AgroTools: Driving an agricultural revolution with big data

About AgroTools

AgroTools is a world leader in agricultural intelligence with integrated solutions that deliver rich insights. Headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil, it produces technology that helps the entire agribusiness supply chain improve efficiency, gather competitive intelligence, and minimize business risk.

Industries: Technology
Location: Brazil

By moving to Google Cloud Platform, AgroTools has been able to scale to support its ambitious mission and within seconds find answers in the world’s largest repository of geospatial data for tropical agribusiness.

Google Cloud Results

  • Helps protect the environment, food safety, and customers’ brands
  • Improves performance and security to better serve customers
  • Completes 200,000+ territory analyses annually on huge datasets
  • Reduces IT costs by 32% and boosted sales by 40%

Agricultural data expected to scale to 1,600PB in coming years

By 2050, there will likely be more than 9 billion people on Earth, and feeding them will be one of the biggest challenges of the 21st Century. The amount of arable land on the planet has decreased by approximately one-third in the past 40 years, and many countries are running out of room to grow the crops they need. In many areas, this has led to deforestation, a short-term solution with long-term impacts for local economies and the planet’s climate.

“The only way to assess the integrity of territories as large as those in the tropical agribusiness at a distance is through the use of satellite data. Cross-referencing these data with different types of information is complex and requires a robust infrastructure like Google’s. It is digital transformation that drives the future of agribusiness.”

Sergio Rocha, Chairman, AgroTools

Technology, and lots of data, may be the answer. In Brazil, AgroTools is at the forefront of smart agriculture. The company has spent the past decade compiling the world’s largest repository of geospatial data for tropical agribusiness. The company monitors more than 1,000,000 properties (200 million hectares)—a territory as large as France, Italy, and Denmark combined— every day. It uses proprietary technologies to provide insights for the entire agribusiness supply chain, from government and financial services to equipment manufacturers and food producers.

AgroTools specializes in dynamic risk assessment, helping clients such as Walmart, McDonald’s, and Carrefour protect their brands by determining whether the raw materials they acquire originate from sustainable sources and practices. It’s also partnering with Serasa Experian, Latin America’s leading global information services company, to track deforestation, slave labor, exploitation of indigenous lands, and other social and environmental concerns.

“The only way to assess the integrity of territories as large as those in the tropical agribusiness at a distance is through the use of satellite data. Cross-referencing this data with different types of information is complex and requires a robust infrastructure like Google’s. It is digital transformation that drives the future of agribusiness,” says Sergio Rocha, Chairman at AgroTools.

AgroTools processes an enormous and increasing amount of data to provide agribusiness insights as a service through its TerraMatrix geographic platform. Federated data from government and commercial partners is growing fast, along with satellite data for remote sensing. As more information comes in from the Internet of Things—drones, digital stakes, and farm sensors—AgroTools’ total data volume could reach 1,600 petabytes in the coming years.

To continue improving its geospatial technology, AgroTools needed a cloud services provider that could scale to nearly unlimited capacity. It also wanted a managed big data solution to provide fast performance for agricultural analytics, knowing that its on-premises database could not keep up with future demand. The company decided to move to Google Cloud Platform and use Google BigQuery to quickly analyze large agricultural datasets.

“By moving to Google Cloud Platform, we’re giving our customers confidence that their data is increasingly secure in the cloud and that they will have better access to powerful services,” says Fernando Martins, CEO at AgroTools. “We can continue to provide the highest levels of accuracy and speed, even as agricultural data increases exponentially.”

“By moving to Google Cloud Platform, we’re giving our customers confidence that their data is increasingly secure in the cloud and that they will have better access to powerful services. We can continue to provide the highest levels of accuracy and speed, even as agricultural data increases exponentially.”

Fernando Martins, Fernando Martins, CEO, AgroTools

Providing dynamic risk assessments

AgroTools uses Google Cloud Platform to conduct more than 200,000 analyses per year on 1,151 layers of strategic information—from nutrient levels in the soil to climate analysis to land topology and public infrastructure. The in-depth analyses shed rich insights on new business opportunities, market share by region, logistics optimization, organizational improvements, regional crop concentrations, and geographic dispersions. As a result, its customers can optimize value chain efficiency and gather competitive intelligence. Financial services companies and food producers can also carry out socio-environmental analyses of credit lending or raw material purchasing operations and follow sustainability compliance protocols to minimize business risk.

“With Google BigQuery, we can instantaneously generate reports for everyone in the agribusiness chain who needs information to comply with social and environmental regulations,” says Lucas Tuffi, Commercial Director at AgroTools. “Queries complete in seconds that would take weeks using another infrastructure, and the results are more reliable because we’re constantly updating the data.”

Improving security, reducing costs

AgroTools now has a dynamic data architecture that is always being validated and updated to better serve customers’ needs, as well as a more secure environment for agribusiness data. It’s also saving money—by moving to Google Cloud Platform, the company reduced IT costs by 32%, helping it offer more competitive pricing and increase sales by 40% in just one year.

“The Google Cloud technical team has always strongly supported us, and we rely on Google engineers to help us continually enhance our services with new technologies,” says Thiago Mancilha, Director of Operations at AgroTools. “With Google Cloud Platform, we’re giving the agribusiness sector access to robust technology that it has never had before.”

“With Google BigQuery, we can instantaneously generate reports for everyone in the agribusiness chain who needs information to comply with social and environmental regulations. Queries complete in seconds that would take weeks using another infrastructure.”

Lucas Tuffi, Commercial Director, AgroTools

Teaming with Google to help protect the environment

To increase productivity, AgroTools uses G Suite, including Google Drive, Sheets, Docs, Calendar, Gmail, and Hangouts, empowering employees to stay connected in the world’s fifth-largest country.

The company is also teaming with Google to help protect the environment, applying geomatics to the processes, events, and dynamics associated with tropical agribusiness. Shortly after AgroTools made its services available, deforestation related to beef production in Brazil decreased dramatically. And by reducing risk profiles to help rural food producers get loans and improve efficiency, the company hopes to increase crop yields, improve food quality, and reduce food prices for consumers.

“Google has shown us that they are committed to advancing global food production and supporting agribusiness, the most important sector of Brazil’s economy,” says Sergio. “They understand the importance our mission and have been instrumental in helping us enhance our services to increase global impact.”

“I want our legacy to be that we helped stop deforestation in Brazil at its current level by providing analytics that enable agribusinesses to grow without negative environmental impacts,” adds Sergio.

About AgroTools

AgroTools is a world leader in agricultural intelligence with integrated solutions that deliver rich insights. Headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil, it produces technology that helps the entire agribusiness supply chain improve efficiency, gather competitive intelligence, and minimize business risk.

Industries: Technology
Location: Brazil

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