About robots, IT and business-angels in berry farming

iBerry Ukraine > Blog > Без рубрики > About robots, IT and business-angels in berry farming

Intriguing approaches to working in NickDarius “(TM” iBerry “), without exaggeration, break stereotypes about the berry business. When-“i” rate in the name of the brand “iBerry” emphasizes the company’s commitment to inno-: the farm is actively introducing IT-tech-nology want to attract robots to collect harvest and eventually build an enterprise euro-pey sample. How exactly – about this magazine Nalu Yagodnik was told by Evgeny Kharlan, Director of Strategy and Development iBerry enterprise “Nikdariya”.
A few words – about the farm, located in Radomyshlsky district of Zhytomyr region. This berry project covers an area of ​​about 100 hectares, 12 of which are devoted to organic production. Blueberries are grown here. On the field already injected standards GlobalGAP, recently one of the group companies iBerry received an organic certificate for land.
This year, the farm has collected a small, so called the signal harvest of berries. Already through not how many years the blueberry plantation will be complete fruiting. The company has made a landing on material of world leaders – Fall Creek and Kusibab-Wyka, as well as advanced nurseries of Ukraine – “Frutek” and “Valley of Agro”. The sorta planted classic: Duke, Chandler, Bluegold, Bleukrop, Spartan, Elliot.

“Berry”: Eugene, what is the essence of the director on the strategy and development of berry farming?
Eugene KHARLAN: The word “director” in itself

It sounds very loud and proudly – this is a person who controls who is in all economic activity and is located in course of everything. Definitely – it’s not about me. Probably, I am an ideologue of the project, form a business philosophy and direction vector without deep detail. Answer for such concepts as vision (i.e. integrated vision anything auth.), the mission and resulting from them strategy. I define “where to run” and how to do it.
– thinks and embodies a team of like-minded people.
“Berry”: Interestingly, your team is building its berry project by type of a certain western enterprises or is it a collective image?
E.Kh .: The main goal of our project is payback.
in well-defined terms without loss of quality prerequisites for further growth. As a means to carrying the results of our work to investors we use information interpreted in a certain way.

For some, this is reminiscent of the business model.
Carried in a Western pattern. Perhaps I have it is difficult. One thing for sure: we try be transparent for this category of investors as venture funds and business angels (i.e. private financial venture investor expert support for companies in the early stages development – approx. auth.)
“Berry”: What are the new technologies and innovations implemented in “Nikdaria”? Perhaps there are innovations which is not in other Ukrainian farms?
E.Kh .: When I ask you, I recall a poem Mikhalkov: “And in our apartment gas. And you?”. We would not wanted to compare themselves with others, it can cause misunderstanding and mutual envy that is not desirable only in our, but also in any other business.

Of course, we strive to introduce innovative here, here are some examples. AgriLab has created for us interactive field map that allows
It’s very convenient to analyze soil analysis on Google maps.

and clearly shows how we have soils. Blueberry plantation in LLC “Nikdariya” never watered. In every cell the fields are special sensors – “votermaki” very accurately measuring soil moisture.
They tell agronomists the best time. for watering blueberries

We have automated and established a remote control irrigation and fertilization systems electronic humidity sensors were installed on all cells watering that allow to monitor humidity soil installed weather station with automatic protocols of temperature and speed statistics wind and precipitation in cloud services.

We independently installed GSM signal amplifiers Nala mobile communications and now do not depend on mobile operators who for two years refused to improve
network coverage in our region.

Our company also introduced a biometric Troll time accounting. Installed on the field special fingerprint sensor workers online, greatly facilitated
accounting and control of labor resources. Remotely possible see how many people work on the field when someone came, went and stuff.

On all motorized vehicles we introduced same GPS tracking control. Now we are trying to use unmanned aerial vehicles for the security service but this experiment is far from complete.

“Berry”: from my own experience, what advise you to introduce innovations in berries farms?

