The enormous size of the agricultural market and the tremendous potential of big data in agriculture have attracted many companies to the space, as shown in Figure 3. Some of the biggest competitors in the area of agricultural risk management are the providers of crop insurance, but small farmers have lower utilization rates than large farmers. There are newer insurance products based on climate events rather than estimates of crop loss, and they may be more efficient or acceptable for small farmers, but are still unproven. All of the big agricultural companies have an interest in agricultural data systems and how to incentivize farmers’ utilization of them. There are numerous providers of agricultural management and accounting software, but they are typically stand-alone offerings and thus less resilient to competition.
FarmAfield’s competitive advantage lies largely in its ability to be an end-to-end solution for risk management and decision implementation. Attracting users with our easy-to-use analytics based on public data from their geographic region, we will incentivize farm-specific data input from them by offering them free online record-keeping and management tools along with the promise of increased recommendation accuracy when using their own data rather than public data. As this data accumulates, we can use it to make more accurate predictions and more powerful suggestions for new customers, creating a network effect. The value of our large data sets and the strong network effect created by our users will attract more customers, and serve as a barrier to entry for our competition.