SupPlant to help 500,000 Kenyan maize-growers avoid crop failure

Afula-based SupPlant’s new sensor-less technology collects and analyzes hyperlocal climatic, plant, and irrigation data to offers extremely low-cost Irrigation recommendations and weather forecasts.

 Corn  (photo credit: Courtesy)
Corn
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Some 500,000 smallholder maize farmers – mostly women living in Bungoma and Busia – received access Wednesday to Israeli-developed technology that can help them avoid crop failures.

Afula-based SupPlant’s new sensor-less technology collects and analyzes hyper-local climatic, plant and irrigation data to offer extremely low-cost Irrigation recommendations, weather forecast and crop stress alerts, as well as AI-enabled agronomic guidance to make smallholders more resilient to climate change.

SupPlant partnered with PlantVillage, which is part of Penn State University, to reach these farmers who represent a portion of the nearly half a billion farmers worldwide who grow on less than two hectares (five acres). PlanetVillage is working with partners in Kenya reaching nine million farmers each week.

A MODERN-DAY farmer inspects the condition of his cherry tomatoes in Kadesh Barnea – where the Bible indicates the spies were sent from. (credit: GILI YAARI/FLASH90)A MODERN-DAY farmer inspects the condition of his cherry tomatoes in Kadesh Barnea – where the Bible indicates the spies were sent from. (credit: GILI YAARI/FLASH90)

While most AgriTech companies only target 2% of the world’s growers and ignore the 450m. smallholder farmers worldwide, SupPlant grew by 1200% over the past 18 months by serving the traditional AgriTech market of corporate growers, the company said. It recently raised $10 million of growth capital to continue this growth.

“Supplant’s unique dataset, agronomical expertise, and proprietary algorithms offer a very interesting step change for farmers facing the threat of drought," said David Hughes, founder of PlantVillage. "Our initial pilots are successful and we want to see accelerated delivery at scale, and hope to see tremendous results during the upcoming harvest season.” 

By 2022, Supplant intends to serve at least two million smallholders across Africa and India.

While most agritech companies only target 2% of the world’s growers, and ignore the 450 million smallholder farmers worldwide, SupPlant grew by 1,200% over the past 18 months by serving the traditional agritech market of corporate growers, the company said. It recently raised $10 million of growth capital to continue this growth.

“SupPlant’s unique dataset, agronomic expertise and proprietary algorithms offer a very interesting step change for farmers facing the threat of drought,” said David Hughes, founder of PlantVillage. “Our initial pilots are successful and we want to see accelerated delivery at scale, and hope to see tremendous results during the upcoming harvest season.”