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Fifteen AgTechs offering digital agriculture solutions for the Americas will attend Digital Agriculture Week 2023 in Costa Rica

Los criterios de escogencia fueron el potencial de las soluciones digitales para mejorar la seguridad alimentaria y, en especial, de prevenir y mitigar el impacto de eventos climáticos extremos, en especial sequías y la gestión del agua, entre otros.
The selection was determined based on the potential of the digital solutions to improve food security, and specifically to prevent and mitigate the impact of extreme climate events, particularly drought and water management.

San Jose, 22 May 2023 (IICA). Fifteen technology companies whose services are geared towards the agriculture sector—or AgTechs as they are called—were selected to participate in the face-to-face component of Digital Agriculture Week 2023, from 29 May to 1 June in San Jose, Costa Rica. The companies are from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Sweden, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The AgTechs—four from Colombia, three from Uruguay, two from Argentina, two from the United States, and one each from Brazil, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Sweden (with members of the latter being of Brazilian origin with an application  that is targeting the Americas)—will attend the forum organized by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), in partnership with Microsoft, Bayer, The Yield Lab, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), CAF-Development Bank of Latin America, the IDB Lab and Veolia. The event seeks to drive agrifood digitalization in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The 15 companies were selected from more than 70 applicants that responded to a call for proposals by IICA to participate in the hybrid event.

Among them is Argentina’s AgriRed and Ucrop it; Brazilian companies AgrodataSat and Ignitia (which is of Brazilian origin but is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden); Costa Rican company Green Xpo Lab and SIAGRICA from Venezuela. 

Joining them will be agrodatAi, Incluirtec, SiembraCo and Visualiti from Colombia; Agtools Inc. and Coop. Business School - NCBA CLUSA from the U.S., and finally INDATA, Tenet and Zafrales from Uruguay. 

A special judging panel consisting of 12 public and private sector experts versed in AgTech-related issues were responsible for selecting the 15 companies.

Specifically, the judges were Laurens Klerkx, Chief Scientist at the University of Talca in  Chile and Professor of Agrifood Innovation and Transition at the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands; Beatriz Arrieta, Regional Manager for Food Value Chains at Bayer; Enrique Hennings, Lead Technical Specialist in Rural Markets and Enterprises at IFAD;  Teresita di Marco, Ecosystem Development Manager at The Yield Lab LATAM; René Orellana, Regional Manager for Mexico and Central America and Representative in Mexico of CAF; as well as  Herbert Lewy; Microsoft General Manager of Smart Agriculture and Bioeconomy for Latin America.  

Also sitting on the panel were William Ernest, Senior Specialist at the IDB Lab; Guadalupe Tiscornia, Researcher in Information Systems and Digital Transformation at the National Agricultural Research Institute (INIA) in Uruguay; Mariana Vasconcelos, CEO and Co-founder of Agrosmart; two entrants from the 2022 staging of Digital Agriculture Week – Mauricio Varela from the Brazilian AgTech, SIMA, and Martín Cordasco from the AgTech WIAGRO; and finally, Federico Villarreal, IICA’s Director of Technical Cooperation. 

The selection was determined based on the potential of the digital solutions to improve food security, and specifically to prevent and mitigate the impact of extreme climate events, particularly drought and water management, and also took into account whether or not the companies were led by women.

The group of fifteen will attend Digital Agriculture Week 2023, where they will present their technological innovations, participate in symposiums with experts in the region and exchange ideas with international organizations regarding digital transformation.

This year, for the first time, all applicant AgTechs will be able to participate virtually in two activities: a workshop, co-organized with The Yield Lab for May 30, which will inform them about how to seek funding for their businesses; and a roundtable discussion with Bayer and Microsoft on 31 May to exchange ideas that will contribute to dynamic and inclusive digitization.

The more than 70 applicant AgTechs will also be included in the business network that IICA established after the 2022 edition, and they will be able to participate in various digital agriculture activities promoted by the Institute.

About Digital Agriculture Week 

This essential hemispheric forum involving leading players in agrifood digitalization seeks to enable AgTechs and other stakeholders of the technology and agriculture sectors to submit, put forward and coordinate ideas for the digital transformation of agrifood systems, sharing technology solutions and driving their use in agriculture.

The event will feature the participation of leading international figures and representatives of organizations working directly with AgTechs, representatives of public and private multinational organizations with an interest in agricultural digitalization, and senior government officials from Agriculture ministries.

Issues to be covered with regard to agrifood digitalization include initiatives and public policies in countries of the Americas, agricultural digitalization developments from an academic perspective, funding challenges in agricultural digital transformation, digital innovation ecosystems and investment funds, roles and synergies of public and private stakeholders in the digital age, and lessons learned from digitalization experiences in various regions of the Americas.

The initiative is one of the actions of the Digitalization of Agrifood Systems hemispheric program that IICA established in its 2022-2026 Medium-term Plan, and it reflects the importance of the issue and the commitment of the specialized agency on agriculture and rural development to address it.

More information:
Federico Bert, Digital Agriculture Specialist, IICA.