Summit Highlights

The first virtual World Agri-Tech South America Summit welcomed over 630 senior-level delegates from 43 countries.

Leading farm operators, livestock producers, agribusinesses, equipment manufacturers, start-ups and investors from around the world gathered online with one shared goal: a more secure, resilient and sustainable agri-food supply chain in South America.

The virtual summit is still active for 1-1 video networking and sessions on demand until August 30. Register now for access.

Feedback

“Mind blowing event. We have been waiting for a world-class event like this in the region for a long time. There were a lot of big farmers participating and getting close to this kind of event for the first time. Next year is going to be mandatory for anyone in ag innovation.”

Managing Director, THE YIELD LAB LATAM

“An effective platform to drive focus towards the issues and opportunities in the agtech space in South America. In addition to serving as an opportunity to know about the space in general, it served as a direct networking opportunity. Lastly, the virtual summit was cost and time effective.”

Head of Digital Ag, OLAM

“The event was great to learn more and connect with great people from several countries. It was very productive and the quality of the audience was incredible. I look forward to the next one!”

Managing Partner, MINDSET VENTURES

“The discussion topics and audience for the World Agri-Tech events make this a return-on-investment event.”

VP AgTech and Innovation, Strategy and Growth, THE MOSAIC COMPANY

“A very helpful tool to get in touch with technologies from all over the world.”

Agribusiness Director – Brazil, PEPSICO

“The conference was informative on timely and relevant topics, well attended, with many opportunities for networking productively, and well attended by a wide group of high quality participants. I found it incredibly productive.”

Managing Partner, PONTIFAX AGTECH

“The event is a must for any involved in agribusiness. The topics are well chosen, conducted and the approach very practical from everyone involved. The one-on-one possibilities through the platform are fantastic and the roundtables can not be missed. Overall, one of the best ag events around.”

Partner, Agribusiness, VEIRANO ADVOGADOS

“Amid this pandemic, this has been like a fresh breeze in the desert. Getting to know people that understand that business MUST go through sustainability and that we can still profit from increasing the strength of weak/degraded ecosystems is very important to us, as that is one of our main goals as entrepreneurs. We had the opportunity to meet people that are way ahead of what we dream of, and that are eager to help. This is not found every day.”

President, INTEGRA QUALITY ASSURANCE

“The event was great, providing a great connection to enterprise companies. This connection between start-ups and big companies helps the development of business and innovation in agriculture all around the world.”

CEO & Founder, SENSAIOTECH

“The World Agri-Tech South America Summit was a huge boost for our start-up. We made the right connections with key accounts and got a much better understanding of the whole ecosystem.”

Deputy General Manager, SCANWORLD

Keynote Address: EMBRAPA

Key Steps Towards a More Food-Secure Future

Celso Luiz Moretti, President, EMBRAPA
“Investment in science, research and development in agriculture is the best way to move towards a more food secure world.

We can summarize into four key areas:

1) Genome editing

2) The emerging bioeonomy

3) Sustainable intensification: iCLF

4) Digital agriculture – drones sensors, AI, IoT. “

Opening Plenary

Building a More Resilient Agriculture Base through Collaboration, Research and Investment

Rodrigo Santos, Head of Bayer’s Crop Science Division for Latin America, BAYER
“Sustainability is one of the key topics for the next 20 years. It’s our responsibility as an ag sector to communicate effectively what we are doing. If carbon is the new oil, we have the biggest reserve of carbon in the world right here, one of the big assets of the ag sector. Digital transformation can help us to bridge the gap between agricultural development and public understanding that the ag sector is a solution for sustainability, not a problem.”

Federico Trucco, CEO, BIOCERES
“The opportunity to become carbon negative requires a systems approach, integrating digital science in agriculture to understand environments like never before. We can then fine-tune technologies to specific environmental conditions, a more customized approach generating efficiencies from the way we use water and nourish plants, to the way we capture and use data.”

José Massad, CIO, RAIZEN
“There’s a balance between doing what you have to do to keep your operation working – and taking necessary risks for change. Working with innovation and start-ups is something that will contribute to our ability to act faster and adapt to challenges.”

