Artificial Intelligence Helps Farmers Increase Yields

CNBC: Ricult App Provides Farmers with Weather Forecast and Risk Analysis time for sowing crops. Artificial intelligence predictions also help banks assess risks and offer farmers affordable loans, CNBC reports.


The startup provides farmers with satellite imagery with crop health data, expert advice and weather information to help them better plan their agricultural cycle and increase yields despite annual droughts. “We have shown that our technology has increased the basic income of farmers by at least 50 percent,” co-founder Aukrit Unahalehaka told CNBC Managing Asia.

The platform also performs risk analysis and yield forecasting. These data, with the consent of farmers, are used by banks to form more favorable loan offers. In addition, banks pay a commission to the company when farmers apply to them for a loan, which allows the application to remain free for ordinary users.

According to Ricult, more than 587 thousand farmers are already registered in the application, almost 400 thousand of which live in Thailand. The startup is developing rapidly: according to Unahalehak, the application may soon appear in Vietnam and the Philippines. The company expects to reach profit in 2022 and open the first round of attracting investments. In May 2021, in a preliminary round, the startup received $ 3.5 million from Japanese and Swiss investors. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is also one of the sponsors of the company.

Ricult was founded in 2016 by Aukrit Unahalehaka from Thailand and Usman Javid from Pakistan. According to the official history of the project, the entrepreneurs met in the USA, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where they “presented similar ideas to improve the living conditions of small farmers.”