Digitization can transform the crop protection industry

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Digital transformation in the crop protection industry is key to overcoming food production and pest management challenges. Optimized use of agri-input resources via constant monitoring of precision agriculture using crop monitoring systems and smart agriculture practices can result in higher yields at a reduced cost of production. Furthermore, digitalization in agriculture can solve supply chain problems, environmental and health concerns, regulatory restrictions, etc. It can result in better visibility and traceability in agriculture supply chain from farm to fork. Precision in fertilizer and pesticide usage can limit environmental impact, protect biodiversity, and reduce wastage and production costs. Also, farm digitalization can improve farmer engagement and enablement and connect all stakeholders across the agricultural value chain.

The key takeaways from an internal research of the crop protection industry conducted by Cropin are:

  • Supply chain disruptions are a key concern
  • Digitalization of operations is critical to accelerating growth
  • Adoption of data-driven agriculture intelligence for decision making will optimize operations
  • Business silos are hindering the growth
  • Strict crop protection regulations and concerns about the impact of crop protection chemicals on the environment and humans

Digitization will make the entire business value chain efficient and bring significant progress. Following are significant industry challenges that digitization can remedy:

Supply chain visibility hindering growth:

Respondents (43%) revealed that supply chain management is their biggest challenge. They perceive the lack of end-to-end supply chain visibility as the biggest threat in the highly regulated crop protection industry. The unprecedented veracities of supply uncertainties and challenges in sourcing make lack of visibility across the supply chain detrimental to staying prepared.

Cropin Grow/Cropin Connect helps monitor and manage downstream processes and share advisories and Package of Practices (PoP) with farmers to standardize cultivation practices. This ensures the rational use of Agri-input resources. Through reliable automatic data recording and sharing across the supply chain, Cropin establishes networking between supply chain partners. This information is used to derive new data-driven agriculture intelligence to deal with uncertainties in sourcing and supply.

Demand forecasting:

The study determined that a significant percentage of companies had difficulties in crop protection demand sensing (41%) and managing demand and supply (33%). Lack of intelligence from the field, customers, distributors, retailers, and dealers; engagement with distributors and regional sales teams; and identification of the products in demand by region or season were the top three challenges.

Cropin’s predictive intelligence solutions leverage scientific analysis of current trends and historical data to provide a near-accurate forecast of what the future has in store for agri-input companies. The applications monitor crop cycle stages and input usage and deploy artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) models to help with accurate crop protection demand sensing based on the different stages of the crop cycle and a close watch on soil and crop health.

The apps help collect data from product demonstrations, which companies can leverage to manufacture products that complement the crop and soil requirements of specific regions. They also track sales at the dealer level to keep a check on demand and supply. The payment limits and credit history of the dealer are also tracked. Cropin Cloud enables the democratization of data that removes business silos hindering growth.

Rising costs:

The study also pointed out that the increase in the cost of raw materials, transportation, packaging, etc., has affected the profitability of crop protection companies (40%). Accurate crop protection demand sensing with Cropin Cloud helps enhance the efficacy of production and distribution by linking them to cropping/usage/conditional patterns. This improves supply chain efficacy and indirectly helps reduce the overheads of surplus stock management and disposal.

Inventory management:

A robust inventory management system can help enterprises maximize monetary benefits by minimizing the cost of stock storage, managing procurement, and avoiding delays in transportation and inventory.

Cropin's comprehensive inventory management and traceability solution facilitates inventory accuracy, tracking, and product diversification for crop protection companies. It enables complete control over inventory, remote monitoring of warehouse operations, and better visibility of inventory and processes. Batch number-based unique identification of items allows streamlined order management and fulfilment. It maximizes productivity and profitability by addressing stocking and wastage challenges, ensuring zero errors while fulfilling orders, and saving time and money with prompt recalls. It also reduces cost and effort by assigning items from inventory to customer orders as per preferences and creating packing lists and shipping to customers.

Regulatory compliance:

The study highlighted that regulatory compliance is challenging for many companies (36%). Managing the large amount of data that accumulates with toxicological, residue, environmental, eco-toxicological, efficacy, and physical-chemical studies is a big hurdle.

Cropin Connect streamlines farmer engagement, provides monitoring and reporting information, and trains farmers on environmental regulations and compliance. Data-derived reports help identify products that adhere to quality norms. It helps ensure compliance and opens new market opportunities.

Accelerating digitization with Cropin Cloud

Cropin Cloud, the world's first intelligent cloud platform created for agriculture, leverages the advancements in earth observation, remote sensing, data and machine learning algorithms, and cloud computing to enable the agri-ecosystem to innovate to reach great heights. The crop protection sector can access ready-to-use data sources, Cropin applications, and AI-powered agriculture intelligence on an easy-to-use, integrated platform to accelerate digital transformation. Cropin Cloud’s scalable agri-stack comprises a formidable triad of platform layers, including Cropin Apps (applications for digitization), Cropin Data Hub (ML-ready data pipelines for enhanced analytics), and Cropin Intelligence (field tested AI/ML models for business insights and predictive intelligence).

Digitalization to propel growth by leveraging agriculture intelligence

The crop protection industry must propel digital transformation to drive growth. By deploying Cropin Cloud, the industry can accelerate digitization, improve transparency, bring in accountability, enable robust supply chain and inventory management. Companies can benefit from Cropin Cloud's data-driven agriculture intelligence offered to forecast demand accurately. With Cropin Cloud, the crop protection industry gains the potential to battle pressing challenges and emerge stronger than ever before.

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Cropin Apps

Applications for

Cropin Apps is an integrated portfolio of highly customizable apps and solutions that capture and digitise agri-data from the farm to the warehouse to the fork. These applications are designed to scale digital transformation across agriculture and allied industries including forestry, commodity, banking and insurance.


ML-ready data pipelines for enhanced analytics

Cropin Data Hub is designed to deliver the power of unified data by enabling interfacing with all agri-data sources from on-the-field farm management apps, IoT devices, mechanization data from farming resources, drones in agriculture, remote sensing satellite information, weather data, and many more.                                                      


Access to field-tested machine learning models

Cropin Intelligence enables access to over 22 of Cropin’s contextual deep-learning AI models to help agri-businesses with insights and predictive intelligence. Built using the world's largest crop knowledge graph, these models have been field-tested and deployed worldwide while being fine-tuned to work with a range of specific crop varieties, conditions, and locations.

Abishek Keerthi Narayan

About the Author

A results-driven and strategic leader with over 18 years of experience in customer success, SaaS, management consulting and technology enablement. Proven track record of implementing customer-centric strategies to realize the key business outcomes of clients. Strong leader with a track record of building and scaling high-performing teams. Passionate about solving customer problems, creating value, and driving success.