Keynote Address: IICA

Solving South American Problems with South American Solutions

Alysson Paolinelli, Former Minister of Agriculture Brazil, and Goodwill Ambassador, INTER-AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR COOPERATION ON AGRICULTURE (IICA)
“With advanced technology, irrigation and by being one of the richest countries in the world for freshwater, Brazil can now produce up to three harvests per year in the same area with the same manpower, same machines and same  infrastructure.

With ongoing developments in technology, irrigation and especially microbiology, Brazil has the potential to be even more competitive.

Innovations developed in Brazil for tropical agriculture can be transported to other global regions, to deliver better conditions for working and productivity, and to achieve food security.”

AgTech & FinTech

A Change in Perspective from Yield to Profits

 

Tomás Lopes Teixeira, Chief Investment Officer, IDB LAB
“The interest in fintech is amazing in Latin America, growing from a $50m investment six years ago to $2.1bn investment last year. It’s probably the area of most interest for investors. Fintech is embedded in more complete models for clients, so it has become more of a solution rather than a sector. Agtech is now flourishing and as we mature the agtech ecosystem, start-ups will be able to offer more complete platforms as agtech and fintech converge.”

Matthieu Hyrien, VP Business Development & Marketing, GEOSYS
“Ag is a logistics excellence business – so things need to run, and work all the time with no grain of sand in the system. Reliability and scalability are the drivers here. With tight margins and more consolidation, most businesses are looking at how to optimize and create added value – digital is an obvious way to go. The thirst from farmers for cash to be able to operate can create bottle-necks and concerns for lenders about taking risk, but there is going to be huge demand as the market is growing. If you don’t invest, you’ll be left behind”.

Tomás Peña, Managing Director, THE YIELD LAB
“Five necessary conditions to have a strong agtech fintech market in Latam: 1) API market to channel the massive amount of artificial intelligence data from farming. 2) Agronomists have to become technology experts. 3) We need ‘push the button’ kind of traceability platforms that make it easy to input information. 4) Integrated agtech systems need to enable communication. 5) People need to understand that technology is core to their business.  They need to become tech players, and they need to get there quickly.”

Investment Strategies

Bringing Innovation to Market

Daniel Ibri, Managing Partner & CEO, MINDSET VENTURES
“Latin America is among the priority global regions for agri-tech start-ups. They know the size of the market and are eager to come. Challenges for non-natives to access the market are quite obvious – the language, legal and bureaucracy, infrastructure and logistics. One very important lesson learned is that you need someone local, someone on the ground and -depending who you are targeting – you need to partner with local distributors who can give you support and really spread the word of your technology.”

Sebastian Popik, Founding Partner, AQUA CAPITAL
“We’re obsessed with using technology to take businesses to their next phase. COVID-19 has made everyone realize that embracing digital is not an option. And it’s about doing it better than everyone else. It’s rallied the troops and accelerated the amount of investment and appetite for bringing tech into our world.”

Francisco Jardim, Partner, SP VENTURES
“Clearly the Ag Latin America trenches is a very exciting place to be. From leading global corporate ventures and private equity investors – we’re seeing a lot of local and international deal flow along with large corporations getting out of the comfort zone, which all benefits growers, farmers and will bring a lot of productivity.”

Digitization

Digitally Enabled Tools: Creating Integrated Solutions for Smarter Field Systems

Alfredo Jobke, AGCO Marketing Director South America, AGCO CORPORATION
“In this region we love to be connected – everyone is using online apps to communicate and buy online. This crisis has provided an opportunity to get closer to our growers, maintaining the same level of support to keep the business running and reassure them, while bringing in digital tools and training so they can take advantage of all the products we offer.”

Roger Iafelice dos Santos, CEO, SOLINFTEC
“The only thing we demand of any company that wants to connect in our platform or with our technologies, is that the technologies are really delivering value to farmers, operating and delivering concrete results and value to farmers. If we don’t change the lives of farmers, decreasing costs of production or increase yields, or both, then let’s not waste time.  Let’s be honest and responsible.”

