Irish startup business raises money to help hemp farmers access drones
Managing an agricultural operation can be very labor intensive, so it can be crucial for farmers to take advantage of opportunities to work smarter instead of harder. These opportunities often entail investing in the best tool for the job.
Farmers around the world are currently investing in an exciting new farm tool — drones. Unfortunately, this kind of technology does not come cheap.
The owners of Greenheart CBD, an startup in Ireland, understand this all too well, so they have been raising money to help hemp growers around the world get past this financial burden. Greenheart CBD reportedly raised $5.3 million (4.5 million euros), which will allow the business to provide private loans to hemp growers who want to implement drones on their farms.
Finding solutions to common problems
According to a recent article in Irish Times, Paul Walsh and Mark Canavan founded Greenheart CBD in January 2020. They reportedly used drones and artificial intelligence last year on their 10-acre hemp operation. After recently signing a major distribution contract, Walsh and Canavan are now looking to expand their business’s supply chain.
However, many farmers reportedly have trouble getting financing from banks for their hemp operations. To fill this need, Walsh and Canavan determined that Greenheart CBD should offer lending options to hemp growers.
Greenheart CBD’s lending program involves farmers signing up for a package that includes everything they need to start growing hemp, such as seeds, a drone and other smart technology. A typical Greenheart CBD loan reportedly ranges from $500 to $50,000 at 5% interest over five years. At the end of the growing season, Greenheart CBD purchases the crop from the farmer.
Walsh told Irish Times that this lending model can help farmers, Greenheart CBD and CBD consumers. These loans reportedly have the potential to improve the farmer’s livelihood, while providing the business with high-quality hemp and allowing customers access to fully traceable hemp products.
How can drones help hemp farmers?
A drone is a type of unmanned aircraft that can be operated remotely or autonomously. Although drones were originally developed for military purposes, they can now be tailored to a variety of applications, such as photography, delivery, safety inspections, storm tracking and others. Small drones have even become popular toys for children.
Farmers already have a variety of tools at their disposal. However, drones offer different benefits than tractors or crop dusters offer, and they can do the work much faster than farm workers could do by hand.
Some of the tasks drones can do for hemp farmers include
Mapping the fields
Tracking crop maturity
Monitoring crop health
Improving farm efficiency
Minimizing wasted materials
Reducing payroll expenses
Walsh told Irish Times, “There hasn’t really been an upgrade in terms of technology in agriculture since the introduction of the tractor, but I believe that drone technology could change everything.”
Greenheart CBD expands its unique investment program
Greenheart CBD’s new loan program is not the only change Walsh and Canavan have in the works. Irish Times reported that Walsh and Canavan anticipate announcing the expansion of their digital token project, called Greenheart Punt, in the near future.
The $5.3 million that the company raised to fund their new drone loans came from investors who purchased digital tokens called punts. In addition to supporting a good cause, the purchase of these tokens reportedly allow investors to purchase Greenheart CBD products at a significant discount.
According to Irish Times, more tokens will soon become available, so more people will have access to this unique investment program. One punt is reportedly equal to $0.10. Greenheart CBD reportedly had a total of 150 million tokens minted.
The money that Greenheart CBD raises through their expanded token program will reportedly go toward the purchase of additional farmland and the construction of a decortication plant. The business reportedly hopes to eventually expand its product line to include insulation materials and bioplastics.