AgZen’s RealCoverage wants to keep pesticides only where they are needed

The Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS) spinout AgZen aims to reduce agricultural chemical usage through its new solution, RealCoverage, which optimises pesticide application through real-time monitoring and adjustments of chemical distribution in crop fields. The AI-enabled technology is expected to be commercially available later this year.


A 2021 study found that if farmers didn’t use pesticides, they would lose 78% of fruit production, 54% of vegetable production, and 32% of cereal production. At the same time, the way pesticides are delivered is not ideal: The only way to guarantee enough pesticide distribution is to spray too much. That isn’t great for farmers’ wallets or the environment.

Along comes AgZen, a company born out of over a decade of MIT engineering research, with a new solution that uses AI to ensure that the plants get sprayed just enough, using real-time adjustments to optimise the use of pesticide. The company’s CEO, Vishnu Jayaprakash, shared with TechCrunch that RealCoverage can detect droplets as small as 150 microns and can offer real-time adjustments to spray parameters like pressure, rate, boom height, or speed. This allows for maximum application efficiency at speeds of up to 12 mph, the company claims.

The implications of this technology are vast. AgZen claims that its algorithms and optimisations can reduce chemical usage by up to 50%, significantly lowering input costs for farmers while maintaining crop health and yield. AgZen has been testing its product through more than three years of field trials on various crops and tells TechCrunch that last year it conducted 12 successful pilots and trials across the U.S. and Europe with some of the largest growers in the world.

Tech Crunch