Yara, IBM to offer digital services to farmers

FILE PHOTO: A man stands near an IBM logo at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 25, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

OSLO (Reuters) - Fertilizer maker Yara International and IBM plan to launch digital farming services later this year to help boost crop yields, eventually targeting 100 million hectares, or close to 7 percent of arable land worldwide, they said.

Norway-based Yara is among the world’s largest fertilizer makers, reporting revenues of $12.9 billion last year from operations in more than 60 countries.

Weather data will be among the specific areas of cooperation between the two companies, combining analysis from several IBM units with Yara’s knowledge of crops.

“The joint platform will not only provide hyperlocal weather forecasts but will in addition give real-time actionable recommendations, tailored to the specific needs of individual fields/crops,” the companies added.

As the joint platform expands, the companies will seek to integrate it into IBM Food Trust, a blockchain-enabled network of food chain players.

“This will allow for greater traceability and supply chain efficiency as well as ways to tackle food fraud, food waste and sustainability,” the companies said.

Reporting by Victoria Klesty, writing by Terje Solsvik, editing by Alexandra Hudson