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  • Condensed by Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Unconventional Ag Media

AI Tech is Coming for Palm Oil Production

A startup spun out of Imperial College called Permia Sensing has raised pre-Seed round funding led by venture capital firm Jenson Funding Partners to support its mission to change the way palm plantations are managed through the use of monitoring technologies and robotics.

Palm oil is found in about half of all packaged goods in the U.S. alone, including foods, cosmetics, clothing, furniture and more. One reason for this is its efficiency, with palm plantations producing 40 percent of total vegetable oil output but using only 6 percent of the land.

However, lack of nutrition, drought, and diseases mean that plantations meet only about half of their output potential on average.

Permia Sensing’s acoustic sensor data can be used alongside imagery from its AI-powered platform to help growers analyze tree-level data across whole plantations and provide solutions to improve yields, reduce inputs, and to generate more income along the value chain.

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