ucrop.it: a solution that brings benefits to the entire agricultural value chain
ucrop.it it is a platform that traces agricultural practices to make processes more transparent and provide added value to every chain actor.
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA, December 22, 2022/ EINPresswire.com / -- In daily practices, people use technologies that simplify tasks, make communication easier and keep us up to date. New and increasingly sophisticated solutions are constantly being developed. These cover all sorts of activities and are available to everyone to boost work and production, and to accelerate engagement. One of these solutions is ucrop.it, which offers the farmers a free digital platform to trace and digitally verify sustainable agricultural practices, and then share them with companies of their choice thus accessing economic benefits.
ucrop.it was inspired by a paper written by Diego Hoter (CEO and Cofounder) in 2016 about the need to find a solution that would improve the way in which different chain actors engaged in traceability and how farmers could communicate their agricultural practices as transparently as possible. This idea took shape thanks to pre-seed investors and other founding partners: Matías O’Keefe (Chief Technology Officer, CTO), a technology expert, and Marcos Botta (Chief Innovation Officer, CIO), who shared his view on sustainability as a trend in the global agricultural transformation. Thus, in 2018, they created this solution that verifies the agricultural practices of thousands of farmers in the field by using blockchain technology for traceability. This enables confidential cryptographic protection of the farmer’s information so that it can then be shared with the companies of their choice.
To give visibility to their Crop History, farmers sign digital “licenses” or agreements with the companies they choose. These licenses are available in “virtual ecosystems” that work as “agreement spaces” within the app where companies establish the parameters that should be met to access mutual benefits.
Being aware of the potential sustainability of their fields and crops, their potential to meet standards, the possibility to manage and improve environmental indicators, and the economic benefits of tracing their Crop Story allows farmers to understand the advantages of producing under the new standards.
One of the first ecosystems of the digital solution was that of “sustainable soy”, where soy farmers could connect with companies such as Cargill, Molinos Agro, Viterra and AGD to verify the origin of their crops by showing that they come from sustainable landscapes and they abide by national and international standards. Over time, ucrop.it made new alliances and expanded its ecosystem options and licenses available. Today, the platform allows users to verify and reward good agricultural practices related to other crops apart from soy, such as corn, wheat, camelina, carinata, peas and beans. It also provides economic benefits for verifying the “responsible use of crop protection,” the “use of sustainable seeds” and the application of “the 4 R’s as best practices for the management of crop nutrients.”
AgTech started operating in Argentina and, thanks to its ambitious expansion plan, it currently operates in Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and the United States. Its client portfolio includes multinational agricultural, financial and mass consumption companies from various stages of the value chain: from traders to seedbed and leading biotechnology companies.
Boortlmalt and Tomorrow Foods are examples of mass consumption companies that guarantee the quality of their products by tracing their raw materials with ucrop.it, in this case, for barley and pea crops. Other companies that participate in their ecosystems are Surcos, BASF, Don Mario, Gensus, Profertil, Chacraservicios and Lagomarsino S.A., among others.
ucrop.it was recognized by the international financial center Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) as one of the most innovative startups in South America and won first place in the Information Technology category at the Go Global Awards 2021 organized by the International Trade Council (ITC).
Moreover, it was honored at the Sustainable AgTech Challenge of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) for contributing to the development of a more sustainable agriculture in alignment with the UNEP’s Sustainable Development Goals.
At national level, the Innovar y Emprender agency located in Cordoba included ucrop.it in the Good Agricultural Practices program of such province, which allowed local farmers to reap additional benefits by using the digital platform.
Recently, the solution raised USD 3.1 million in a pre-series A investment round co-led by Yugen Partners from New York, US, and The Yield Lab LATAM, a venture capital fund specialized in AgTech in the region. These funds will be allocated to continue with the regional expansion plan and to consolidate the app as an industry leading platform in the countries in which it operates. Moreover, it provides the opportunity to keep building strategic bonds and form alliances with corporate clients to escalate the volume and the regionally traced agricultural surface, optimize the platform and assist the farmer in the field to simplify the transformation into a sustainable and cost-efficient form of agriculture.
Global agriculture is in the process of adopting more sustainable practices, and all the players involved in the value chain want that process to be as accessible and transparent as possible. Therefore, it is important to have a digital solution like ucrop.it, which makes this process easier and also allows us to recognize farmers’ additional efforts by connecting them with companies that are interested in meeting this demand for more ecofriendly products.
Mariela de la Fuente
Mauro & Asociados
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