Innovation helps Brazilian farmers feed the world

Adama is bringing a unique digital perspective to crop production to help farmers in Brazil and beyond improve the way they grow.

Roberson Marczak is Adama’s Innovation Manager for Latin America. He has been with the company for six years, but before that he worked in digital innovation for a number of non-agricultural companies in pharmaceuticals and engineering in Europe and Brazil.

“My experience allows me to look at agricultural issues from a different perspective, perhaps focusing on the solution rather than the problem and from a different angle.”

Roberson’s role is to develop new systems that complement the use of agrochemicals and he believes this approach will only increase over time.

“Companies that focus solely on crop protection products will find it difficult to survive in the future. There needs to be a greater understanding of how the crop grows and technology will play a major part in developing that understanding.”

One project that Roberson and his team has been working on is Adama Pulso, an app which monitors shrinkage in plant stems, soil moisture and weather conditions, informing growers when they need to irrigate.

With the cost of technology declining, Roberson believes the use of new systems will only increase and be available to a greater range of farmers. An example of the widespread use of technology by a wide range of Brazilian farmers is Adama Alvo. It is an app that provides a database and image bank of crop pests and diseases allowing growers to diagnose problems in the field. It has been downloaded by more than 75,000 users and is already available for soybeans, corn, wheat and cotton crops, with sugar and coffee being added to the list soon. A separate app for fruit and vegetable growers called Adama HF allows growers and agronomists to manage crop production in the field, including responding to changing prices of crops.

“Brazil is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of agricultural products and has the advantage of great natural resources and dynamic farmers, but the greatest challenges are logistical,” says Roberson.

“That does not just mean that it can be difficult to move produce over long distances, but also to provide digital technology and coverage across the country.”

By installing local digital systems, Adama Clima provides vital weather forecasting information allowing growers to plan planting, protection and harvesting of their crops. So far more than 200 Adama Clima stations have been installed. Adama’s dedication to innovation in Brazil recently led it to be awarded a prestigious national innovation in agriculture accolade presented by financial newspaper Valor Econômico.

“Brazilian farmers want to use technology, but they want to have systems that fit the size and type of farms they have. The challenge for Adama is to make sure that we deliver that," concludes Roberson.

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