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INSIGHT

Sanjay Borkar

Digital solutions to Middle East's agri businesses

, May 16, 2024

FarmERP, a leader in providing cutting-edge sustainable farming technology solutions, aims to help Middle Eastern agribusinesses improve food security, food safety, and productivity by addressing the region's water scarcity issues.
 
In an interview with TradeArabia, Sanjay Borkar, Co-Founder and CEO of FarmERP, sheds light on the company's solutions and technologies to streamline the overall food supply chain.
 
Excerpts from the interview:
Agriculture in the Middle East faces enormous challenges. How are you helping face these challenges?
In the challenging agricultural landscape of the Middle East, issues like extreme climates, resource limitations, and water scarcity are prevalent. With a significant presence in the market and in-depth knowledge of the region's agricultural landscape FarmERP tackles these hurdles head-on by employing innovative technologies and strategies. Leveraging IoT devices and sensors, we gather crucial data points to make informed decisions, efficiently utilizing resources and effectively managing irrigation to mitigate water scarcity. 
 
AI and machine learning offer intelligent advisory services for crop management, pest control, and optimising harvests. Our specialisation in controlled environment farming fosters sustainability, maximising yields despite challenging conditions. FarmERP is committed to empowering the agriculture sector in the Middle East with tailored technological solutions, addressing environmental challenges, and promoting sustainable practices to boost productivity.
 
What key strategies or technologies are being employed to prioritise and promote a sustainable agriculture industry?
In the pursuit for sustainable agriculture practices, digital tools have emerged as powerful allies in the battle against greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Carbon accounting tools, farm management software, new-age technology, and remote sensing satellite technology are helping to revolutionise sustainable agriculture. These tools enable precise monitoring and reporting and empower growers and stakeholders to make informed decisions that reduce their carbon footprint. Furthermore, these digital tools emphasise optimising the 3Ps - Productivity, Profitability, and Predictability of farming businesses. By integrating these innovative solutions into their operations, agricultural practitioners can enhance sustainability while achieving economic prosperity.
 
How does your platform contribute to the productivity and profitability for farmers and stakeholders in the agribusiness value chain, especially in the context of food safety, sustainability, and climate resilience?
FarmERP, as a highly scalable, configurable, and forward-looking digital platform, plays a pivotal role in driving productivity and profitability for farmers and stakeholders within the agribusiness value chain. It is specifically engineered to embrace the principles of Digital Agriculture 4.0, ushering in an era of profitability and sustainability. 
 
The platform caters to diverse sub-industries within the agriculture sector, encompassing plantation farming, contract farming, processors, and exporters. It integrates advanced technologies such as IoT sensors and GPS systems to collect crucial field data. This data is then subjected to advanced data analytics, generating insightful information that aids farmers in making informed decisions to enhance productivity.
 
FarmERP provides a comprehensive view of the entire value chain, identifying specific issues and enabling immediate corrective actions. It facilitates the comparison of climatic and agronomic factors to optimise production. Additionally, it improves resource allocation and input management, resulting in increased productivity. This digital tool ultimately contributes to food safety, sustainability, and climate resilience in agribusiness operations.
 
Elaborate on the specific features and benefits of your platform, and how they contribute to improving agribusiness operations.
 
FarmERP's smart farm management platform boasts a range of notable features and benefits that significantly enhance agribusiness operations. Some key highlights include: Climate Smart Advisory which provides climate-smart advisory services, offering insights and recommendations to help farmers adapt to changing weather conditions effectively. Pest Disease Detection incorporates AI-driven pest disease detection capabilities, enabling early identification and mitigation of crop threats. Quality Analysis Using AI is utilised to ensure that produce meets the highest standards. IoT Device Integration seamlessly integrates IoT devices, allowing for real-time data collection on various aspects of farming, from soil conditions to equipment usage. Lastly, QR-Based Access Control offers across different business processes, enhancing security and efficiency.
 
These features collectively streamline farm management, improve productivity, and elevate the overall farming experience. FarmERP provides tools for daily farm operations, long-term planning, analytics, accounting, and reporting. This comprehensive suite of functionalities contributes to operational efficiency, productivity gains, and enhanced agricultural management.
 
How can adoption of regenerative agriculture practices contribute to addressing the challenges of climate change?
The adoption of regenerative agriculture practices holds immense potential in addressing the challenges posed by climate change. Regenerative agriculture represents a pathway towards a more resilient, equitable, and environmentally sustainable food system that benefits the entire planet. Climate change has brought about erratic weather patterns, increased soil degradation, and declining groundwater levels, making it increasingly challenging for farmers to meet the growing demand for food. Conventional agricultural practices have exacerbated these issues, leading to soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, and pollution of water resources.
 
Regenerative agriculture practices focus on mitigating these challenges through sustainable techniques. These practices encompass crop rotation, integrated pest management, agroforestry, and circularity in agriculture. By adopting these approaches, farmers can combat climate change in several ways. 
 
Tell us about your plans for the year ahead
Currently, we are helping in managing extensive agri-business operations across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Egypt and Jordan with a focus on providing solutions to tackle the region's unique agricultural challenges. Our clientele includes some leading companies that oversee the entire supply chain, from farms to supermarkets, as well as farms specialising in a variety of crops, such as vegetables and dates. Additionally, we engage in projects that promote outreach to farmers and contract farming companies, providing valuable advisory services.
 
With a significant presence in the market, we possess in-depth knowledge of the region's agricultural landscape and extensive experience working with local businesses and nationalities, successfully deploying ERP systems to enhance farm productivity. In the upcoming year, FarmERP has ambitious plans on the horizon. While continuing to serve major agricultural countries, we are also aggressively expanding in the Middle East with the aim of primarily assisting Middle Eastern agribusinesses in improving food security, food safety, and productivity by addressing the region's water scarcity issues. Our commitment to our users revolves around prioritising productivity, predictability, and profitability – the 3Ps of agribusiness across various dimensions. We are also excited to announce the expansion of our presence in the United States, marking a significant milestone in our global journey.  - TradeArabia News Service



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