Sigfox sees agriculture vertical as key area of growth
The French firm said it is targeting growth opportunities in the agribusiness market in Europe, the U.S. and Latin America
French internet of things connectivity provider Sigfox is targeting the agriculture vertical market as one of the sectors with the highest growth potential, Alessandro Cremonini, solutions sales director at Sigfox Europe, told Enteprise IoT Insights.
The executive said that the French firm is seeing specific growth opportunities in the agriculture vertical in Latin America.
“We are actually growing our partners ecosystem, because we are not [directly selling] solutions but we act as a technological enabler. In Latin America, the expectation is that the agribusiness will grow slowly but consistently in different sub-verticals in 2019,” said Cremonini.
Sigfox is currently working with four partners in the Latin American region, three in Europe and one in Asia.
“Our partners ecosystem for the agribusiness vertical is growing at a fast pace,” Cremonini added.
Apart from South American markets, Sigfox is also targeting business opportunities in Europe and the United States, he said. In Europe, Sifgox considers France, Italy and Spain as the markets with the highest potential.
In Latin America, main markets include Brazil, Mexico and Colombia.
Commenting on the benefits for farmers implementing IoT-based solutions, Cremonini said that these solutions help farmers optimize the methods of cultivation, enabling a better management of irrigation and less agrichemical product usage.
“IoT-based solutions also reduce water consumption for the irrigation of farms, increase production and reduce costs,” he added.
“Our partner companies integrate our cloud-based communication technology due to the long-range communication capacity and the [low] battery consumption to offer a new range of connected solutions such as irrigation nodes, nutrition nodes, meteorology nodes, leaf wetness nodes, and animal trackers,” Cremonini said.
Globally, Sigfox’s network currently covers 50 countries and 949 million people. The company aims to reach 60 countries and more than 1 billion people by the end of 2018.
What is precision agriculture?
Precision agriculture uses IoT applications, which help farmers to increase the quality, quantity, sustainability and cost effectiveness of agricultural production. These tools allow the farmers to know what seeds to plant, the amount of fertilizer they need to use, the better time to harvest as well as the expected crop outputs. Through the implementation of IoT, farmers can also monitor sensors that can be used to detect soil moisture, crop growth and livestock feed levels, among other key functions. The sensors can also remotely manage and control connected harvesters and irrigation equipment.
Certain IoT platforms used in the agriculture industry allow farmers to manage the big amounts of data collected from sensors, cloud services such as weather or maps, connected equipment and existing systems. The platforms also leverage big data and analytics tools to provide insight and recommendations to improve the decision-making process.