Using AI To Help 500k African Women Farmers Adapt To Climate Change
October 6, 2021 — An estimated 2.1 million Kenyans face starvation due to the drought taking place in half the country, which is affecting harvests. Recently, a national disaster has been declared in Kenya as crops are failing and families are destined to famine and poverty. SupPlant, an agtech company which provides climate adaptive irrigation regimes, insights, actions and practices based on AI and the largest plant stress database in the world, started working this morning with 500,000 smallholder maize farmers – mostly women living in Bungoma and Busia.
Maize is the predominant crop in East Africa but is risky as climate change means longer dry spells and less water for Kenyan farmers. The project aims to eradicate famine and poverty via the implementation of precise irrigation recommendations and to empower women to tackle the Climate Crisis and food insecurity for their families.
Due to the drought, most women farmers need to walk 15km for water. With SupPlant’s precise irrigation recommendations the women will know exactly how much water is needed and when in order to grow more maize in the upcoming season. SupPlant’s new sensor-less technology collects and analyzes hyperlocal climatic, plant, and irrigation data to help smallholders avoid crop failure. SupPlant offers extremely low-cost irrigation recommendations, weather forecast and crop stress alerts, as well as AI-enabled agronomic guidance to make smallholders more resilient to climate change.
SupPlant partnered with PlantVillage, which is part of Penn State University, to reach these farmers. By 2022, SupPlant intends to serve at least 2 million smallholders across Africa and India.
David Hughes, founder of PlantVillage, who is the Dorothy Foeh Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair In Global Food Security, explained that “SupPlant’s unique dataset, agronomical expertise, and proprietary algorithms offer a very interesting step change for farmers facing the threat of drought. Our initial pilots are successful and we want to see accelerated delivery at scale, and hope to see tremendous results during the upcoming harvest season.”
SupPlant, a leading Israeli smart irrigation company, aims to digitally inform every irrigation decision on earth. Most AgriTech companies only target 2% of the world’s growers, and ignore the 450M smallholder farmers worldwide. SupPlant grew 12X over the past 18 months by serving the traditional AgriTech market of corporate growers and recently announced $10M of growth capital to continue this trajectory. The company’s leadership and investors are focused on serving all types of growers to create a more sustainable world. Jeffrey Swartz, the former CEO of Timberland, and co-founder of Boresight Capital, which led the most recent round, said that “while climate change rages, SupPlant’s solution is a concrete example of how world class technology and driven executive teams can improve our world. Across a variety of critical crops and a wide range of geographies, from small hold farmers to larger scale food producers, we support SupPlant because they help farmers produce more, better food, sustainably.”
For further information contact
Mira Marcus | SupPlant PR | email@example.com