Stefan Furnsinn, Senior Vice-President, Digital Farming, YARA
“The bar is getting higher. Farmers have much higher expectations of both user experience and agronomic quality. What’s hurting the industry is too many solutions out there that are not working. It’s important that all of us are stringent about the quality of what comes out in the market. Rather than everyone doing the same thing in a fragmented way, we need a more collaborative approach, inviting others to join forces and truly make a difference.”

Abe Hughes, Regional Diretor Trimble Agriculture – Latin America, TRIMBLE
“It’s great to have incredible technologies but always think about who is going to implement at the last mile and make it all work? This is key to ensure success of the industry here – agtech start-ups need to think about who to partner with that’s already active in the market, as building a channel is hard. No-one can do it alone.”

Mathieu Hagen, CEO, GAMAYA
“It is time now to deliver. We can definitely have end to end integrated solutions for the farmers. To have data at the right place and right time you need integrated solutions. Integration and data sharing,

Integration and data sharing between companies working together are necessary to accelerate innovation.”

AI, Analytics, IoT, Cloud, and Weather: Supporting Decision Making from Farm to Fork

Jared Brown, Global Business Development Lead, Agriculture Center of Competency, IBM AI APPLICATIONS
“Regional and field analytics offer new insights for making better decisions. In the field, local sensing data like field-based crop and IoT data combined with remote sensing data like satellite, drone, manned aircraft imagery, weather conditions and forecasting are being collected and turned into new insights, helping with the decisions being made every single day that impact yield and quality in the field, both pre-season, in-season and post-harvest.”

Ag BioTech

Accelerating Market Adoption of Biological Products for Tropical Agriculture

Ross Bender, Director New Product Development, THE MOSAIC COMPANY
“What a farmer wants is a product that does what it’s supposed to do, does it consistently and makes a difference. The biggest challenge for adoption is how to demonstrate consistent performance year after year across a range of crops and soil types.”

Carle DeaneVeloso, President & CEO, VERDI AGRITECH
“There is less education around biostimulants and bio-pest control. Farmers don’t really see or understand the mode of action of why for example trichoderma is useful for pest-control, or why bacillus subtilis is good for nematode control. That’s the next step in achieving adoption.”

Gustavo Herrman, Commercial Director KOPPERT BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS
“Technical education is one of the biggest bottle-necks in market adoption. Alongside our own technicians we use the most relevant technical distributors to help address the message of integration. It has to be a very educative process. We have to show results in a different way than farmers are used to seeing with chemicals. Changing mindsets is difficult and time-consuming, so companies cannot do this alone. The distribution channels and professional consulting companies are more and more involved in the field.”

Cristiano Veloso, President & CEO,VERDI AGRITECH
“The biological industry has to find common ground with farmers pursuing on-farm micro-organism development. Lots of farmers in Brazil, have their own bio-production, and that’s one way to gain scale. The problem with that approach is that it can reduce the incentive for R&D of new biologicals. There has to be some laboratorial, financial and commercial common ground between farmers and industry so it can develop as fast as it needs to in order to feed a very fast-growing population.”

Genome Editing: Resistance, Efficiency, Sustainability and Nutrition

Matthew Crisp, CEO & Co-Founder, BENSON HILL
“South America is more harmonized and ahead of the ball than most regions globally, including the United States. Argentina and Brazil were two of the first countries to have their regulatory agencies embrace gene editing technologies and effectively pave the way for innovators.

“We work with agencies like Embrapa who are using this technology to converge gene editing and CRISPR technologies with breeding and leverage the natural genetic diversity of plants in South America and all the markets they target.

“Over the years we’ve narrowed genetic diversity to create a supply chain that can ship produce hundreds of thousands of miles, and in doing so we’ve sacrificed things like flavor. With gene-editing we can go back in time and reintroduce that.”

Innovation on the Farm

New Business Models Transforming Agriculture in South America

 

Mariana Brayn Caetano Polcaro, COO, GUIMA CAFE, BRAZIL
“Machinery needs to be well-adjusted to receive technology. Two years ago on coffee farms, we didn’t have tractors with cabins coming from the factory.”

Bernhard Kiep, Farmer, Managing Director, BERMADBoard Member, PESSL INSTRUMENTS and TERRAMAGNA, BRAZIL
“Too many people are looking into gadgets that are very interesting and very nice to have, but there is a lack of saving and improving our our yields and day to day.”

