We are a digital platform that provides smart agronomic recommendations for higher yield and profitability with less environmental impact.
“I’m the son, grandson, and great-grandson of farmers,” says Alexandre Chequim, one of the founders of DigiFarmz. “Agriculture runs deep inside my family. But I’m also a technology fan and started working with it from quite a young age.” Alexandre has founded several other companies, including three startups, throughout his career. Living in this intersection of agriculture, technology and entrepreneurship is what led him to see the potential in agtech: Brazil is the world’s largest soybean producer and exporter, along with corn and wheat, so it felt logical to create a digital platform to support farmers with data science.
With algorithms and a database of two decades of research, combined with climate and satellite information, DigiFarmz takes the reality of each farm and presents smart recommendations on plant health, reducing human errors in crop management. Developing this solution to improve food production and reduce farming’s environmental impact had its challenges. “Developing a tech solution – with algorithm, database – from scratch is hard,” says Alexandre. The challenge was to create something that didn’t exist, translating the chemical, biological and physical elements of agriculture into a system that generates value for the farmer, while also keeping it simple enough to increase chances of adoption. To significantly contribute to the increase in agricultural production through data intelligence, DigiFarmz is the only solution that presents real-time, personalized smart recommendations in plant health and nutrition. “Agribusiness can sound a lot like betting, but we’re giving the farmers a better chance to win,” he says.
Alexandre Chequim first met his cofounder, Ricardo Balardin, while studying, when Ricardo was his professor. Years later, the two ran into each other at an airport and quickly scheduled dinner to catch up. “And our discussion was: how do we solve this problem of farmers and agronomists who don’t know what to do, dealing with so many variables while under pressure to use fewer chemicals and less water?” he says. “Why is soybean’s genetic potential two hundred bags per hectare and Brazil’s average is only fifty?” Ricardo brought more than thirty years of experience in disease management and field research expertise to the team, which has more than forty members today. Diversity is the team’s special sauce: “You need diversity,” says Alexandre. “Then you have outside-of-the-box ideas, you diverge to converge. And we live this: agronomists working with data scientists, marketing and sales professionals, designers, communication specialists and farmers too.”
- Winning Get in the Ring Brazil (2020) and being invited to Get in the Ring Global Meet Up (2022) in The Hague, Netherlands.
- Being one of seven selected startups in the SAP.iO Foundry Latin America Fall 2022 program.
- Attending the Chicago Cycle 2022 of StartOut Brazil, which involved online training and presential activities in the US.
- Being named Winner of Brazil’s Agronordeste Digital (2022).