Honey bees are one of nature’s hardest-working pollinators. But ongoing factors such as changing weather patterns and dwindling insect populations can pose significant challenges to crop production. The team at Edete, an agriculture technology brand focused on mechanical pollination, is stepping up to lend a hand.
According to Ed Surber, CEO of Edete’s U.S. operations, “Pollination is often the forgotten component of growing produce. Other areas of farming have been improved and advanced over the centuries, but pollination hasn’t changed much. The industry was never able to crack that nut until now.”
An essential step in the reproduction cycle of a plant, pollination plays a crucial role in sustainable agriculture and farming to grow the fruits, grains, and vegetables we consume daily. Natural pollination methods are carried out by wind and insects (i.e., honey bees). Edete’s precision technology mimics the natural pollination process, collecting and distributing pollen to crops.
Preserving Nature’s Natural Process with Precision Technology
Edete’s precision pollination process happens in two phases. First, specialized machinery and processes mechanically harvest flowers and separate the pollen from the rest of the plant. Pollen can be stored for up to several years using Edete’s proprietary methods.
Next, the brand’s high-efficiency autonomous pollinator units disperse the naturally sourced pollen. Artificial intelligence, proprietary algorithms, and accurate dozing capability optimize pollination. The process ensures the pure pollen distribution is carefully measured and maximized while preserving pollen viability throughout the entire process. The machines can operate continuously throughout the pollination season regardless of daylight or temperature, significantly increasing the window of opportunity for pollination.
“Farmers and growers are always trying to work with Mother Nature and all the variables that she throws at us when we’re trying to grow a crop,” says Surber. Edete’s precision technology allows for pollination regardless of weather conditions or natural pollinator populations. Currently, the company focuses on pistachios and almonds, with plans to expand its technology to other crops, including cherries and avocados, in the near future.
“These are industries that are both economically viable for us and the ones facing the biggest challenges with pollination,” Surber explains.
Getting Ahead of Mother Nature’s Challenges
While Edete focuses on helping farmers bolster crop production, says Surber, the company’s mission has a ripple effect. The promise of consistent pollination can potentially combat the growing concern for food production worldwide. The United Nations estimates the world population will reach 9 billion in the next thirty years. Agricultural production will have to scale 60 to 70 percent to keep up with the spike.
Mechanical pollination can also mean cost savings for farmers. Hand pollination methods are labor-intensive, which means any labor shortage could put this type of participant pollination technique at risk. Autonomous technology allows growers to allocate their resources elsewhere while still maintaining efficiency.
“What we’re doing is very new in the industry. Transparency and communication are important for every part of the process so our customers can fully understand and trust the technologies introduced to their lands,” explains Surber. “We’re spending time with our farmers and growers at every stage of the process.”
As the commitment to eco-conscious farming continues to spread, Edete was an early adopter of the movement. CEO Eylam Ran established the company in 2016 alongside founders Elad Etgar, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing Keren Mimran, and Chairman Ori Inbar. Headquartered in Israel, Edete has more than 20 employees worldwide, with another office in California.
Edete’s cutting-edge technology represents new growth in sustainable agriculture. Autonomous supplemental pollination offers an opportunity to advance modern farming practices, ensure food security, and foster environmental preservation. Explore Edete’s growth in agriculture technology and precision farming at edetepta.com.