Did you know that the majority of farmers around the world are not insured? Research by Dutch-based Earth observation startup Agcurate shows that this is largely due to crop insurance products being costly, complex and unreliable. These barriers are mostly related to a lack of accurate information about crop development and related risks. Satellite Earth observation data provides necessary insights to reduce insurance risks and simplify the insurance process, ultimately leading to up to 80% lower insurance costs.
The core of this solution lies in a simple app. Farmers can simply sign up to an online app where they provide some basic information about their operations, like location of fields and crops sown.
Crop insurance is purchased by agricultural producers, and often subsidised by the federal government, to protect against either the loss of their crops due to natural disasters, such as hail, drought, and floods, or the loss of revenue due to declines in the prices of agricultural commodities.
The two general categories of crop insurance are called crop-yield insurance and crop-revenue insurance. On average, in the US, the federal government subsidises 62 percent of the premium. In 2019, crop insurance policies covered almost 380 million acres.
Major crops are insurable in most counties where they are grown, and approximately 90% of U.S. crop acreage is insured under the federal crop insurance program. Four crops—corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat— typically account for more than 70% of total enrolled acres. For these major crops, a large share of plantings is covered by crop insurance.
Natural disasters are the most catastrophic risks a farmer may encounter, and these risks are often covered by public safety nets like government post-disaster funds. However, these schemes do not cover other risks that a farmer may face that impact yield. Different insurance products, public or private, have been designed to cover these different risks. The Agcurate platform aims at covering high frequency and low to medium impact risks affecting the yield.
The Agcurate story
Agcurate aims to solve the problem of unpredictable crop production in (initially) Turkey. It took the path to create a simple but comprehensive platform that delivers accurate, rich and timely agricultural intelligence, globally.
Agcurate strives to create tools and instruments which disrupt agriculture, the oldest industry in the world. Considering the social, economical and environmental importance of agriculture, Agcurate believes in the role of technology, aiming to empower farmers and other stakeholders, while de-risking innovations.
Satellite imagery sits at the core of the Agcurate platform, combined with proprietary machine learning algorithms, the tools analyse, validate, and deliver high accuracy field-level results.
The initial product that identifies crops country-wide was developed in just four months, benefiting from the large amounts of data in the Copernicus Earth observation programme. The initial crops that we wanted to cover are annual crops which farmers cultivate in vast rural areas.
In this development process, the team discovered that their services have the potential to provide direct benefits to agri-input businesses, agri-insurance and banking services, and commodity, food, and retail businesses.
The future of app-based farming
Starting from 2021 Agcurate has been delivering crop identification, yield, harvest and sowing analyses at farm scale, in multiple countries for multiple crops from 2017 to date. Its goal is to serve agribusinesses globally on all major crops by 2024. With a user-first approach, Agcurate aims to design products and services that are easy to use and provide real insights for farmers and those supporting farmers alike.
Agcurate is an Eindhoven-based startup from the Agrifoodtech Accelerator