There are numerous factors that determine a crop’s harvest, and the application of agrochemicals is undoubtedly one of the most decisive ones. In an era when the world was faced with issues surrounding food insecurity, predominantly in developing nations, high-yielding varieties (HYVs) of crops and agrochemicals including pesticides and fertilizers were introduced during the Green Revolution to protect crops from pests and diseases and to enhance agricultural productivity.
Until then, years of continuous agricultural activity combined with poor farming practices had led to the gradual degeneration of soil quality. The introduction of fertilizers improved the quality of land by providing much-needed nutrients including nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, and chemical pesticides were being used to control pests and reduce crop losses. These agrochemicals together with a package of practices significantly boosted crop yields.
There was no turning back after that. The agrochemical industry has been forever in the lead, encouraging extensive research and development of fertilizers to manufacture products that aid crop production in the most effective and sustainable ways possible. Advancements in crop science and technology have enabled agronomists and scientists to develop potent agrochemicals that boosted crop cultivation for a growing population. It also ensured that farms need only the least amount of these nutrient supplements and growth fertilizers to significantly impact agricultural output.
Overcoming the Barriers and Boosting the Agrochemical Industry
While the agrochemical industry is set on its path to making agriculture highly efficient, productive, and sustainable, there are quite a few barriers in the supply chain that challenge these manufacturers, with respect to pre- and post-distribution processes. These barriers are today being overcome with the adoption of a wide array of precision tools that make innovative use of technologies such as satellite monitoring, artificial intelligence, IoT, and cloud computing.
Cropin, an agri-tech pioneer and a provider of innovative solutions for the global agriculture sector, has designed a unique suite of SaaS solutions that have been transforming agribusinesses over the past few years. Cropin’s application of advanced technologies facilitates agri-input manufacturers to penetrate deep into their markets with dynamic go-to-market strategies based on accurate market intelligence.
The future-proof platform breaks down agri ground-truth and other key sources of real-time big data including earth observation data and weather forecasts into layers of vital data points to deliver scientific and actionable insights that result in data-driven business decisions.
Cropin product suite strengthens the pre- and post-distribution processes in the agrochemical supply chain in the following ways.
Data-Driven Decisions For The Right Go-to-Market Strategy
One of the biggest challenges that agribusinesses face today with respect to the distribution of agrochemical products is the lack of accurate data insights that help them identify the most favorable regions for a focused sales strategy. What makes this an even bigger challenge is that farmlands in developing markets remain fragmented, and reaching out to smallholder farmers is not an easy task.
The enterprises often do not have ground-level intelligence such as the crops being cultivated in a given region, the kind of agrochemicals required based on the crop and the agro-climatic zone, and the crop sowing dates to ensure the availability of products at the right time. The lack of such critical information renders it difficult for the management team to design a business plan that outlines a definite target group and an effective marketing and sales strategy to achieve business targets.
Cropin’s SmartRisk is an AI/ML-powered platform that was built to provide agribusinesses with a competitive advantage by enabling a thorough analysis and mitigation of potential risks. The SmartRisk platform examines the various agro-climatic zones using weather forecasts and provides insights at a regional/postcode level on the regions where agrochemicals sales are likely to increase.
SmartRisk allows users to detect crops, establish regional-level historical data insights on crops produced in the region, analyze the health of the crop currently under cultivation and forecast its yield, helping key stakeholders to hedge risks and strategize sales planning.
Achieving Mutually Rewarding Farmer Engagement And Dealer Management
Demo farms have been extensively used by agrochemical companies as an effective extension education tool to demonstrate agricultural techniques, test new methods in parallel with existing traditional ones, and gather data on crop protection, crop growth, and crop nutrition.
Agribusinesses also leverage them to connect with their target groups, who are, more often than not, smallholder farmers—to encourage faster adoption of ground-breaking innovations. However, poor visibility of these plots across different regions has proved to be an immense challenge for businesses to effectively monitor their performance in real-time.
One of Cropin’s client partners recognized SmartFarm as the most efficient software solution to manage demo farms remotely and establish a mutually beneficial relationship with their target farmers. SmartFarm’s mobile application allowed field extension teams to register the various demo plots and capture various farm activities as and when they take place. The R&D team also utilized this data to monitor the effectiveness of the agrochemical outside lab conditions.
The agrochemical company also used Cropin's agriculture app to register the details of all the farmers who attend demonstrations, which helped the company engage with them in an efficient way and create an opportunity to convert recently added farmers into buyers through constant engagement.
The company further strengthened its rapport with the farmers by sharing best farm practices to improve farmer productivity along with farm insights with respect to the usage of their products, such as the decrease in pest infestation, improvement in crop health and quality, and boost in crop yield. It also periodically marketed customized, product-related information to create mind space for its brand.
Furthermore, Cropin enabled the company to identify high- and low-density sales points and manage its dealers/distributors. The application facilitated hassle-free organization and management of data on a secure cloud platform for easy access and visibility. The interactive dashboards enabled the management team to utilize this data to track the payment history and credit limit of every dealer and benchmark their performance based on their sales on a season-to-season basis.