The start-up funded by Rabobank is tested on 6,000 cattle in Australia and aims to cover 70,000 head in the next period.
Rabobank has financed an idea that has a huge potential to be exported to the largest producing cattle countries around the world. Consisting in an application, dubbed mOOvement, the technology is able to track and trace cattle and to transmit the information on every 30 minutes.
The idea won the Moonshot prize awarded by Rabobank and received the funds necessary to start tests, recalls Roel van de Ven, co-founder of mOOvement. The application is based on a sensor worn by the cows and it transmits GPS and other data every half hour. In this way, mOOvement can be a useful tool for livestock farmers, such as the Australian cattle farmers.
"Their problem is keeping track of their tremendous herds. These can number anything from 1,700 to 8,500 head, and roam on ranches the size of 500,000 soccer fields. We went to Australia in 2017 to visit ranches, talk to farmers and learn about the challenges they face. We also tested tags on cattle and signed up our first 20 customers. That means tracking 6,000 head of cattle. Long term, we’re aiming for 70,000. A firm of IoT specialists based in the Netherlands is working on the tracking devices and has already delivered prototypes. Once these have been tested, we plan to scale up production later this year", explains van de Ven.
The advantage given by the new technology is important as it could reduce losses suffered by the farmers. "We’ll be building a huge database, which will certainly represent value over time. For example, we could partner with veterinarians to offer farmers support. Australian cows are a hardy breed and usually give birth outdoors without assistance. Only the fittest survive. With the tracking system, however, loss of cows and calves can be prevented, saving farmers $1,400 per head", added Roel van de Ven.
The start-up founders believe that their technology has a huge potential to be exported to countries like the US, Brazil and Argentina, where big ranches are also common.