Belgian start-up helps tomato growers protect crops

Guy van Looveren is the Belgian start-up Planticus' CEO and founder. After buying a house, he noticed the box hedges looked rather sad. Guy then combined his commercial mind with his great interest in artificial intelligence. And he developed an application that maps out pests and diseases in plants. Guy now uses the app to help tomato growers. He explains this in an interview with Bloovi, a Belgian content platform.

Planticus uses both software and hardware. For software development, Van Looveren first analyzed the market extensively, for about six months. He talked to many professors, growers, bio-engineers, and companies. "Those conversations showed that the problem was much bigger than anyone thought," he says.

"A tomato grower recently told me that he often stays awake at night, brooding. He might've seen something in the afternoon, for example. But didn't know if it was the beginning of a disease. Then he'd get up and drive to the greenhouse to check. That's particularly time-consuming and grueling, other than not very efficient. It does, however, illustrate growers' great fear of losing their crop."

You can read Guy's entire interview (in Dutch here). He explains more about the company. Growers struggle with pests and diseases every day. So, Planticus has offered growers this technology precisely at a very opportune time. 

Planticus wants to open an office in Spain in 2022. There it will be close to growers. The company intends to expand to other countries too, beginning with the Benelux. 

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