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Advanced Agro-Technologies

Goals

To identify 3-4 competitors in the banana and/or pineapple production space and provide examples of advanced technologies they are using to improve their production processes (e.g. planting, growing, harvesting, packaging, shipping) and any available qualitative or quantitative data showing what the results/benefits of using the technology are.

Early Findings

Competitors

Del Monte

  • Del Monte has achieved its goal to reduce water consumption by 10% in 2020.
  • The company has achieved this by recycling and reusing water. For example, it "implemented a hydroponic system for our operation in Jordan. This system collects and treats drainage water and then recycles it, which allows us to reuse 35 percent of the operation’s irrigation water."
  • In Kenya, drip irrigation is being used which is both water-efficient and energy-efficient. The company has saved 55 million gallons as a result of the technology.
  • Del Monte is using CropTrak, "a mobile and web-based agricultural platform that collects data on food production, quality, and operations, allowing users to mitigate risk and improve efficiency."
  • CropTrak allows the company to, for example, to "track disparate elements like nitrogen per crop produced, irrigation rates, and engagement with local communities. The company can also track the source of all ingredients using electronic tracking in less than four hours."
  • The company is decreasing its reliance on agrichemicals. One of the technologies it uses is for its banana and pineapple operations is multispectral imagery technology taken with drones. It enhances the company's ability to "scout for early signs of pest and disease incidence in the fields so that we can act before the pest or disease spreads to a larger area, resulting in a reduction in pesticide usage."
  • Del Monte also uses "GPS guided equipment that features automatic turn on/off control in 2010 for our banana farms. This allows us to be more precise with our agrichemicals and reduces off-target areas sprayed. We now use this technology at 100 percent of our banana farms, and it has allowed us to reduce our usage of agrichemicals by 8 percent annually. We also began implementing this technology at our pineapple farms in 2010. Currently, we are using it in 38 percent of our production area, resulting in a 4 to 5 percent decrease in agrichemical use."

Summary of Findings

  • During the initial hour of research, we focuses on finding 3-4 producers of banana and pineapples and providing some examples of advanced technologies they are using.

Proposed next steps:

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