E.Kh .: I would be in the first place at every enterprise installed GPS trackers for motorized vehicles and biometric control of working time. Is not-expensive, but very effective things. For example, the device for biometric accounting of staff time costs about 15 thousand UAH. In fact, he replaces work one employee leading the tilling of the worker of time. As far as I know, at the beginning of this years such a device throughout Ukraine was only on our company, although you can buy it from dealers in Ukraine, and directly through Aliexpress.

“Berry”: Most of the processes on your mission can be controlled via mobile phone background or laptop. How often do you use it?

E.Kh .: Our company can really
control at a distance – through applications in mobile Nome phone and not only. For example, I can completely manage the irrigation system, get statistics control system errors and operations
to receive information about the malfunction of the equipment ore. Even cleaning the filter station completely automated.
But we use remote control not so much for direct management of the berry project, how much to control and maintain remote statistics.

The operating business is managed by a director;
mi agronomy – chief agronomist. Technology data designed to simplify accounting. At the same time control function configured so that you can see the maximum statistical information from anywhere on the planet and at certain moments be able to take management into your own hands.
“Berry”: Which of the IT-technologies that everywhere but used in European berry, in Ukraine still unclaimed?
E.Kh .: New trend is the robotization of all processes without exception. Another interesting direction – automation of security functions: remote control using motion sensors and remote support broadcast without human intervention.

“Berry”: Maybe you are intrigued by some something new inventions seen at international exhibitions?
E.Kh .: Robots. We are very interested in robots. We are Laughing at the final stage of the announcement of the competition on the development of a robotic shipping platforms.

We are faced with an interesting challenge: re harvest there is a stage when the berry after harvesting some time is on the field – until it is collected a batch for its transportation in the refrigerator. In it while the berry lies on the ground, heats and loses its condition Now the question of its delivery is solved by buying a low-powered tractor with a trailer. Add a
to this mechanic who needs to be hired for tractor control – with all the risks associated with the uniqueness of the human soul.
Our idea is to find developers, which will create a machine capable of transporting up 30 kilograms of berries from the field into the fridge without man’s attraction to the process. Actually
the picker will pick the berries and the platform robot send it immediately to the fridge. After performance tasks the robot will go back to the collector for new batch of raw materials.

If everything goes as planned, we are essentially we steal the period of berry delivery from the field to the system of cool cooling that should have a positive impact on the quality of the final product. This is an indirect effect.
from the introduction of this development. A direct effect – this is a decent tractor driver’s salary and savings buying a robotic platform that costs much cheaper than a tractor.


“Berry”: The plans of your farm – to expand
rhenium. Will increase the area or expand business performance?
E.Kh .: Berry business is a long game. Question efficiency always comes first. Bye our the project is at the stage of investment, about the point without unprofitability is too early to say. But planning to expand We’re making plans for 2019. Unequivocally let’s start working on the infrastructure of the project: warehouses, repair base, office, refrigerator, dormitories, etc.

“Berry”: How expensive it is today to lay darling project?

E.Kh .: All individually. But definitely: real in-the development in the creation of a bluefish farm is greater than those which consultants say. In our project, for example,

The main surprise was the cost of creating oro-system. In fact on the fertigation system we spent twice as much money as expected.
The company conducts a protocol of all data.
about temperature, precipitation, wind blueberry plantation. When will be in a year?
accumulated enough statistical observations of the wind rose, in the company analyze the feasibility of building wind generators and solar panels in their field

(TM “iBerry”):

– All last season our blue plant we watered and fertilized with the help of automated fertigation system “Talgil” company with the possibility of tantal control. My personal impression
– This is a super bonus for an agronomist. I can not imagine more efficient field care without its electronic control system.
If earlier in manual mode for watering and application fertilizers on 30 hectares of a field to one specialist had to spend a whole working day, now using the Talgil system, 3-4 is enough
hours This greatly simplifies production.
process. In addition, the system is beneficial in that it allows can accurately control the flow of water and fertilizer minimizes the influence of the human factor.

