One area where a cackle of Israeli companies is concentrating on is monitoring, sensing and analysis networked systems that give farmers timely, detailed information on their crops and warnings of what needs to be done, often delivered to their phones, tablets or laptops. It’s called precision farming and the market is estimated to be worth close to $11 billion by 2025, according to a Grand View Research report from earlier this year.
Even the company that developed the system at the heart of the country’s Iron Dome missile defense system, mPrest, is branching out into precision agriculture. And there are companies such as Taranis, which is active in markets far and wide, including the U.S., Russia, Argentina and, indeed, India.
A relative newcomer is CropX, which is a company that not only produces the software but also purpose-made soil sensors, which it says can easily be placed by growers. It’s in its first year of being applied commercially and has chosen to do so in developed markets such as the U.S. and Europe, says CEO Tomer Tzach.
He explains why many startups first look at Western markets: “Realistically speaking, it’s a matter of priority and complexity, the path of the least resistance, low-hanging fruit etc.”
In the U.S., his system, which is initially concentrating on irrigation information, is being applied even in the home-state of Silicon Valley, California, where drought is a problem. But the main target is the “broadacre” mass market in the central U.S., where huge acreages are planted with corn, soy beans, alfalfa, wheat etc.
“This mass market is totally underserved when it comes to sensing technologies. Because they need a solution for such large acreages that is inexpensive and very simple and risk free,” says Tzach. Eventually, though, he has the ambition to be active worldwide.