Transforming agribusiness in Brazil through tech
Published: Sep 08, 2022
Nutrien is developing a Digital Hub that will help Brazilian growers by turning data into intelligence and providing customized technical recommendations that connect their needs with our products.
Nutrien is on a multi-year journey to help transform agribusiness in Brazil, and our retail and tech teams are collaborating to build and optimize a key tool in that effort: our Digital Hub.
Brazil is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing agriculture markets – the largest producer of soybeans and the third-largest producer of corn, globally. But compared with other countries, its ag retail market is significantly fragmented, with more than 14,000 players vying for a share.
At present, none of these companies have the resources to meet all the crop input and service needs of the grower. But Nutrien Soluções Agrícolas is leading the way in building that infrastructure – through our line of high-value proprietary products, our growing network of cutting-edge Experience Centers, our data-driven logistics system and the Digital Hub.
“We offer tools for crop planning and soil analysis, as well as the best seeds, financial solutions and even management training,” says Ricardo Rossetto, Director of Nutrien’s Information and Digital Systems team in Latin America. “Through our Digital Hub, we will help our growers transform data into intelligence and provide customized technical recommendations that connect their needs with our products.”
An ecosystem in the making
The Hub is being built to provide a single connection point for farmers to access all of the services and resources Nutrien offers in Brazil. It will act as an ecosystem to access services and products, and enable farmers to find the best solutions for each field.
In March 2022 we started a pilot in the region of Minas Gerais to build and test the platform. The pilot has 20 sales representatives and 50 farmers engaged to give user feedback, and data collected from these teams is being leveraged to customize and adapt the tool for eventual rollout across our Brazilian retail operations.
“The main deliverables for this stage in the hub’s development are in field planning, e-commerce and financial solutions,” Ricardo says. “We’ll leverage digital agronomy and enhanced algorithms to deepen recommendation capabilities on seed and custom crop input blends. Our e-commerce tool will provide a seamless buying experience, and our financial solutions platform will deliver detailed information about invoices, order history and credit limits.”
Leveraging what was learned with the experiment in Minas Gerais, adding further discovery sessions with growers and consultants, the journey is approaching a new phase, with the expansion of the Digital Hub to new regions, reaching more than 150 consultants and launching the app version of the platform.
Building on international experience
Nutrien began a similar digital journey in North America in 2018, with the development of the Nutrien Ag Solutions Digital Hub – and teams on the two continents are actively sharing knowledge and technology as each tool takes shape. But due to market, operational, data and software differences, there’s a lot that isn’t transferable.
“Collaboration with North America has given us a very helpful head start, but for practical purposes, we’re developing something new here in Brazil – made-to-order for the Brazilian market, customized to interact seamlessly with our Experience Centers – and optimized to meet the needs of the Brazilian grower,” says Ricardo. “It’s a big task, but we have an inspiring vision and we’re making excellent progress.”
High expectations, huge opportunity
The sales team that will eventually introduce the Hub to Nutrien’s grower customers is playing a key role in the tool’s development, and Tayná Veloso, Nutrien Technical Sales Consultant, says they’re excited by what’s taking shape.
“From the first moment we were presented to the platform, I saw a great opportunity because in the region where I work our clients are technical, rural entrepreneurs and they are always in search of innovation and technology – both here and abroad,” says Tayná. “I see huge potential in the platform to add value to their business and thus stand out in front of the market. My expectations are high, and I can't wait to bring this solution to all my customers.”