Digitization in Agriculture

By Carlos Becco, Head of Argentina, en Indigo Ag

Carlos Becco, Head of Argentina, en Indigo Ag

In an increasingly digitalized world, digital solutions already feature as a major part of our day-to-day lives – Uber for transport, Airbnb for accommodations, Booking for travel and many other companies have helped simplify our lives in a variety of ways.

Little by little, companies such as these have become industry leaders and have taken place alongside, or even replaced, other leaders in their sector.

However, the world’s most important industry – agriculture – has yet to reach the high levels of digitization that have revolutionized other sectors. Although digital leaders in the agricultural sector have not yet taken root, this is about to change.

Now more than ever, hundreds of ag tech start-ups are making a splash with innovative digital proposals. Many of these are still in the development stage but have received a nod in the form of significant investments from venture capital firms. Indigo Ag, the world’s most prominent ag tech, is leading the industry towards digital and technological change.

Indigo Ag is a global Ag tech company that uses digital technology and natural microbiology to improve grower profitability, consumer health, and environmental sustainability. With a range of business lines and solutions focused on bringing about a more beneficial agriculture system, the company plans to launch its digital grain marketplace in Argentina shortly. Since its creation, Indigo Ag has had a great growth becoming the first agriculture “unicorn” with USD 3.5 billion valuations. Additionally, the company was recognized by CNBC as the world’s most innovative company – joining the ranks of previous titleholders SpaceX and Airbnb.

In Argentina, it’s a similar situation to that in the rest of the world: many Ag Tech start-ups with novel tech proposals begin to attract investments and improve their access to markets. S4 is one of the more notable cases, having captured the attention of investors like Syngenta Ventures. Other promising platforms include Kilimo and ZoomAgri.

"The world’s most important industry – agriculture – has yet to reach the high levels of digitization that have revolutionized other sectors"

The opportunities in Argentina are particularly exciting, considering the capacity that has already been developed. Additionally, the country’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit have allowed for five Argentine “unicorns” to develop. As though this wasn’t enough, Coursera, the world’s leader in digital training, recently recognized Argentina as the world’s top country concerning technology skills.

During Indigo Ag CEO David Perry’s visit to Argentina a few months ago, he made it a point to meet with ag tech entrepreneurs and was inspired by their advanced level of technical prowess and the low development costs, while making a note of the sector’s strong connection to the business world.

All these projects feed the “Knowledge Economy” that today constitutes Argentina’s third largest export sector, generating USD 6.5 billion annually. Additionally, the recent enactment of the Knowledge Economy Law provides financial incentives for the development and export of technology, which represents another critical step to further opportunities and attract new business.

Despite the encouraging wave of digital innovation in agriculture, access to capital markets remains a sticking point. With this support, the sector would have the possibility of obtaining greater financing and unlock its full potential.

Beyond that, under the direction of the agricultural sector’s leadership and the outstanding technological capacities of Argentina’s innovative and creative sectors, we believe that it is only a matter of time before Argentina has its first agricultural “unicorn,” and that the digitization of agriculture is already underway.


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