In our new series of Agrivi talk, we bring you an interview with Paulo Andrade, a fruit and vegetable producer from Portugal.
Agrivi: Hello Paulo! Can you tell us a bit about yourself - where you are from, your background, how you got into agriculture, how big your farm is, which crops you are growing?
Paulo: We are a family company based in Portugal, located in a small village 60 km north of Lisbon. Our passion for agriculture comes from a long family tradition. Although it was never our main occupation, our grandfather already cultivated some lands. In 2014 we have founded a company named LinearCampo, which is now developing our projects and expanding the production.
Our farm currently covers 15 hectares and the main focus is fruticulture. We are focused on the production of pears, our region has ideal conditions for a variety denominated „pera rocha“. It has a crusty texture, a sweet aroma, and a very refreshing taste. The majority of the production is exported; you can find it in several supermarkets around Europe. On top of that we also produce sweet potatoes, pumpkins and some types of cabbage for the local markets.
Agrivi: What were the main challenges for you as a farmer when it came to collecting and organizing data on your farm?
Paulo: The main challenge was to have an easy way of registering the data from any location. We are always on the move, and need to ensure that all of the data is accessible. We also have the need to ensure that our data is safe, and that we could extract useful information for decision making.
Agrivi: Which data management methods did you use before deciding to switch to cloud based solutions? What was wrong with your past data management practices?
Paulo: We started using cloud solutions in 2012, however we could not do much more than creating invoices until now. We had to develop our own tools using Excel and Access. At a certain point we found ourselves spending a lot of effort to maintain and develop these tools. We also couldn’t share the data in an efficient way.
Agrivi: Where did you hear about Agrivi? What tipped the scale in the favour of Agrivi when you were deciding which system to use for your farm?
Paulo: We searched for the ideal solution for our company for a few months. After trying a few tools, we found an article about Agrivi. I immediately knew this was the right tool. It was focused on agriculture, and provided many of the features we needed for our business. We now have a structured way of collecting data, and very powerful reporting.
Agrivi: Which features of Agrivi do you like the most, and find the most beneficial for you as a farmer?
Paulo: When we started using Agrivi we were mainly using the expenses & capital expenses module. This allowed us to track the profitability for each crop, which is very important for us. Over the time we discovered the potential of the tasks module, and now all of our field activities are tracked with Agrivi. In a way, Agrivi gave us the structure we need to record field activities. On top of this, we use the reporting capabilities; dashboard provides quick and simple information and we can also export all of the data to Excel for further analyses.
Agrivi: How important is customer support for you? What was your experience with the Agrivi team so far?
Paulo: Since the beginning, the customer support was flawless. Agrivi has a very open relationship with their customers, quickly answering any questions and providing the necessary support. You can basically talk with anyone in the company.
Agrivi: What would you advise a fellow farmer who is having second thoughts about switching to a cloud based farm management system?
Paulo: At LinearCampo, we had no doubts that this was the right approach. The traditional, “non-cloud” solutions, require high initial investments in licenses and hardware. Plus, the running costs are similar or higher compared to cloud solutions. At the same time, you can rely on an entire team ensuring that your data is safe, accessible and that you always run the latest software available.
Agrivi: Thank you for being a part of Agrivi talk Paulo, may you have many successful harvests ahead of you!