Inclusive Business Model Analysis: xpertSea, Ecuador

| 25 May, 2024

Founded in 2011, xpertSea is a Canadian company that develops technologies to make aquaculture more profitable and sustainable. It operates in over 30 countries with a primary focus on shrimp producers in Ecuador.

xpertSea leverages AI recognition technology that allows shrimp farmers to gain instant insights from smartphone images, addressing significant challenges in the global market related to productivity and profitability. Additionally, their tools like the Nutrition Optimizer and AI Harvest Advisor, help optimise feeding schedules and accurately predict the best harvest times. This enhances the profitability and sustainability of shrimp ponds.

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This Inclusive Business Analysis reflects on the question: How do commercially viable digital smart services improve farmers’ income and resilience and reduce farmers’ GHG emissions from shrimp farming?

The following key insights were found

  • Adopting technification (auto feeders and aerators) and digitalization (xpertSea) increase the production efficiency per kg of marketable shrimp by 10%. Farms fully using AI in their farms report a profitability increase of up to USD 1300 per hectare per cycle, which is an 180% improvement compared to traditional methods.
  • Patiently and closely monitoring the adoption of new technologies and the app by traditional farmers is necessary. This process of digitalisation and mechanisation can take up to 8 cycles or approximately 2 years.
  • Investing in auto feeders and using xpertSea’s technologies increase feed efficiency, and shortens production times. This can potentially reduce GHG emissions at the farm level by 10 to 15%, not including additional reductions from using more sustainable types of feed and electrifying operations.
  • There is potential in connecting farms to Financial Service Providers (FSP) to finance investments in technification and digitalization. This approach which includes financial and social motivations, can help xpertSea to incorporate client protection principles that align and go beyond the current financial protections of farmers in Ecuador.
  • The pricing and demand for sustainably grown shrimp are key for realising the full potential of adopting more sustainable growing practices.