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Part of MIT DeltaV Cohort 2019

©2018 by Viridis RS

Understanding small scale farmers at plot level 

Viridis RS uses proprietary algorithms for affordable large scale monitoring of small plot agriculture to help build better futures for smallholder farmers 

Why monitor smallholder farms? 

There are 500 million farmers with less than 2 hectares of land in the world, making up the majority of the poorest of the world population. They face increased risk of crop failure due to changing weather. Not only extreme weather more frequent, but also warmer weather brings different types of pests and diseases to new areas where farmers may not know how to deal with them. 

Increasing productivity and reducing risks for farmers are urgent problems, but lack of data makes it difficult for banks to lend money to farmers for productivity enhancing investments, and insurers to provide affordable crop insurance protection. 

Viridis RS uses light aircraft mounted with multispectral cameras for low cost, large scale monitoring of small plot agriculture. Our proprietary algorithms, developed at MIT, optimize the process by enabling the airplane to fly as high as possible while keeping plot level resolution.

 
Each farmer is unique

Even within the same village, two farmers growing the same crop will have wildly different yields, sometimes even 10 times difference. This means that each farmer needs to be treated as an individual.

Viridis RS believes that smallholder farmers should and can get services as individuals, whether it is insurance, loans, or farming advice. 

 
 

Heejae Cho, CEO

Heejae is a qualified actuary and has worked in reinsurance industry for 18 years. She holds BA Hon in Mathematics from University of Cambridge and MBA from MIT Sloan.

Mark Jeunnette, Chief Scientist

Mark earned his PhD in 2018 studying the use of remote sensing for crop monitoring with support from the MIT Tata Center for Technology and Design. Mark holds SB, SM and PhD from MIT.