ScanTask: Waze for Agriculture
Israel Fraier, who founded ScanTask in 2008 describes the just-out-of-stealth mode company as the Waze of agriculture. Waze, the crowdsourced traffic and mapping tool from Isreal was acquired by Google last year. ScanTask uses crowdsourced data from farmers along with weather data to guide planting, spraying and other field tasks.
Original self-funded ScanTask won a Galileo program grant from the EU and now seeks $4 million for further development and expansion beyond Israeli borders. A pilot program taps more than 1000 farmers cultivating 22,000 plots.
In addition to day to day guidance, the system may be able to serve as an early warning system to prevent damage from pests or severe weather. The government of Peru had to pay considerable compensation to its coffee growers which lost crops during a rust infestation.
The system is unlike Waze. First it's not free: a subscription to AgriTask is about $1 per month per hectare. Second, farmers who unlike drviers are in fact competitors, have an array of privacy features so that other farms cannot see detailed planting or treatment schedules.
The system, which is already multi-lingual can also be used to manage other plant and animal businesses.