In an alarming development, Denmark is facing a concerning rise in nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations in lakes, rivers, and coastal regions. Agricultural runoff is a primary source, creating a depleted, lifeless aquatic environment.
While the road to restoring the quality of Danish waters calls for numerous immediate measures PerPlant, a Danish-Indian startup, believes its agro-technology can contribute to solving the urgent problem of over-fertilization. We spoke with partner Rasmus Emil Hansen to explore how their agro-technology aims to restore water quality in Danish waters and globally.
Q: Who is PerPlant?
A: PerPlant is a pioneering start-up at the forefront of agricultural innovation. We offer precision technology, an advanced sensor technology attached to the tractor’s roof, in an easy plug-and-play solution for farmers. Although we started our company just two years ago, our technology is based on 15 years of research at esteemed institutions such as KTH Stockholm, SLU, and Oxford University.
Q: What distinguishes PerPlant from other agricultural technologies?
A: What sets us apart is the optimization of resources. Through real-time spraying facilitated by sensors, our technology ensures that every drop counts, optimizing the farmer’s yield, time, and financial resources. With our sensors, you see precisely what you spray, promising unparalleled precision and efficiency in every agricultural endeavor. Additionally, the data obtained from the sensor assists farmers in better planning their resources, leading to optimized usage of plant inputs.
Q: How does PerPlant’s technology reduce over-fertilization in agriculture?
A: The sensor detects crop biomass, weed species, soil, and productivity zones, allowing it to determine where to apply fertilizer or plant protection down to the centimeter. This ensures that these substances are only sprayed where needed, reducing 30 percent on fertilizer, 80 percent on herbicide, and 15 percent on fungicide.
Q: The current issue of overfertilization in Denmark doesn’t indicate an interest from farmers in reducing fertilizer usage. How will you convince farmers to use your technology?
Addressing this challenge necessitates departing from conventional thinking and fostering close collaboration with producers. Recognizing that many farmers may need more time to embrace new technology, we emphasize the importance of making our solution user-friendly. Our target is the broader community of farmers, not just first-movers.
Moreover, the economic aspect plays a crucial role. We understand that farmers are more inclined to adopt cost-saving changes. Our technology is competitively priced, and the initial investment is swiftly recouped through substantial savings. Additionally, our technology can boost yields by 2-10 percent.
Q: How do you see PerPlant playing an active role in the green transition?
A: Our technology directly lessens groundwater contamination, benefiting the environment and human health. Our technology prevents over-fertilization caused by the excessive application of nutrients that plants cannot absorb. We provide farmers with crucial insights into their crops’ specific needs, enabling them to make informed decisions and take actions that prevent unnecessary fertilizer application, thus mitigating the pollution of Danish lakes and promoting a more sustainable agricultural landscape.
Q: What is the mission of PerPlant:
A: With a strong emphasis on accessibility, we envision a future where farmers, regardless of their scale of operation, can harness the benefits of precision technology without the burden of high costs or the need for a lot of technical know-how. We want to encourage even small-scale farmers to embark on the green transformative journey by simplifying the integration process. To get them onboard, it must be as easy. We aim to ensure that embracing our precision technology is as easy as reaching for the phone in your pocket.
Q What are your challenges and limitations?
A: We need to identify the right partners to help us penetrate the market on the sales side, which is likely the most significant factor for scalability. Currently, we have 30 sensors deployed on farms testing our equipment, serving as crucial cases for us. Based on these cases, we anticipate attracting additional partners and ongoing funding. Establishing close partnerships with farmers is essential; understanding their challenges is critical to gaining their investment in our product.
Q: How do you benefit from the BLOXHUB ecosystem?
A: Being an integral part of the BLOXHUB community has been great. It brings an added dimension to our team dynamics, and I find it particularly valuable for conducting meetings with my board chairman. We actively network with and learn from sustainability-focused start-ups like 0-Mission. This engagement has proven highly beneficial, offering valuable insights, especially in the context of fundraising. Additionally, having our investor and incubator, Antler, in the same ecosystem enhances our support network. However, we are a niche company and hope to forge closer ties with other Agritech start-ups and food-focused enterprises in the future.
PerPlant is an integrated part of BLOXHUB’s ecosystem with a base in FMG (Fæstningens Materialgaard). For networking or cooperation, please reach out to partner Rasmus Emil Hansen: email@example.com