As the new year begins, I have been taking a little time to look around at what we have achieved, and what we aim to achieve this year. Taking stock and looking forward is necessary as a growing and ambitious business – but it is not always easy to find the time. As soon as an opportunity arises the natural inclination is to pursue it wholeheartedly, as long as it is strategically aligned with what we want to achieve. This can conflict with taking the necessary breather, but running before one can walk is sometimes necessary for companies like us.
The beginning of a year is the right time to start looking into the crystal ball and find our way to success. We are even questioning what exactly we mean by success. Where can we have the most impact, and what do we need to do to get there? We are confident that our predictive and prescriptive analytics are unique, but in their flexibility comes myriad options for future growth. Which to prioritise first?
We have some exciting projects planned
We start the year with at some certainty of what is to come. We know that:
- We will continue to productify our unique combination of remote sensed data and computational simulations, and release our services to select clients.
- We will be working on climate adaptation for smallholder agriculture in the South Pacific with a large, international consortium. The CommonSensing project, co-funded by the UKSA, began in 2018 and will now run until 2021. We are proud to assist the governments of Fiji, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands with measures for climate adaptation for agriculture.
- We will be assisting in an African Development Bank Project on new business models for shea production in West Africa, applying our remote sensing and simulation expertise to find the optimal production sites.
- We will complete our project with UN-IFAD in Senegal, Mali and Cameroon, capping it off by handing over the project results to IFAD HQ in Rome. Our prescriptive analytics for infrastructure and agriculture investments make it possible to assess short and long term impacts of different scenarios.
- We will get smarter by working with farmers, experts and practitioners, improving the value of our services along the way.
Aside from those certainties, we have a lot under development. Some of our projects are likely to expand in scope and time. We will be sure to keep you up to date with new activities, as and when we are able to share them!
Time for challenges and growth
Every business, crop and geography has its unique challenges, and key to our model is to extract the generic features of these systems whilst maintaining the flexibility needed for each crop. We have our work cut out for us, but I am confident that we have the perfect core team to find the solutions. We will, however, need more hands on deck, and we will be looking to recruit new colleagues who are intrigued by the challenge of how to best manage land.
Here’s to a fantastic 2019 – a year we hope will deliver services for global agriculture that can facilitate resilience, productivity and profitability. When I write next year’s update I am confident I will be telling you about how our technology has made a positive impact for global agriculture.