Seed management: How digitization in agriculture can solve five critical business challenges

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The food journey begins with seeds, and it plays a fundamental role in the entire food ecosystem – by supporting the livelihoods of farmers and rural communities, improving food security and nutrition, contributing to sustainable usage of agri-input resources, and mitigating climate change.

According to industry estimates, the Global Seed Market stood at USD 67.02 billion in 2022 and is projected to register a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.21% to reach USD 85.81 billion in 2028.

As a critical agricultural input, farmers and seed breeders have always been conducting seed selection where they save superior quality seeds and strive to strengthen their traits like increased yield, disease resistance, etc. While the traditional seed business model worked well for decades, it will not work in the future, as the following aspects will have a profound impact on how seed companies do business:

  • Climate change and environmental pressures
  • Reducing arable land
  • Rising costs of production
  • Unpredictable market conditions
  • Increasing demand for food in tandem with the growing population
  • Changing food and consumption patterns

The food business across the world is undergoing significant digital transformation. Enterprises, big or small, are compelled to keep up with the rapidly changing technologies to stay ahead of the competition and expand businesses.

Challenges and opportunities faced by the Seed Production Segment – Key research findings

Key findings from the internal desk research for the Seed Production Segment conducted by Cropin

Transparency across the business value chain is the biggest hurdle for future growth

As per the research, the top challenges faced by seed companies are:

  • Transparency across the business value chain (62%)
  • Reducing costs and/or growing revenue (57%)
  • Demand forecasting (52%)
  • Collecting accurate data across the business value chain (42%)
  • Traceability in agriculture (41%)

The majority of respondents cited transparency across the business value chain as the top business challenge in seed production. That is because transparency ensures accountability and traceability from farm-to-fork that serves as proof for seed certification and improves brand loyalty as well as the company's performance. To ensure transparency, it is vital for seed producers to adopt solutions that enable geotagging of plots, setting pest and weather alerts, predicting accurate demand, end-to-end traceability in agriculture of the seeds and much more. Cropin Cloud's traceability systems serve as an ideal fit in that context. The systems use QR code/barcode scanning solutions and data analytics for regular monitoring to prevent counterfeiting.

Accelerated farm digitization will improve financial metrics

Seed germination companies can drive transparency and increase revenues by accelerating the pace of digitalization in agriculture. It will eliminate fraud and ensure food safety, while also helping to optimize costs and increase revenue. In the next two years, 83% of seed companies aim to digitize their business value chain, as against 47% now. The industry expects:

  • 12% increase in revenue
  • 16% decrease in costs

Further, every business segment, i.e., research and development, operations, sales, and marketing, is set for digital transformation. Cropin Cloud digitizes complex farming processes using error-free solutions such as Cropin Apps. It replaces human-intensive, siloed, and time-consuming conventional methods with streamlined data collection through various Internet of Things (IoT) devices and agricultural drones. Cropin extends data driven insights that can be used by in-house research and development team to reduce breeding time and costs, increase the probability of achieving breeding targets, conduct trait detection, boost physical and morphological seed data, and deliver rapid results. These insights can also be used to accurately forecast demand.

Data to turn seed companies truly intelligent

Data collated by deploying technology can be a dead end if it is not mined, refined, and distributed across the business value chain. Turning data into valuable insights will help businesses make well-informed decisions to mitigate risk and improve performance. The projected shift towards digitalization:

  • 48% of the data collected was digitized in 2022
  • 85% of the data collected will be digitized in 2024

Seed production companies can leverage predictive intelligence powered by Cropin Cloud to analyze trillions of datasets collated through various devices at the farm level. Remote end-to-end monitoring enabled by Cropin can help with informed decision-making to optimize the usage of agri-input resources, maximize yield sustainably and reduce operational costs. It democratizes data, provides business intelligence to enterprises, and triggers timely interventions at every crop stage from sowing to harvest to improve agricultural productivity.

Master new tools to unlock new growth

Agriculture technologies - Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, and IoT in agriculture, make technology truly intelligent, enabling it to predict accurate demand and supply, provide valuable insights, and efficient decision-making capabilities. However, research shows that most seed companies have not yet started with automation, IoT and AI in agriculture.

Getting started with the right tools is key to tapping into the potential of technology. Cropin Cloud goes beyond mere automation, as it comes with 22 built-in AI contextual deep-learning models, which help solve various challenges faced by agri-stakeholders in day-to-day farm management.

Farmer engagement practices need to be revamped

Building farmer trust and credibility with continuous communication has not been practiced extensively by seed companies. Of the respondents

  • 90% agreed farmer engagement practices must be overhauled
  • 54% identified building farmer trust and credibility as the key benefits of digitalization

Cropin Cloud helps overhaul farmer engagement and enables seed production companies to reach, educate, promote, and establish direct connections with farmers. The solution automates weather advisory forecasts, crop-wise best practices, digitizes Package of Practices (PoPs) and extends alerts, and shares content on instant requests for loans, seeds, and inputs. With farm digitization, companies can provide contract farmers with real-time yield estimation and help plan the harvest and procurement by remotely detecting farms ready for harvest.

Cropin Cloud and its role in solving top industry challenges for seed producers

Cropin, acknowledged as an innovative digital solutions provider for agriculture, has developed the world's first intelligent agriculture cloud, Cropin Cloud, which integrates all solutions into one groundbreaking platform. Cropin Cloud comprises - Cropin Apps (Cropin Grow, Cropin Trace, and Cropin Connect), Cropin Data Hub, and Cropin Intelligence, which together ensure seamless digital transformation across all verticals for seed production companies. Cropin Cloud solves challenges in trialing, fast-tracks seeds to market and reduces time spent on research and development. It enables farmer engagement, seed traceability, resource optimization and provides proof for certifications.

Farm digitization to drive growth and revenue

The seed production industry must drive digital transformation to solve the challenges of further growth. By harnessing the potential of the integrated Cropin Cloud platform, enterprises can optimize digitization to improve business metrics and scale operations in a profitable manner. By adopting Cropin Cloud, seed production companies can solve top challenges, accelerate digitization, improve transparency, and tap intelligence to drive growth.

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Know more about Cropin Cloud - the world's first intelligent agriculture cloud platform

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.