Francisco Salvatelli, Country Manager Brazil, MSU AGRO, BRAZIL
“We need to split the needs of the farmers in different time frames. In the short term, we have to be profitable and efficient. In the median term, we should be trying some biological products and some post harvest and then integrate the information and be educated for digitization processes.”

Alejandro Lopez, Sustainability Director, ADECOAGRO, ARGENTINA
“In the farming sector, connectivity is a great barrier in some areas and especially some services that need 24/7 connection. Remote sensors need to be reliable and durable because they are used in large open fields and have to be low cost.”

Animal Health & Nutrition

Data, Surveillance and Interconnectivity: Optimizing Animal Health and Welfare Through Smart Livestock Management

 

Delair Angelo Bolis, Brazil General Manager, MSD ANIMAL HEALTH
“There is no question that consumers are one of the main drivers of the evolution of the smart livestock market. The constant need for transparency – even more relevant since the pandemic – is pushing farmers to invest in technology that brings ‘the three Ps’ – traceability, transparency and trust to the supply chain. This new generation of farms, industry and consumers is generating demand for more information at a glance before they buy.”

Henry Berger, Global Head of Marketing & Strategy, BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM
“Everybody understands that South America is poised to be feeding the world in the future. We’re already doing that with animal protein where we rank as #1 producer and exporter in the world. We have availability of land and water, human capital and good weather to have a variety of crops and harvests each year. But future challenges are not small. Smart technology will play a key role as we need to increase productivity.”

Ricardo Santin, Executive Director, ABPA
“We face global difficulty for the resumption of the economies of the world. We need affordable proteins to assure the food securty of their countries. My statement is this: there should be no borders for food. We need to get these instruments, software and tools for smart management to competitiveness and make them affordable to everyone, to provide food security to everyone.”

Animal Feed Innovation: Increasing Sustainability and Quality Through Alternative Feed Solutions

Luis Azevedo, Former Executive Director Business Development, NOVUS INTERNATIONAL and Venture Partner, THE YIELD LAB, BRAZIL
“When you talk about the innovation ecosystem you need to connect all the dots in order for the system to work. We hear a lot about corporates connecting with start-ups, universities and innovation hubs. If all these players are not connected or if you have connections between cooperates and start-ups the ecosystem doesn’t work efficiently as it should.”

Carlos Saviani, Global Sustainability Lead for Animal Nutrition and Health, DSM, SWITZERLAND
“Veramaris has a very novel solution to replace the omega 3 fish oils from the sea and replace it from an algae that is produced from fermentation. It costs a little bit more. The feed manufacturer wasn’t willing to pay the extra price so they couldn’t get the innovation into place and into the fields of salmon. Veramaris had to go down the supply chain and talk to the supermarkets and they weren’t sold on the possibility of using the solution. They had to do an all market research with consumers to find out their needs and get the value they would see form the solution.”

Marcio Caparroz, Market Access Development, Latam, DIAMOND V, BRAZIL
“A lot of novel technologies come from the US and Europe and bringing that to Latin America is a completely different ball park. We have an efficient production system, but we do have tropical weather conditions which makes it completely different to produce in Brazil. We need to adapt anything that comes outside Brazil and find the best approach to use new technologies.”

Supply Chain Optimization

Growth Opportunities in Transparency and Supply Chain Optimization

 

Luis Macias, CEO, GRAINCHAIN, USA
“We are seeing a lot in central and Latin America, people are looking for any opportunity to try new things and get more for their product. If you can show that you have a sustainable operation and a certified growth and prove it, you can get paid more.”

Juliana de Lavor Lopes, Sustainability Director, AMAGGI, BRAZIL
“Connectivity is one of the main challenges in the Brazil countryside. Sometimes you have a very good machine to pilot but not the technology to integrate data with real time, so you use a good machine but can’t use all the data it produces. Productivity gets behind because you can’t manage the changes in time because there is no connectivity. Producers are investing their own money to have connectivity towers and this is a very big action by the producers.”

