July 25, 2018

AgriTask Empowers Farmers with Technology

A thoughtful conversation with Omri Krikeb, the Director of Agricultural Innovations at AgriTask



While new technologies are changing the way cannabis is grown, one international company is empowering farmers across the globe with information resources in an easy to read and understand format. CannabisTech had the opportunity to speak with Omri Krikeb, the Director of Agricultural Innovations at AgriTask, an innovative company leading researchers to better data while leading farmers to healthier crops, bigger harvests, and a better bottom line.

AgriTask’s platform even meets the stringent requirements required by the IMC-GAP or Israeli Medical Cannabis licensing regulations. When asked how the platform was modified to meet the IMC-GAP standards, Krikeb stated, “We sat down with the woman who wrote the protocol and who wrote the IMC-GAP and understood the need to drill down as deep as possible.”

 

Data Driven Solutions at All Levels

Understanding the individual needs and pain points of the IMC-GAP, AgriTask takes traceability to a new level. “Understanding who was the worker who passed next to this plant during the vegetative stage or in flowering stage or who was the guy that harvested this plant? Everything is traceable from the clone, to the mother of the clone, throughout all the process.” The AgriTask platform essentially integrates data sources already in use into one, easy to use system which can be utilized at all levels of the agriculture process including by cultivators, agricultural buyers, insurance providers and even regulatory organizations.

Once the data is collected, a final report or diploma, which includes all the aggregated data as well as relevant lab tests is affixed to the graduated batches and plants. Each plant from the batch receives this diploma with all relevant measurements ensuring traceability and transparency in the growing process.

 

All-Encompassing Data Integration

With such a huge cross-range of data, AgriTask is able to put advanced data collection into the hands of everyone within a cultivation operation. By taking into account the sensors already in use at most facilities, AgriTask simplifies how growers use and analyze the data they collect.

“First of all, we take into account the human sensor,” Krikeb explained. “All the workers get the app, and it’s easy for them to report – no need for any more paper, just one or two clicks, and the information is stored with the right location and attributes of the data it needs.”

Krikeb goes on to explain they can digitize any measurement, from analog measurements, human observations, or sensors which normally wouldn’t speak to each other including inside climate measurements, data from an irrigation computer, or a weather station outside. AgriTask is able to aggregate the data from any data source to make the process easier for farmers. “We integrate them all, we accept them all, and we make the systems speak with each other.”

With this data cultivators create their own complex alarms to be notified of whatever data points are critical to their own individual needs. Even climate or satellite services can be integrated to keep farmers informed about crop conditions, weather conditions and natural disasters.

“We try to make things simple for the farmer. We ask how does he want to consume his data and we give it back to him in a chewable, easy-to-understand way,” Krikeb stated. “We believe he knows what he’s doing better than us, we just need to give him the tools to see what he’s doing, so in time, he can optimize his operations.”

 

Break-Thru Technology Integration

Additionally, AgriTask works with multiple open-field crops in multiple regions of the world where satellite imagery and private drones are blazing a trail as indispensable farming tools. Krikeb explained regardless of the crop, this resolution is highly relevant to the farmer to find areas of stress or nutritional deficiencies. Specifically, Agriculture Insurance companies or assessors, as well as government oversight authorities can gain valuable insight from a drone or satellite image when combined with the data provided by AgriTask.

Krikeb even mentioned drones affixed with a special camera, could possibly be calibrated to measure cannabinoid content to verify when a crop is ready for harvest. “I think this could be a really relevant tool these days with drones or similar cameras,” he said.

 

AgriTask Brings a World of Experience

While AgriTask may be introducing new capabilities for the cannabis industry, this isn’t a new venture for them in the ag industry. “Everything came from different parts we developed for many different companies and clients. For example, the RFID reader for identifying a batch or mother plant… we already use it for cotton bales in Brazil,” Krikeb noted.

“I would say, knowing each farmer is different and each farmer [has] his own pain points and needs even if they grow the same thing as the next door farm… we need to be patient and accept this farmer as he is with his local wisdom,” Krikeb explained while talking about the importance of hearing each farmer’s specific needs, and how AgriTask can help them mitigate issues on an individual basis.

 

A Future in Cannabis and Hemp

Krikeb is excited about the future in the medical cannabis and hemp markets. “A new agricultural crop, I think it is a big opportunity, something interesting and revolutionary,” he proclaimed. AgriTask is currently looking for the right partner to enter the US market, as well as, any other countries which are considering or asking for high-end regulating tools.

Admitting the horizon looks bright for AgriTask, Krikeb said, “There’s a lot of things to do, we hope to help the farmers to join the slow revolution of digitizing the farm.  So, in a few years, I hope we will have more farmers who are doing what they want and the way they want to, though everything is being digitalized and optimized. It’s a huge playground, I think… we are going to have fun!”