide farmers accurate data through artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT). Her meteorological models and irrigation recommendations allow farmers to increase the productivity of their crops up to 20% while saving 60% more water. For this reason, the young Brazilian has become one of the Innovators Under 35 Latin America 2018 from MIT Technology Review in Spanish.
"For farmers, it is increasingly difficult to trust what they have always done because what used to happen does not happen anymore," Vasconcelos sums up. An environment with constant changes, with threats such as global warming, droughts, etc., increases the importance of making the right decisions at the right time. That is why Agrosmart wants to provide the necessary tools for decisions to be supported by data, not by habits and customs.
Agrosmart has sensors that communicate with each other over long distances without the need to connect to the internet or a mobile data network. This allows them to be installed in the fields as if they were an extensive mesh through which the information flows to the points where there is connectivity and the data can be transmitted to the cloud. But "telemetry is not enough," the Brazilian innovator says. For this reason, her company does not offer raw data but analyzes them in order to offer irrigation recommendations based on them and more accurate weather forecasts, thus reducing energy and water consumption.
The Vasconcelos company already monitors more than 200,000 hectares of crops, mainly in Brazil, but they are also spreading to other countries in Latin America. Recently they have signed an agreement with Coca-Cola to provide their services to family farms in their product supply chains. "For small farms, the benefits are even greater," the young entrepreneur remarks.
The counselor of the Executive Vice President and COO of the Inter-American Development Bank (USA), Rafael Anta, jury member of Innovators Uunder 35 Latin America 2018, highlights that "Mariana combines a successful entrepreneurial motivation with technological innovation in a very important sector for Latin America and the rest of the world."