The current system for measuring moth infestations in Chile requires farmers to leave out sticky traps that will be monitored every few days on foot or by car. This process is time-consuming, frustrating, and inaccurate, meaning that the Chilean agriculture service will often require all farms to spray pesticides, even if they don’t have a pest problem.
Neltume, created by a team of Chilean engineers and agriculture scientists, is a set of solar-powered cameras and sensors that allows moth traps to be monitored from afar, which helps farmers save time and money. They also monitor temperature and humidity every half hour to help farmers understand what factors affect infestations.
Neltume’s end goal is to reduce the need for pesticides to improve the quality of Chilean produce and decrease the environmental impact of agriculture. Their efforts were recognized by Corfo, accepted into Start-Up Chile, and then received investment from ASOEX before making it to the US last year.
In 2017, Neltume was among the startups chosen to present at Future Farm, an agtech conference in Weston, Oregon. After the event, they signed their first deal in the US with Smith Frozen Foods to try to eliminate the moth that attacks sweet corn.
Currently, the Neltume team is preparing for Chile’s next growing season, starting in August 2018, while continuing to sign deals in the US to help farmers grow more sustainably.
Learn more about Neltume in recent coverage on CNN Chile.