Digital Harvest

Along with Fintech and mobility/transport, Agtech is one of the verticals causing most of a stir in the startup accelerator community these days, Samsung recently highlighting the sector in the latest phase of its Creative Startups program in Brazil.

The Brazilian government has said that smart cities, agribusiness and advanced manufacturing will be next in line for targeting by the national IoT development plan, which launched in April with an initial focus on healthcare.

However, even within a major international agribusiness organization like the Latin American Agribusiness Development Corporation (LAAD), Agtech has yet to make much of a splash. Agtech accounted for only 0.2% of the US$2.337 billion disbursed by the organization in 2017 via 12 projects, whereas the majority of LAAD's financing is used for the launch or expansion of standard farming projects, or for recovery after natural disasters.

Also, there have been few conferences in Latin America dealing specifically with Agtech, and some that purport to be about Agtech still have a significant amount of content dedicated to traditional agricultural science, such as breeding techniques and plant life-cycles, rather than the application of ICT.

Argentine startup accelerator NXTP Labs appears to be leading the way in this respect, with an Agtech-specific conference scheduled for October and targeting interested parties in Argentina and Uruguay.

In this report, BNamericas loosely assesses the potential for Agtech in Latin America and some of the ways this vertical is making inroads in the region.

Latin American nations far behind OECD peers in rural connectivity


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