By Nico Reinoso, VP, South America
This was a shot taken during our session at this year’s South America Summit. Great discussion!
Agriculture is a global industry, and having a baseline understanding of how the market works is key to building a successful strategy for a new product. But our world is complex and dynamic: Just as no two farmers’ fields are the same, no two countries operate the same way, no two innovations are alike, and so on.
I thought about this in greater detail during the most recent World Agri-Tech Innovation – South America Summit, at which IN10T was the proud Innovation Sponsor. The Summit had hundreds of participants from around the globe, many of whom were based in South America. I spoke with Jose Tomé, CEO of AgTech Garage, and Camila Petignat, partner at The Yield Lab LATAM, about the importance of and barriers to accelerating ag tech adoption; we focused much of the conversation around efforts in South America.
Our discussion went by so fast – I could talk with such bright individuals all day! – but it got me thinking even more about how we would apply our conversation beyond South America.
The approach to agriculture, trialing new products, and adopting innovative technologies can be dramatically different across borders. Farming on a global scale to provide for a growing population is simply more complicated than placing a seed in some soil and watching it grow.
Here I am at a field trial in Argentina during this year’s growing season.
After more than two decades working in agriculture on a global scale, I have witnessed these truths firsthand. I’ve learned so much about different cultures, including the nuances across my own native region of South America.
I’ve learned a great many things and continue to learn about how to work in global ag, but I’ve found a few themes that continue to rise to the top.
- Local knowledge and experience are key. It has always served me well to lean on the expertise of the people who live and farm in the target market area. The locals are the most familiar with the regional agronomic behaviors, they’ll know the customs of that area, and they’ll know who to talk to and how to talk to them. And – importantly! – they can speak the language! As an Argentinian, I have traveled to Brazil many times, but I always rely on my local contacts to be able to guide me and answer some of my most pressing questions. Which brings me to my next tip…
- Expand your network. You will not gain market knowledge by neglecting to look outside of your immediate network. Build and foster relationships with professionals and farmers in other regions. Our team does the same: Many of us have years of experience working in roles with global scope. It’s the kind of experience and networking prowess that you can’t fast-track or simulate. Even now, as we prepare to work on a project in the European market, my colleagues and I are initializing efforts by reaching out to our established contacts to get started.
- Leverage outside expertise and reach out for help. This might sound the same as networking, but it’s not; you may need outside help – beyondyour network – and that’s okay! Perhaps you have a great product and want to launch it into a new market that seems like a perfect match. You’ve done a lot of hard work: You can speak to the science, the agronomics, and the solution that farmers need. But it’s important not to underestimate the value in devising a proper route-to-market strategy or conducting market research in your target region.
Providing those commercial services is where IN10T thrives. It’s what we’ve done well time and again, in many markets, with many products. It’s the kind of expertise you just might need.
One of the best parts of my job at IN10T is that I regularly get the opportunity to exercise the muscles of my global ag experience. We’ve worked with clients ranging from U.S., Canada, Israel, Argentina, Brazil, and more, and we continue to learn about the varying needs in different parts of the world – what works and what doesn’t.
IN10T thinks big – we think globally – so we can make big things happen for our clients. How big can IN10T think for your business?
Want to learn more? We want to hear from you!