High technologies in the agritech segment are making inroads into what has been considered “dilapidated” Russian agriculture. For example, a smart system has been successfully adopted at a cattle farm called Village Dairy in the Kemerovo Region, in Siberia.
The system for cattle monitoring, designated MTS Smart Farming, came from MTS, one of Russia’s top mobile operators.
At the heart of the system are a plastic capsule with sensors inside and special software. Farm employees use special equipment and an absolutely painless, less than a minute long procedure to transfer the capsule into a cow’s abdomen where the system stays for as long as the animal lives—and the farm management says cows with the system inside live longer than others thanks to ongoing health data monitoring.
The solution helps vets diagnose diseases, including inflammatory processes, locomotor disorders and many others, at a very early stage. The sensors are reported to be able to “feel” a disease five days ahead of its visual symptoms on average. The beginning of estrum (sexual heat) and delivery can be forecasted in a cow with a reported accuracy of 90+%.
The smart farm system is run via a cloud service, with each animal getting a digital passport that collects all the necessary information, including body temperature, locomotion activity, vaccinations, and an individual insemination calendar.
With the MTS Smart Farming, employees/farmers do not have to look after cows all the time—the system does that all on its own, generating a list of daily activities and monitoring its completion. The system also automatically generates an assumption on why health deterioration, like body temperature elevation, has occurred. That is believed to ensure a 15% reduction of antibiotics consumption and help expect delivery 15 hours before it actually begins. The average increase in farm operation efficiency with the solution is an estimated 15-25%.
According to venture platform AgFunder estimates, global investment in agritech has risen 250% over the past five years, reaching $19.8bn in 2019. TMT Consulting forecasted double-digit growth in Russia by 2022 to $80+m.