Inspirational ideas: AgriSo – agriculture from soil to satellite
AgriSo is an app which monitors fuel consumption using satellite technology, and can help a farmer reduce fuel costs by 25%. Ştefan Stănescu, a young farmer, and his cousin Mihai Stănescu, a student in IT, developed the app focusing on farmers' real needs.
When Ştefan Stănescu a young farmer in Romania wanted to use a monitoring system on his farm, he could not find one on the market in his country. Stefan said "We searched the market - from GPS companies to custom-made software firms, but nobody had an integrated solution for agriculture management and monitoring.”
So with the help of his cousin Mihai Stanescu who was studying cybernetics at the time, they decided to develop some software themselves. Once the application was up and running, they made it available to all at an affordable rate, as they were not the only farmers demanding such software.
AgriSo is a digital farm management solution to improve production processes in the crops sector for small, medium or large farms. The AgriSo app uses satellite technology to connect to farm machinery. For new machinery, the software can connect to the on-board computer systems, but for older machines, a GPS device needs to be installed.
Farmers can use the app to monitor real time fuel consumption for all of the machinery on the farm and for each individual operation. It measures the speed of the vehicle and the number of hours it has remained stationary with the engine running. The application also helps to optimise inputs, ensuring no land is left out when spraying, and shows field limits so that farmers can avoid going over field borders during harvesting or sowing. The app generates reports on inputs per year and plot.
“The application can be used on computers, tablets or smart phones and therefore, so you can have total control of your farm from your pocket” says Mihai.
Mihai and Stefan wanted to keep costs low for farmers, and anyone can use the app by paying a small charge per machine plus a monthly subscription to the app.
“Users have found that AgriSo can help to decrease fuel consumption by 25%” says Mihai.
For farmers, by farmers
The application was not only initially developed by a farmer, but since then, more than 50 farmers have tested it and contributed ideas for improvement. And this is still on-going.
The next stage is to make this solution available outside of Romania. This could also benefit farmers outside Romania, by helping them to reduce their fuel costs, as the app is compatible with different operating systems for farm machines.
Digital Innovation Hubs: mainstreaming digital agriculture
On 1-2 June 2017, in Kilkenny (Ireland), the AgriSo representatives presented their solution at the EIP-AGRI Seminar on Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH). DIH can help both agricultural businesses and ICT companies to become more competitive, connecting users across the value chain. Through interactive sessions, participants identified the priority actions to further develop DIHs in agriculture.
According to AgriSo, a DIH could help them to provide their solution abroad by connecting them faster with potential partners or clients in other countries. From their point of view, individual farmers may have many benefits. The DIH could promote pilot farms where new technologies can be tested and demonstrated so that other farmers can take them up. “Technology development and integration (both software and hardware), data interoperability, fund raising, internationalisation and business model development” are other aspects which could be improved by DIH according to Mihai and Stefan.