Agriculture plays an important role in our sustainable development. We are very happy to introduce our partner Linas Agro who will join us at Rockit Acceleration Program. We are interviewing Modestas Sutkaitis, Head of IT Department at Linas Agro group who is presenting the company’s challenge: “Innovations in remote crop (or farm) monitoring and farm credit score estimation to work more efficiently and profitably”.
Hello Modestas, let’s start with a very broad question. What is the vision of sustainable agriculture in Lithuania? How far have we moved in that direction?
The current vision of sustainable agriculture in Lithuania, as in the whole EU, is focused on the reduction of nature pollution and more efficient use of available resources in order to minimize the negative impact of human activities on nature. “Linas Agro” is happy to be a part of that process and to be able to contribute to a cleaner planet. I have to admit that since the very start we have built a business that was oriented to long-term decisions, sustainability, and growth. We always seek soil quality, plant yield, and environmental pollution reduction. We are constantly cooperating with the most experienced breeders to ensure the most adopted plants in our climate zone.
What is more, we want to use the Geoface program to monitor and evaluate crops from satellites, thus saving farmers time, resources and making crop management decisions promptly. I believe that these are big steps towards a more sustainable economy and participation at Rockit Impact Accelerator will be another milestone.
No doubts that your contribution to Rockit Impact Accelerator will bring new and important changes to the ecosystem. Can you also tell us when and why has Linas Agro started believing that sustainable innovation can be financially beneficial?
Linas Agro has always paid increased attention to sustainable innovations that allow more efficient use of available resources and higher returns from the tools used in the agriculture business. This mindset leads Linas Agro to success because we always aimed to help our customers achieve better results while maintaining sustainability.
Your mindset is really inspiring! But are there any challenges you are facing today by working in the agriculture industry?
The main challenges we face today are to remain leaders in the development and application of innovative technologies in agriculture in Lithuania and the region. We strive to remain competitive in the markets where products grown or produced in Lithuania or the Baltic States are exported.
Sustainability policies and ambitions to reduce the use of natural resources, climate change and pollution vary from country to country. The cost of any production in such countries which has low ambitions towards sustainability will be lower and they will have a competitive advantage in export markets. Although technology adoption in agriculture has a long way to go, we believe that this is the right way to be sustainable and competitive at the same time.
Working in this area for many years you probably have seen many great case studies of successful businesses in the market. Could you share several examples that are inspiring you as a company?
Three decades ago, when Linas Agro started the business, agriculture in Lithuania was very underdeveloped. There was a great lack of knowledge about plant growing and the technical park was very poor.
However, the desire to improve and apply the experience of Western Europe in Lithuanian farms helped to take strong first steps. There was constant communication with scientists and at the same time the development and application of cultivation technologies on farms, which helped to achieve better results for farmers working with Linas Agro every year.
Could you name 3 startup characteristics that would make the team perfect to solve your challenge?
A decent level of a technological solution, the ability to adapt innovation to our project, domain knowledge in farming.
What do you think are your company's biggest strengths and values that you will bring and share with startups at the ROCKIT impact accelerator?
Our biggest strength is our wide range of activities across the group of companies. Linas Agro multiple businesses, related to agriculture across the Baltic states. So we’re able to adopt various types of startups. We believe that we will bring a holistic point of view of agriculture to the ROCKIT Impact accelerator.
Thank you very much for your time and valuable insights! See you at Rockit Impact Accelerator very soon!