Export Development Canada (EDC) announced today it is investing $7 million in Quebec-based cleantech firm Hortau, which has developed a smart farming platform for agriculture that allows growers to detect crop stress, optimize growth, and reduce water use, energy and environmental impact.

Hortau technology is already being used in places such as California where the conservation of water is critical for growers. However, issues related to a lack of water and drought exist around the globe.

“The reality is, our farmers are facing tougher challenges than ever before as they work to feed a growing population with fewer resources,” said Jocelyn Boudreau, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Hortau. “We know our products make a difference, reducing water use by 25% while increasing yields and this investment will help us bring our solutions to more customers.”

Technology developed by Hortau combines real-time soil tension sensor data with a simple-to-use mobile platform, allowing growers to anticipate the water needs of the crop and manage irrigation accordingly. Hortau’s irrigation management scheduling ensures there is enough water available to meet the crop water demands, even during a heat spell.

“We see a lot of potential in Hortau and know there is a demand for their technology around the world as the need to better manage water resources becomes increasingly important,” says Carl Burlock, Senior Vice President, Financing and International Growth Capital at Export Development Canada. “Global demand is growing across the cleantech sector, and EDC is committed to helping Canadian exporters gain a bigger foothold in the world market.”

Since 2012, supporting Canadian cleantech companies grow their businesses internationally has been a top priority for EDC, which has a dedicated team focused on understanding the industry’s needs and delivering the right solutions for them. In 2017, EDC posted a record CAD $1.5 billion in support of nearly 200 cleantech businesses. One way of doing that is by taking minority equity positions in Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises that have a demonstrated competitive advantage, and international growth aspirations.

Full article: EDC invests $7M in Canadian cleantech firm