Prospera uses AI and advanced data collecting methods to ensure each plant, every seed, is brought to its full potential in the field.
Prospera Technologies and German pharmaceutical giant Bayer are partnering to help improve the output at greenhouses by using big data and machine learning.
Founded in 2014, Prospera employs roughly 50 people in Israel, Silicon Valley, and Mexico. Using machine learning and big data, the company has monitored the production of $5 trillion worth of agricultural produce in recent years.
Prospera uses AI and advanced data collecting methods to ensure each plant, every seed, is brought to its full potential in the field. This way, farming can be done in minute detail, ensuring that nothing is wasted and that the resources of our planet provide a bountiful harvest.
Prospera’s Co-Founder and CEO Daniel Koppel told The Jerusalem Post that the secret is “we are sensor agnostic, we focus on what is the information you need to make a good decision and not so much on building the greatest this or that in the world. We will use multiple data sets to reach that goal. The focus on building this intelligence is what enables us to make this impact.”
He said that the combination of machine learning teams, data analysis units, and agriculture experts provide Prospera with a unique edge.
Koppel told the Post that he sees the importance of bringing Israeli know-how to the greater world and that the partnership with Bayer – which employs over 100,000 workers and has annual sales of EURO 43.5 billion – will.
The German company, he said, is “probably the largest genetic player in vegetable seeds today. So yes, the plants you breed now could yield more, but what we see is the challenge of placing those seeds in a changing environment. The digital stage of the agricultural revolution, the inclusion of AI in it, will be to close the gap between genetics, human actions, and what you end up getting.”
“Israel is a great country to build ag-tech companies,” he said, “I really believe that and think we’ll see more good news from that end.”
He explained why farmers and governments seeking to feed a growing population would do well to embrace big data in addition to genetics. “If you look at yield per acres over the last century,” he said, “you can see how things like tractors for example had a massive influence. We don’t see such rapid growth in our own times.” His own company deals with the human aspect of the work, perfecting decision making processes.
“When we started,” Koppel explains when asked why they chose Mexico, “we arranged all the possible crops and how complex they are to grow.” For example, “a cherry grower might make dozens of decisions per day and a rice grower in India might make only a few decisions during one season. We decided to start in a location where we have more control to prove we can make a change. That was in a greenhouse.”
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