A 2012 European regulation obliges farmers, regardless of the extension, to carry out detailed controls over the use of crop protection products and other chemical components that they use in their crops. The penalties carried out by withholding in PAC assistance are up to 20% depending on the violation. The field booklet must be made available to the relevant authorities, be they local council staff, regional agricultural offices or Seprona representatives. These could appear at the farm in person at any time and request the field booklet.
It’s not that farmers are ignorant of the rules in force because the collection of European aid from the PAC depends on their compliance, but they tend to put off this task.
This helps to avoid the solution of the startup founded by Cropti, among others Eugene Fernandezagricultural engineer and Alvaro R. Moya, Telecommunications Engineer. Complementary and multidisciplinary profiles who are knowledgeable in the field and have recognized the need for a simple tool to keep this documentation up to date.
What they offer is an application that requires internet access and allows the farmer to make daily notes in his field notebook from his mobile device, tablet or computer. The license can be purchased at a price of €69-89, is renewable annually and includes a completely free trial period. A proposal that seems convincing but has to overcome the obstacle of being a technological product for an unfamiliar goal. Only 10% of farmers are under 40 years old.
For this reason, in addition to dealing with the end customer, Cropti has developed a version for companies in the sector that allows them to manage several field notebooks at the same time, such as could offer the service as an added value. It is in this branch that most of the income is generated.
They started with the legally required €3,000 to set up the company in 2014 and added prizes like the IX. ICADE Business Club Entrepreneurship Contest or the prize for the best project promoted by ActuaUPM students. Competition organized by UPM. They have also been given a place in the Business Accelerator area31 of the Instituto de Empresa, which will help them with their business initiation.
They know that agrotechnology is a sector with high growth potential and that it requires a model of constant, sustainable, collaborative and digital updating, which is why the Cropti team sees it as an exciting challenge “to bring a sector as critical as agriculture to a certain level.” to improve the point in time when the greatest technological push in history is needed to ensure access to food for the entire world population in the future”.