Behind the United States, the Netherlands is the world’s second largest exporter of agricultural products. According to Wageningen Economic Research and Statistics Netherlands, its agricultural exports totaled to a record €105B in 2021. These milestones were achieved thanks to the industry players’ efficiency and continuous innovation. 

Currently, the Netherlands houses 24,000 acres of greenhouse crops. It also produces around 4 million cows, 13 million pigs, and 104 million chickens annually. 

Various major companies have set up their research centers in the country. This includes 15 of the top agricultural businesses such as Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Kraft Heinz, and Cargill. 

Other than the major international companies, the country houses innovative homegrown startups with a fresh take on the agricultural industry. Below are our top picks.

Connecterra

Founder(s): Saad Ansari, Yasir Khokhar

Founded: 2014

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Funding: $18.3M (€16.85M)

Hiring: Yes, check job opportunities here

Founded in 2014 by Saad Ansari and Yasir Khokhar, Connecterra’s mission is to transform the dairy farming industry with AI. Based in Amsterdam, it aims to increase dairy production while reducing environmental impact. 

Connecterra has developed two main products. The first is Ida, a sensor-based platform that gathers data on the health and activity of dairy cows. These sensors monitor movement, eating habits, and rumination, among other variables. Ida allows farmers to make informed decisions about feeding, breeding, and veterinary care.

The second one is the Connecterra AI platform, which gathers information to offer predictive analysis. It aims to reduce dairy farming’s environmental footprint through efficient resource use.

Last year, Connecterra sold its sensor business to Datamars, a Swiss company specialising in high-performance RFID solutions. Despite Datamars taking a majority share in the sensor business, Connecterra continues to operate as an independent entity.

30Mhz

Founder(s): Flavia Paganelli, Fleur van Vliet, Jasper Geurtsen, Jurg van Vliet

Founded: 2014

Funding: €11.4M

Hiring: Yes, check job opportunities here

30MHz was founded in 2014 by Flavia Paganelli, Fleur van Vliet, Jasper Geurtsen, and Jurg van Vliet. Based in Amsterdam, the company’s data platform uses both hardware and software to support the agricultural sector. Its primary goal is to facilitate a more sustainable way of growing produce. 

30MHz’s climate computers monitor and control the climate within greenhouses and other controlled environments. They provide data on temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, and other parameters. It also develops a range of sensors that measure soil moisture, light levels, air quality, and other variables that affect crop growth. 

With more than 30 employees, the startup serves more than 330 customers across 30 countries. Ultimately, it aims to connect stakeholders in the agricultural industry and help them be more sustainable. 

Solynta

Founder(s): Hein Kruyt, Pim Lindhout

Founded: 2007 

Funding: €39.6M

Hiring: Yes, check job opportunities here

Solynta is a breeding and biotechnology company founded by Hein Kruyt and Pim Lindhout in 2007. 

The company dabbles in potato breeding by developing GMO-free (Genetically Modified Organism) hybrid potato varieties. Solynta’s hybrid potatoes can be propagated through true potato seed (TPS) rather than diseased and bulky seed.

Solynta’s method results in superior potatoes with logistical and phytosanitary advantages. Its new varieties can meet commercial quantities 500 times faster than traditional seed tubers. According to Solynta, only 25 grams of TPS is required to plant one hectare of land in comparison to 2,500 kgs of potato seed tubers.

In 2021, the company raised €21M in its Series C round of funding from a consortium of investors. According to CEO Hein Kruyt, the funding would help scale the company to address the challenges of the potato supply chain.

Agcurate

Founder(s): Berk Ülker, Metin Emenullahi, Osman Baytaroglu

Founded: 2021

Funding: Undisclosed

Hiring: No

Agcurate is an agritech startup founded in 2021 by Berk Ülker, Metin Emenullahi, and Osman Baytaroglu. Based in Arnhem, it provides agricultural intelligence as a service to agribusinesses, agri-finance institutions, and governments. The startup graduated from Start Life in Wageningen, facilitated by OostNL, and is raising its pre-seed funding round.

Agcurate’s mission is to make agriculture more investable, sustainable, and resilient against climate change. Through satellite imagery and proprietary AI technology, the company recommends actions related to crop cultivation. 

Its AI algorithms process the satellite data to detect various crop conditions, such as growth stages, health, and potential issues like pests or diseases.

Agcurate is currently expanding its reach and offerings. In May, it acquired Dr. Agro, an agronomy expert in Azerbaijan known for its extensive network in the region. This acquisition helps Agcurate in servicing CPG food companies.

Sensoterra

Founder(s): Eduard Zanen, Erik Damen, Jurriaan Ruys, Mark Ruys

Founded: 2015

Funding: €3M

Hiring: Yes, check job opportunities here

Sensoterra is a company that develops wireless, low-cost soil moisture sensors. Founded in 2015 by Eduard Zanen, Erik Damen, Jurriaan Ruys, and Mark Ruys, it focuses on helping growers and landscapers save water.

With the world’s freshwater supplies dwindling, Sensoterra’s technology answers a critical need in agriculture. According to the company, almost all growers over-irrigate by 60 per cent. 

With Sensoterra’s sensors, which provide precise data on soil moisture, growers can reduce water usage by up to 30 per cent.

Furthermore, optimised irrigation makes sure that crops receive the right amount of water. Aside from healthier plants and better yields, the sensors also prevent issues related to over-watering like root rot. 

FieldBee

Founder(s): Alexey Bogatyryov, Michael Utkin

Founded: 2014

Funding: €1.2M

Hiring: Yes, check out vacancies here

Founded in 2014 by Alexey Bogatyryov and Michael Utkin, FieldBee wants to make precision accessible to small and medium-sized farmers. It provides machine automation and fieldwork digitisation to help farmers improve productivity and minimise environmental impact.

FieldBee’s GPS guidance systems help farmers in navigating their fields. These systems are compatible with various types of farming machinery, including tractors, spreaders, and combines. The solution reduces equipment wear and extends its lifetime.

It uses Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) technology to minimise GPS signal distortions. With FieldBee, machinery positions are primed for seasonal tasks such as planting, spraying, and harvesting. 

Aside from reducing time and labour, farmers can optimise water use and eliminate the over-application of chemicals.

Trabotyx

Founder(s): Mohamed Boussama, Tim Kreukniet

Founded: 2020

Funding: €645,000

Hiring: No

Trabotyx, founded in 2020 by Mohamed Boussama and Tim Kreukniet, is an agritech startup developing precision farming robots. Its robots automate weed control and improve field performance monitoring. Also designed to support sustainable agriculture, the robots can reduce chemical usage. 

The robot’s wheelbase is adjustable, therefore, it can navigate different field layouts and accommodate different crop types. This flexibility guarantees that the robot can be used in various farming environments.

It works by targeting weeds located near the crops, especially in areas that require manual weeding. The robots are capable of inter and intra-row weeding. Therefore reducing the need for chemical herbicides. Minimising chemical runoff and soil contamination results in healthier ecosystems.

In addition to weeding, Trabotyx robots monitor field conditions and crop performance. They collect data on various things, such as soil health, plant growth, and pests.

Trabotyx claims that its solution allows farmers to instantly save 25 per cent on labour costs. Regardless of farm size, the company wants to make its robots widely accessible to small and medium-sized farmers.

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