Contxto – Far too often, Puerto Rico’s precarious geographic location exposes the island to the fury of Mother Nature. Particularly since hurricane season lasts approximately six months. That is half a year of the need to secure stable food sources. One need only remember how Hurricane María devastated the island two years ago, destroying over 80 of Puerto Rico’s cultivated produce.
This Caribbean island has its work cut out for it.
But rather than sit back and wait, entrepreneurs from the region are deploying technology to make hay when the sun don’t shine on Puerto Rico’s rich soil. Check out these five Boricua agrotechs developing innovative solutions for the tropical community and beyond.
E-Farm (San Juan)
Customers meet farmers on this marketplace platform for sustainable, eco-friendly, organic products. Rare ingredients are available for purchasing as well as the stories behind the people who cultivated them. This startup wants you to go green by getting your greens on their environmentally-conscious platform.
PRatian (San Juan)
Has a houseplant ever died on you while you were on vacation? Uncut heartbreak. PRatian knows this problem all too well, that’s why it developed AgroBeads. These all-natural, biodegradable spheres go into plant soil to gradually disperse water as well as vital nutrients. Now, you can safely forget about watering your leafy friends for a week or two.
Fusion Farms (Mayagüez)
Not only does Fusion Farms offer faster crops and less water usage, but also found a way to decrease labor. By mixing various cultivating methods and renewable energy within a controlled environment, this startup is changing the way products are grown in the coastal municipality of Mayagüez. Plus, according to the startup, it’s all hurricane-proof.
Block Farms (San Juan)
Growing fresh veggies, herbs, even those needy strawberries, in an urban setting are all within reach with Block Farms. This startup offers automated temperature, humidity, and fertilization, in addition to watering systems. Control of these settings is enabled through your handy-dandy smartphone or laptop.
True Leaf Farm (Comerío)
Recently, True Leaf competed at the EnterPRize business competition and walked away with US$15,000 for its sustainable solution. Specifically, the early-stage Puerto Rican agrotech produces nutrient-rich microgreens, growing a variety of seeds, veggies, herbs, not to mention, straight-up, full grown plants. The result is a hi-tech gastronomical experience.