Aline-BSAIBES-itk-directrice-generale-Smart-Tech.

At itk you have developed a decision support tool for agriculture. What are your assets?

We help farmers maximize their return on investment by producing better. This means for farmers to produce milk better, to have less mortality of calves; for corn producers, to irrigate better, to fertilize, to have a better yield at the end.

 

There are three issues on which you intervene: strategic decision-making, risk management and farm operations management. Are these packaged solutions?

It’s the same model, it’s the same platform that makes “plant talk”. To grow the plant needs nutrients in the soil, water, air, sun. Our model indicates daily the needs of the plant.

  • Insurers are interested in predicting returns.
  • Water needs can be predicted, serves farmers and farm advisors.
  • Carbon storage in soil can be measured and this is of interest to carbon credit buyers.

It’s the same model and platform that helps different players in the agri-food value chain

 

And your platform works with artificial intelligence, algorithms?

It is indeed different approaches to artificial intelligence and algorithms. We have 120 employees, including sixty doctors in applied mathematics and artificial intelligence. That is our job.

In terms of development and innovation, what are your main topics?

We are on two main topics. The first is insurance. We finished working on a product with our insurance client-partners. Our products make it possible to differentiate between yield losses due to climatic hazards, and yield losses due to production mistakes. And the insurance companies want to insure climate hazards. Those are the products we do with them.
And the second is on optimizing carbon production in Kenya, with a broad carbon fixing concept in the soil. So on the one hand we optimize production and on the other hand we make sure that the carbon is fixed in the soil. The benefit of this tool is twofold: reduce greenhouse gases, and in a second time monetize this gain in carbon storage for farmers.

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