What will the new agricultural business model look like? Find it out!
To meet the increasingly demanding consumers, it is necessary to adapt! In search of a healthier life, many people have adopted the habit of seeking to know the origin and guarantee the quality of the food they eat.
The debate about natural and organic products brings new challenges to the agricultural sector. In addition to meeting demand, it is necessary to diversify production, keep an eye on the increased interest in supply, and avoid waste.
Another decisive factor for the agricultural sector is the growing concern with the environment, the low impact of the productions, and the contact with the soil. And understand what the land gives, when and how it gives. In short, to respect nature’s time.
For this reason, the traditional production models may no longer meet the new demands. This is the case of commercial agriculture (intended for export) and intensive agriculture, which use a lot of inputs in all stages of the process, pest-immune seeds, herbicides, insecticides, etc.
But, after all, what is the new agricultural business model?
New agricultural business model: developing with society
With social changes, it is up to the agricultural sector to innovate, bringing techniques and tools that make sense for the new demand and that are capable of optimizing production, ensuring efficiency and profitability for rural producers.
Within these new agricultural models, the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a form of agriculture supported and previously financed by a local community, and which produces more sustainably, correctly applying pesticides.
Through a collaborative economy, this model splits costs and tasks and gives the farmers security to plant and harvest with guarantee that they will have buyers. Thus, consumers become co-farmers, actively participating in the process and maintaining direct contact with the producer.
Aligned with the concept of extensive agriculture, the CSA respects the natural time of planting and harvesting food, as well as its seasonality — despite having a lower productivity.
In addition to decoupling production from the commercial market, the feasibility and expansion of CSA as a new agricultural model reflects not only on people’s health, but also on their way of understanding nature, the environment, and local dynamics.
How to use technology in favor of new models?
Just as the proposal of a new agricultural model can change the routine of traditional farming, some technologies also tend to do so. For example, the use of autonomous equipment with wireless machines, guided by GPS signal and that can be controlled through computers or mobile devices, to assist and facilitate human work in some activities.
Soon, this type of tool may reduce the need for skilled labor in the field, bringing benefits and increasing productivity even for extensive agriculture, of which human labor is an indispensable part.
Still, concerning technology, drones help to monitor planted areas with precision, saving the manager’s time and money. With these tools, it is possible to follow the development of the plantation, demarcate regions for new plantings, and detect pests, diseases, and fire outbreaks.
Through the use of drones, remote monitoring is another practice capable of optimizing rural performance, through systems that do not require the physical presence of people.
Other bets that promise to change the routine in the plantations by 2020 are:
Commitment to sustainability
Nowadays, it is impossible to think positively about our future without involving sustainable issues with social and behavioral impact in the relationship with the environment.
That is why the new agricultural models have this concern at all stages. The attention and care for the environment go from planting to the final product, delivered with quality and low impact.
Growth of the market for tracked products
To ensure the origin and guarantee the quality of final products, the union of the automation of processes with a traceability system enables control and monitoring of the work, whether in production units, processors, or already distributors.
Strengthening of biotechnology
With the increasing number of consumers concerned about product quality, it is necessary to create alternatives to produce food and renewable energy while preserving natural resources.
And this is possible with the help of biotechnology. Applied to the science of agriculture, it discovers new techniques capable of optimizing production in the agricultural sector and operates in line with sustainability.
Besides the advances in technology and machines that work alone, the presence of the agronomist is indispensable to uniting medicine and agriculture.
This work is carried out in the application and management of products used for pest control without harming the healthy development of the plants.
Precision agriculture is the multidisciplinary term that encompasses the others. This is the bet that most sparks the fascination with technology and the future of the agricultural sector.
In 2012, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply (Mapa), when establishing the Brazilian Precision Agriculture Commission (CBAP), defined the concept as “an agricultural management system based on the spatial and temporal variation of the production unit and that aims to increase economic return, sustainability, and minimize environmental effects”.
In other words, it is a system concerned with an economic, sustainable, and environmental results.
How can the Business Model Canvas and the CSA contribute to these changes in agricultural production?
A Business Model Canvas is based on the following pillars: infrastructure (including partners, activities, and value proposition), customers (customer relationships, channels, customer segments), and financials (cost structure and revenue streams). From these elements, it is possible to test new business modalities, such as the CSA.
To facilitate this, SEBRAE (Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service) has prepared a guide focused on vegetables, through which the producer can draw his own Sustainable Business Model Canvas in a simplified and straightforward way.
The CSA is a new sustainable agricultural business model. The main focus is unite consumers willing to finance a production to guarantee the farmer that everything he produces will be consumed.
In other words, it is a proposal that respects social ties and tends to change the culture and the bond people have with the environment and the local producer. A co-farming relationship develops between those responsible for the production and the community involved in that CSA. Thus, everyone follows the process closely, understands and values the producer’s work even more.
To meet this new agricultural model, the market needs to use all the technologies that can favor it. This is how precision agriculture comes to help. The junction of innovative trends and technological advancements can take greater dimensions.
If well worked alongside companies that act towards these new demands, precision agriculture can help change the practice of an intensive business model through more sustainable and ecological practices, such as CSA, without drastically affecting production and profitability.
What is your opinion: do you think there will be significant changes in the current agricultural business model? How will technologies adapt to the CSA model (Community Sustaining Agriculture)? Tell us about it here in the comments!