The strategic partnership between SpaceTime Labs, a Brazilian artificial intelligence company that develops and operates automated platforms for planning, optimisation and risk management of resource-intensive sectors and the Small Robot Company, a British agritech start-up, will focus on co-developing an on the ground, end-to-end “per plant” planting, weeds, pests & disease management and nutrition management Farming as a Service (FaaS) concept.
This will be delivered through an integrated delivery “sense-predict-act” service for key commercial crops in Latin America. The companies will work with Brazilian and Argentinian farmers to prototype, test and scale Per Plant Farming - maximising yields whilst reducing the impact on the environment.
Agriculture is a $5 trillion industry, with the precision farming market a huge global opportunity for investors. Goldman Sachs predicts that the market for digital agricultural technology will be $240 billion by 2050, up from just over $5 billion today.
The first intended outcome of Per Plant farming is a dramatic uplift in yields. Per plant farming exists today on a small scale in research institutes and in trial farms, where scientists are able to achieve yields which are 235% higher than the in-field commercial average for wheat and 150% higher than the in-field commercial average for corn. In addition to increasing yields, “per plant” farming will increase farmer profitability and dramatically reduce the negative impacts of industrial farming on the environment.
“We believe that our strategic partnership with Small Robot Company will allow us to automate a “sense-predict-act” delivery model that acts upon the many operational biotic and abiotic variables that are responsible for yield productivity gains and losses at a plant level leveraging AI, Computational Biology and Robotics technologies – so that our partner farmers in Latin America can have a step-change in performance across the board,” said Juan Carlos Castilla-Rubio, Founder and Chairman of SpaceTime Labs.
“The opportunity is immense. Latin America is ahead of the curve for agritech innovation. Our strategic partnership with SpaceTime Labs means that we can now enter this market with confidence. The recent huge advances in agtech finally make this possible and farmers are integral to the environmental solution.” said Sam Watson-Jones, co-founder, Small Robot Company.