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CropSafe want to make it easy to detect crop disease

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by Startacus Admin

Using satellite imagery, combined with machine learning techniques, AgTech startup CropSafe are on a mission to accurately detect and predict impending diseases within farmers crops.

CropSafeWhen three Northern Irish, Co Derry, high-school students launch a satellite and computer vision crop surveying platform during a Hackathon at Queen’s University, Belfast, it's hard not to take notice.

When you then see said 17 year olds, pitch like seasoned pro's at inaugural NI tech event Innovation Nation 2018, it's fair to assume they are at least onto something that could be be pretty big.

But first...

Crop disease and contamination are big factor in the reduction of crop yields, with a reported average 15% production loss each harvest.

If only there was a tool that could track and alert farmers of the spread of contamination and help reduce the estimated £5 billion lost globally due to the spread of disease within crops....(you can see where this is going).

Step forward CropSafe, a simple solution to allow any farmer or cultivator to survey their land with the simpleCropSafe touch of a button.

CropSafe is an online application in which agricultural landowners can register their land, request for their land to be surveyed by passing satellites and processed through the Cropsafe machine learning software to report back any possible growth of disease or infection within the crop.

By using satellite imagery combined with machine learning techniques, CropSafe provides customers with instant reports that could not be gathered through traditional survey aircraft or drones without days of planning and waiting for all variables to line up perfectly.

CropSafeBased on their research to date, they have identified that landowners of crops such as wheat, barley and potatoes face a huge problem of identifying the spread of disease and contaminations. Smaller landowners (91% of the market) depend on large yields to keep a sustainable family income.

With on average, a cost of £20 per acre surveyed, by using satellite data CropSafe estimate they can cut this cost to a fraction of the price, increasing revenue not only for small landowners but for larger landowners with many acres to be regularly surveyed.

Big wins in only a short time...

After winning “Best use of satellite data” at Queen’s University Belfast in February, they took their idea to Kainos’ yearly “BelTech Dragon’s Den” competition to win a further £1000 to bring the idea forward.

Then in quick sucession, Founders Factory invited Cropsafe to London to pitch their idea and product in their “F Factor” Semi-finals, the Global AngelHack Hackathon, hosted at Google’s HQ in Dublin, awarded Cropsafe first place, and then it was onto AngelHack’s 12-week virtual accelerator program, where CropSafe recently announced that they had been selected as one of the startups to pitch at AngelHack's global demo day at The Regency Centre in San Francisco on the 1st of November. Nice. 

...And now, due to demand Cropsafe have opened their waiting list early to accommodate customers as soon as they start their product roll-out, in the not too distant future. 

Now read that all one more time and remind yourselves that the Cropsafe founders are only 17 years old...

If you like the sound of this agri-tech startup, you might be interesting in reading up on:

FarmHand - the farming data aggregator!

Farm From a Box - The US social enterprise that has created a complete off-grid toolkit for a sustainable 2-acre farm - in a big box! 

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Published on: 13th October 2018

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