In this article , the Cue Africa team talks to Ronald de Bruijn who is the founder of Agrisim, which is a worldwide agricultural decision-making web platform that optimizes farmers’ land on production, quality and economics and answers the main questions ”what should I grow on my land”, ” how much money will I earn” and ”how do I realize that?”.
Please tell us who you are
Well, my name is Ronald de Bruijn and iam the main founder as well as financier of Agrisim. Ayca is the other founder and we have been working together for the past 10 years to get Agrisim where it is today. It has been a journey of many downs and ups. Unfortunately the downs are always deeper than the ups in developing such a huge and detailed farmer decisions support, management and in-season decision platform. Agrisim is not my’ first start-up. Thanks to my pioneering attitude towards life and business, I have worked in several countries with people from many different cultural backgrounds in different businesses. Iam passionate, self-driven and hate losing. Being born in the cold north of The Netherlands enables me to endure hardships and know what people are going through when faced with life’s hardships. Iam quick when it comes to new developments and areas where I have no knowledge . All in all the perfect person to start-up Agrisim.
How did Agrisim come about?
During my professional career as well as private life and traveling, i encountered many farmers and saw how these farmers came to a decision on what products to cultivate. In some cases there wasn’t even a choice due to seeds not being available or money to buy higher quality seeds was insufficient. Besides that, the data to make an educated decision, was too biased. It either came from the neighbor or from a sales rep on seeds, fertilizer etc. When a farmer makes a wrong decision, this has impact on the full year and perhaps beyond. Knowing this and having seen this, i decided to create a turn-key holistic, affordable, actionable and easy to understand platform where farmer can get information on their parcels and conditions as well as view numerous other products that might increase their profit and/or decrease the risk of mis-production.
The initial system of suitability was based on Turkey and Turkish farmers but after research the team found out that the “data- and knowledge deprivation” also exists in many other countries. So we decided to create a platform that will gradually change the way of sub-optimal farming in the world.
The neutrality of recommendations and data is what characterizes Agrisim as well as the wealth of data gathered and to be used as well as updated by farmers.
What is Agrisim and how does Agrisim work
Agrisim is a worldwide agricultural decision-making program that optimizes farmers’ land on production, quality and economics and answers the main questions ”what should I grow on my land”, ” how much money will I earn” and ”how do I realize that?”. The platform is data-driven and turn-key. The optimization algorithms, combined with the teams’ experiences, are visualized in a cloud-based user interface. Agrisim has four modules:
- Suitability calculations on more than 4.000 crops, vegetables, fruit and trees;
2. Economics with yield-, price- and income forecasts;
3. Crop-rotation parcel planning including soil regeneration and nutrients models;
4. Area Search for large areas per product to show the highest suitable locations.
In how many African countries in Agrisim operating currently and to whom is it targeted to?
We are currently operating 5 African Countries i.e. South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania and we are mainly targeting Smallholder farmers in Africa that do not have the money to consult an agronomist but need advice on in-season issues, irrigation etc. as well as deciding what to do next year and the income it can generate.
With problems like poor internet connection, high data tariffs and high costs of smart phone acquisition, How accessible is Agrisim to small scale rural farmers in Africa?
What challenges presented by the COVID19 Pandemic is Agrisim currently solving?
You do not need to see an agronomist or a specialist anymore. Also if people provide you with information (sales person) you can actually counter his arguments on selling a certain type of fertilizer or seed etc. Our platform is neutral with data so will give you the best input for these conversations.
Africa has the most arable land compared to the rest of the continents, in your opinion, why is the continent still a harbor to hunger and drought on a large scale?
The living standards are a main decider for producing certain qualities of food. Processing industry has to be available in the hands of local owners. Logistics is also a big issue as well as sufficient cold storage.
Any last words for the Cue Africa audience?
Check out our platform if you are a farmer and want to know what to do with crop planning, improve your soil quality , what products brings the highest income as well as when to harvest.
Agrisim is a turn-key platform and very moderately priced.