Marcelo Zanetti, Agribusiness Director – Brazil, PEPSICO, BRAZIL
“We have all kinds of growers in LATAM and we try to bring knowledge in a way our growers can use it. We can leverage the quality standards to all our growers. We have to be able to identify growers and bring technology with training through agro university training to see the best practices and take back to their country. Grower to grower is the best way to transfer technology.”

Transforming Agribusiness with Blockchain

Diego Steverlynck, CEOS4, ARGENTINA
“Big global corporations are using big data and implementing food traceability in their operations. For example, Walmart ran a test with IBM to trace a pack of mangoes back to its farm in China and it took them two seconds to do the traceability process, and with current methods it would have taken them 7 days.”

China-Brazil Relationship

Demand Driving Production

Charles Tang, Chairman, BRAZIL-CHINA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY
“In the last two years, Brazil exported almost 90% of its soybean production to China, alongside other major staples including corn, beef, pork, chicken and, increasingly coffee.

With the growing strategic and commercial alliance between the two giants, Brazil will count on Chinese investments, currently over USD $85bn, with over $150bn loans. China also established an infrastructure $20bn investment fund, with a new port in the north of Brazil to receive the Chinese ships. We’re very actively developing further ports to support grain trade, including in Chile.”

AgTech Acceleration & Incubation

Jumpstarting South America’s Innovation Ecosystem

Kieran Gartlan, Managing Director, THE YIELD LAB
“It’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur in Latin America, especially in agtech. In recent years we’ve seen a big number of new agtech start-ups mostly focused on on-farm agronomic solutions. More recently we’ve seen an explosion of innovation hubs, accelerators and incubators, which has brought new players into the game: farmers, corporates and end users. Now fintech is getting involved in more systemic solutions outside the farm gate, which is significant in scaleability and impact for the whole ecosystem. This is bringing in the larger firms and VCs, who are also looking at start-ups working on marketplace, logistics and infrastructure. It’s all coming together.”

Accelerating Technology Driven Growth

Global Agriculture and Food Production

Rodrigo Iafelice dos Santos, CEO, SOLINFTEC, BRAZIL
“As an ecosystem, as stakeholders within the ag and food production globally, we should stop promising things that will not change or improve the lives of farmers.

“Technology is a means to an end. So when we talk about digital agriculture, we should be very very careful to deliver solutions that improves efficiency, reduces costs or increases yields.”

Consumer Trends

Driving New Opportunities for Food Production in South America

 

Matias MuchnickCEO and Founder, THE NOT COMPANY, CHILE
“We are challenging a whole industry that has been obsolete, where technology and science weren’t the source of innovation for the category of food. We want to help solve the biggest food problems in the industry and disrupt the product side.”

Oswaldo Nardinelli, SVP and General Manager LATAM – Food and Beverage Solutions Division, TATE & LYLE, BRAZIL
“The challenges are huge and not simple. We are facing the biggest challenge on how to evolve, what worked today or in the past will no longer work today and change dramatically. Consumer habits in just the last 3-4 months have changed so fast. We need to adapt quickly. Trends that take 20 years to develop are accelerating faster than ever.”

Gary Brenner, Vice President, Products & Market Development, ALEPH FARMS, ISRAEL
“Technologies are adaptable for each of the countries, we need to involve ourselves with the chefs, to take a whole muscle steak, scale up production and make the final adaptation of the product so it can be enjoyed by people in Tokyo and in São Paulo.”

Ligia Dutra, Head, International Relations Office, CNA, BRAZIL
“We export six products including soybean, poultry, pork, beef, sugar, coffee and we believe we can do this much better. We need more farmers engaged in the export process. Brazil is facing a huge economic crisis right now because of COVID-19, but also because of stricter problems. The agribusiness sector is thriving and so we believe that is happening because farmers are more innovative and dedicated with the work they do.”

Audience Insights

In several sessions, we invited the summit audience to vote on the topics being discussed by the panel, using an audience polling system. See how our audience voted below.

Summit Ecosystem

Just some of the leading agribusinesses, farmers, technology innovators and investors who met up online at the summit. Our ecosystem keeps growing!

Join us in 2021

After such a fantastic launch, we’re already excited to see how we can grow the summit in 2021! Save the date now, and get in touch if you’re interested in taking an active role as a summit partner, speaker or start-up showcase.