1. Startup

ARIA Agritech's Strategy to Produce New Generation of Indonesian Farmers

Recently secured pre-seed funding from GK-Plug and Play Indonesia, East Ventures, Triputra Group, Waresix, and Sahabat Group

One of the biggest obstacles in the agriculture industry is the lack of interest among young generation of becoming farmers. The large amount of land to be cultivated using conventional methods also makes it difficult for most farmers to optimize their performance.

In fact, when there is a pest attack, farmers should have anticipated quickly and it usually requires a large number of workers to carry out the process. As a result, many farmers experienced crop failures and large losses because it was too late to overcome the issue.

Through this problem, ARIA, as an agritech startup, comes with a solution to increase productivity using drones and IoT, while providing prevention and predictive agricultural solutions to large-scale farmers and plantations. In addition, the idea for developing this product is to help farmers and plantation owners get good agricultural products, while at the same time attracting more young farmers to enter the agricultural sector.

ARIA's Co-Founder & CEO, William Sjaichudin revealed to DailySocial, starting with drone technology, they wanted to be an agritech platform that could help farmers get quality agricultural products with the right planting process, while minimizing labor work in the field.

"Most agritech platforms in Indonesia are currently focused on the supply chain. However, many of them are complaining about the low quality of farmers' harvests. With the technology and services we have, we want to overcome these problems and focus on quality control," William said.

Focus on B2B segment

ARIA's drone spray technology

ARIAwas co-founded by Arden Lim (CPO) and Yosa Rosario (COO). Currently, they operate two business verticals, B2B companies such as plantations and forestry. Especially for B2B clients, ARIA provides SaaS technology that helps them to carry out the planting process using directly connected data, so they can carry out accurate spraying activities.

Meanwhile, for both individual and farmers who own plantations, they expect to apply the best practices that previously been applied to large companies such as Sampoerna, Sahabat Agro Group, Sinarmas, Triputra Group, and as ARIA's current clients.

"Our target this year is to be able to serve 60 to 70 percent of B2B clients and 30 percent to farmers. We hope that ARIA can also help through programs owned by local governments and available vacant land," William added.

Starting from technology, ARIA is quite confident to create jobs that attract the new potential farmers in Indonesia. Therefore, the regeneration of farmers can run well, replacing the farmers who are currently fewer in number and most of them have aged.

From the responses of farmers in various regions who welcome their mapping technology and drone spray, ARIA sees the potential to be able to produce new young farmers and drone pilots in the future.

"For the drone pilots, we currently have around 16 people and targeting to grow 40 more by the end of the month. Our drone pilots come from each region, adjusting the demand from the units ordered," William said

ARIA adopts a business model as a service company. As buying and selling drones is difficult, their way of running a business is to provide drones at a low cost,  service per hectare. Thus, it can be more affordable for farmers. In order to integrated services, ARIA also collaborates with Bayer in the supply of chemicals for agriculture.

"In the future, we want to be able to make our own drones. What distinguishes us from other platforms is our direct approach by providing solutions. We are an end-to-end software and hardware platform for farmers," William said.

Early stage fundraising plan

Currently, ARIA has secured pre-seed funding, which was organized and led by GK-Plug and Play Indonesia, East Ventures and market leaders in agriculture and logistics such as Triputra Group, Waresix, and Sahabat Group who participated in this series.

ARIA will use this funding to develop its infrastructure network and quickly establish distribution points in 17 branches spread across Indonesia to reach 40 billion hectares of ARIA's potential market. This development was also accompanied by the purchase of a large drone fleet, as well as the development of a key IoT asset in the form of tracking technology to provide value and impact of change for ARIA customers.

“It is very important for ARIA to deal with the regeneration of young Indonesian farmers, who are constrained by limited land and suffer from working in low-income professions throughout Indonesia. Farmers in Indonesia are slowly dying. ARIA's vision is to grow a new generation of young millennial farmers who are tech-savvy and able to compete and develop at a global level," William said.

In order to get a strategic partner who can help ARIA open up more opportunities, in the near future ARIA will also complete an early stage fundraising. It's in the finalizing stage, according to the plan, ARIA will get the fresh funds at the end of March.

"The biggest advantage in Indonesia as an agriculture country is being a farmer. However, as they are still using the conventional methods, the opportunities and benefits that can be obtained by farmers stay limited. Through ARIA, we want to make the farming profession more profitable," William concluded.

Original article is in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian

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