Thanks to Talgil, I can water the cells like

separately as well as in a certain combination
water cubicles, fertilizers and chemicals with
up to grams. For blueberries, for example, very

important acidity (pH) and conductivity
(mS / cm) of water. If it does not match the specified
parameters, the system can inform you about it
on mobile and continue working stop
whole process or adjust the parameters to
necessary and continue to work.

The Talgil system is very flexible – I can program
imitate it as it suits me — right up to

that it will function automatically

mode seven days a week. You can work and remove
Lenno – controlling the process using the application

in the mobile phone. The main thing – that was not
Internet network failures. However, periodically you need
observe the work process – to control

availability of fertilizer and acid in tanks to
prevent watering or fertigation stop

Also included with the Talgil system is
We are Azud brand automatic disc filters,

an order improving the whole process of watering. Before
as water comes directly from the pool

in the highway, it passes automatic filters
traws that cleanse it without
telstva So, for the entire season of operation, we only

checked incoming and outgoing from time to time
water pressure on the filter monitor – that’s all!
I would like to separately note that to design,
install and configure the software, and
also provide appropriate support
– not many can. We directly worked with
two companies: “EUCALIPT R” and “ProfPoliv”,

which just can provide the above
ny complex of services.

“Berry”: Your company provides equipment in
rent, and experts help those who want to break
blueberry plantations. How ready are the Ukrainian
farms to such outsourcing offers?
E.Kh .: Yes, we try to help like-minded people.

Recently, we had an interesting meeting with one foreign
cem. He planted in the Zhytomyr region 10 hectares

asparagus and blueberries. So, he has real problems
with the local population: by virtue of mental and class
disagreements with a businessman elementary “milked” money
for every little thing, including renting any
technology. So people need help.
Today the market has an interesting situation:
specialists in the creation of berry farms are very
Included with the system “Talgil” installed disk
Azud brand automatic filters that improve
watering process

little specialized technology is also lacking.
At the same time buy it for farms with an area of ​​less than 20

hectares economically unreasonable. Here we are
Does this market offer rental equipment and

consulting in landing.
Berry: In one of your interviews you said that
“Berry business is too complicated.” In production
berries of extra-class what is the difficulty?
E.Kh .: Berry business is multifactorial and insane

difficult, because in recent years, apart from the task of “growing
tit ”, the task appeared“ to sell ”. The situation is complicated
unpredictable private offers

sector. For such market participants, berries grown
Naya in the garden, does not have the concept of cost. They

try to play with the price, not realizing that the price is
The yns never led to anything good. Exactly

therefore, the lowest available price to achieve

the payback point no longer exists. How to compete
vat with such players? Only non-price methods.

Yagodnik: Eugene, you defended your candidate

on food security. Why choose
Is this topic exactly? What dangers lurk

in berry growing?
E.Kh .: Food Security Issues
stood before humanity always, only vectors in

last decades have changed dramatically. Pain-
Most of our compatriots understand these trends.

the old way: how to solve food issues
independence from other countries, the desire to be full
now and stay confident in the future. But
in an era of globalization and lack of borders the world has changed
dramatically, now in a developed part of the world
the question is not malnutrition, but the opposite – in overeating!

Did you know that nowadays more people are dying
em from obesity than from hunger? It is associated with this

promotion of berry products. People are no longer

They want to eat “unfortunate” animals that are raised
inhumane conditions. Humanity requires

all prefix fresh-, eco-, organic-, snake-, smart and

health. These are the trends that are now driving the
the power market. Now the phrase ”
imperial security “is not the need to be

well fed, and the desire to be healthy. And berries are the basics.
Noah way to get closer to a healthy lifestyle.

“Berry”: In your opinion, is it enough today at
Ukraine berry farms – given the capacity of the market?
Is there enough space for everyone in the sun?
E.Kh .: There are already too many players for the Ukrainian market.
For a qualitative expansion into foreign markets – they are still

too little. I think that in the near future
The market in the berry market will resemble the one we

already seen in 2005-2008 in the construction market,

then – in the automotive market. Violent hysteria pro-
lasts another couple of years until the first loud

bankruptcy and takeover businesses. Then euphoria
will end, and normal work will begin.


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