The sky-high tech set to revolutionise the agriculture industry
Posted on March 3, 2017
3 min read
muru-D #SYD4 startup FluroSat is building tech that will help farmers increase their crop yields, and could save the Australian agriculture industry millions of dollars in revenue.
FluroSat Co-founder and CEO Anastasia Volkova misses the taste of her mother’s tomatoes back in Ukraine. She’s struggled to find anything that tastes as good as those that were grown with love and care in that vegetable patch.
Now an aeronautical engineer, it’s this appreciation of quality produce that she brings to her new role – leading a tech startup that is dedicated to helping farmers grow better crops in a more efficient and sustainable way, improving the quality of produce that ends up on kitchen tables around the world.
Using multi and hyper-spectral cameras mounted on drones and satellites, they are able to look at crop health and identify issues that may be impacting the fields. This allows them to see problems with crops (e.g. if a crop is water or nutrient deficient, or if part of a field needs a chemical applied to it to extinguish a disease outbreak) before a farmer on the ground is able to, and recommend precision fixes.
Anastasia is focusing on putting actionable data into the hands of the people who need it – the agronomists and farmers making daily decisions about crop management. The FluroSat team takes the info from the drones and satellites, processes that data and delivers actionable data on the spot.
FluroSat will be conducting field trials of the technology in Narrabri, Tamworth, Moree and Gunnedah in the coming months. Early projections show that the tech has the potential to save Australia’s farming industry hundreds of millions of dollars through higher crop yields and savings on water, fertilisers and pesticides.
The FluroSat team recently visited Narrabri for a tech demonstration in partnership with the Australian Cotton Research Institute, one of the first places where the tech will be tested. The team has ambitious plans to scale the solution over the next six months and, after that, it won’t be too long until they’re in market and flavourless tomatoes will be history.
muru-D is the startup accelerator backed by Telstra, which aims to support the very best tech entrepreneurial talent that the Asia Pacific region has to offer. By providing mentoring, tailored acceleration services and investment to early stage technology companies, muru-D’s goal is to help Australia and South East Asia become centres of digital business.