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Syswin, a provider of IoT solutions for agriculture, made 3.5 million lei in 2023 with SysAgria and hopes for a 50% growth in 2024 through the implementation of digitalization on farms

Updated: Apr 25

Răzvan Ungurelu, general project manager at SysAgria: The notion of a "normal agricultural year" is no longer relevant; abnormality has already become normalcy.

Syswin Solutions, a company providing integrated Internet of Things solutions, aims for over 5 million lei turnover in 2024 with SysAgria, an intelligent system for real-time monitoring and control of air and soil parameters. The majority of the 50% revenue growth compared to the previous year is expected to come from implementing digitalization projects in Romanian farms.

"In 2023, SysAgria achieved a turnover of 3.5 million lei, and we anticipate a 50% expansion for 2024. This growth is expected to come both from the organic evolution of the business and from the implementation of digitalization projects supported by financing from AFIR (the Rural Investment Funding Agency) and APIA (the Agency for Payments and Intervention in Agriculture), alongside the initiation of strategic partnerships earlier this year," said Răzvan Ungurelu, general project manager at SysAgria, in an email interview with ZF.

He mentions that farmers are open to digitalization, especially given the drought (isolated flooding in certain areas) that has been occurring for the past three out of five years. The SysAgria application provides updated data by monitoring and identifying specific weather conditions in a microclimate zone.

"This capacity to display monitored parameters in real-time is a direct and tangible benefit," he emphasized.

By providing a 30-day weather forecast and ultra-local severe weather alerts, farmers can better anticipate and plan agricultural activities. For example, they can postpone irrigation or fertilizer application in anticipation of forecasted rain or take preventive measures against erosion in the case of torrential rain forecasts.

Moreover, they are alerted to the risk of diseases and pests, contributing to crop protection by allowing the application of phytosanitary treatments before significant damage occurs. "Farmers can reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers, intervening only when necessary, leading to cost reduction and more sustainable agriculture."

How does technology influence farm performance?

"For the agricultural year September 2022 - August 2023, fluctuating weather conditions in Romania, including periods of drought and unusual precipitation, represented a major challenge for farmers. However, SysAgria platform users had a significant strategic advantage in responding to these conditions dynamically," said Ungurelu.

He added that it's important to mention that in recent years, farmers have faced challenges year after year, and "the notion of a 'normal agricultural year' is no longer relevant; abnormality has already become normalcy."

In these conditions, with different challenges each year, with increasing agricultural input prices and the price of cereals hard to predict, crop profitability remains a permanent challenge, and intelligent, precision management, with the application of fertilizers and plant protection products at the optimal moments for crops, such as the SysAgria solution, provides support. "SysAgria data allowed for a rapid response to soil drought conditions by optimizing irrigation and fertilizer application, especially in the Dobrogea and Moldova regions, where moisture deficits were more pronounced," he emphasized.

Furthermore, by measuring soil moisture and NPK levels (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), farmers applied fertilizers at the optimal moment, avoiding over-application or deficiency. "This is crucial in critical wheat development stages, such as rooting, tillering, and flowering, where proper nutrition can directly influence yield."

What are the costs for the SysAgria application?

"The initial investment for the SysAgria solution, including sensor costs and platform licenses, is detailed in three offer categories: the weather package available from 3,590 euros, the weather option with disease and pest alerts priced at 4,950 euros, and the comprehensive solution including weather, disease and pest alerts, plus the SysCrop NPK dynamic soil analysis module, evaluated at 7,890 euros," explained company representatives.

However, they say that although it seems expensive initially, the ROI (Return on Investment) is good. For example, for wheat, by using data from SysAgria sensors, a farmer can reduce fertilizer usage by 10% on 100-hectare agricultural land. If the average fertilizer cost is at least 200 euros/ha/year, annual savings would be 2,000 euros. Then, SysAgria technology helps decrease pesticide usage by 15% through early warnings and targeted interventions, leading to savings of 1,500 euros, and by improving productivity by 5%, additional income would be 5,000 euros.

"In conclusion, using SysAgria technology leads to a significant reduction in operational costs on a farm. With savings of 2,000 euros per year on fertilizers and 1,500 euros on pesticides for a 100-hectare farm, the total saved amounts to 3,500 euros annually. These savings are substantial, especially considering fertilizer and pesticide costs represent over half of a farm's operational expenses. By reducing fertilizer usage by 10% and pesticides by 15%," said Angelo Nicolae, a member of the SysAgria advisory board.

Angelo Nicolae has over two decades of experience in agribusiness in high-level management positions. He has been the general manager at Blue Ocean Strategy since January 2017. He was the country manager for Fall Creek and previously the director general of Ogorul Retail and the Brise group.

What do I gain if I'm a farmer with 1,000 hectares of cereals and not just 100 hectares?

"We estimate that precise fertilization based on SysCrop NPK data can reduce fertilizer costs by up to 20% due to targeted application and waste reduction. By implementing variable-rate fertilization, based on precise soil analyses performed by SysCrop NPK, a farmer with 1,000 hectares of cereals can significantly save on fertilizer costs," explained technology company representatives.

The SysAgria solution is based on three main modules, one dedicated to soil analysis. This module uses sensors to measure soil moisture, chemical composition, and other critical soil parameters at the relevant depth for each plant type's root exploration zone.

SysCrop NPK 7in1 wireless, part of the SysAgria solution, operates by real-time monitoring of soil composition. It uses advanced technology to measure key parameters relevant to agriculture, such as temperature, humidity, EC, pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the soil.

The article was published in the print edition of Ziarul Financiar on April 1, 2024.

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