Owner of Santa Cecilia - Ecuador
Rodrigo Granja is the owner of Santa Cecilia, an 80-hectare shrimp farm located in Puerto Pitahaya, El Oro, Ecuador.
During his 13 year tenure, Mr. Granja has learned how to maintain high-quality, profitable shrimp by advancing his farming practices and continuously striving for improvement.
As it is a feeling shared amongst most shrimp farmers, Mr. Granja faces concerns ensuring successful feeding regimes are applied on his farm. Even the best shrimp feed in the world will yield poor results if it is not used correctly.
This challenge begins during the weekly pond samplings. If the technician does not correctly identify the individual shrimp weights within a pond, it’s challenging for the manager to prevent over or under-feeding.
With feed accounting for 50-70% of farm operating costs, incorrect feeding is a costly mistake.
For example, while the average body weight from manual sampling may show 5g, shrimp ranging from 2g - 8g can still be present in the pond.
If the wrong amount of feed is given for any size category within this range, uneaten pellets and any nutrients that have leached before ingestion can contribute to water quality deterioration and lower production output.
To modernize his farming operations and increase feeding efficiencies, Mr. Granja implemented the XpertSea mobile app into his weekly sampling process.
The AI-powered app uses pictures of the shrimp to provide producers accurate and valuable growth information. This information, in turn, can be used to improve feeding regimes and growth.
A standardized tool to verify pond distribution is necessary on a farm as large as Santa Cecilia, as improving feed consumption positively impacts the bottom line.
"The app helps me understand efficiently and quickly the weight distribution of the shrimp, which I use to determine the exact pellet sizes to feed my pond."
In addition to saving 15-30 minutes of sampling time per pond, Mr. Granja and his team have reduced the quantity of feed required per crop and achieved more uniform growth.
"After using the XpertSea app, we have been able to improve our feeding programs. The information provided could reduce the production cycle by 15 days, which is a considerable amount of money to save on feeding and other additional costs. For example, for a 5-hectare pond, I could save 45 feeding bags at 25$ each."
Decreasing feed consumption and production time has the potential to yield Mr. Granja $1125 in feed savings per pond. It represents up to $18,000 per cycle or $72,000 for his farm annually.
While XpertSea’s app proves to be a unique tool for managing shrimp growth and reducing feed expenses, Mr. Granja experienced other monetary benefits when using the app.
The shrimp photos and data collected unlocked access to same-day harvest payments and an extended network of verified buyers when he sold his crop.
"We have workers to pay, other farming expenses that must be taken care of, and knowing that the harvest payment will come the following day helps bring the peace of mind needed to start the next crop. The experience I have had working with XpertSea has been very pleasant."
After experiencing both the technology to improve his feeding regimes and the financing services, Mr. Granja comments on his experience working with the Canadian technology company.
"XpertSea’s service keeps getting better. Now they also show prices from different processors. It gives farmers price variety, and it saves me time, so I don't have to call each processor or wait for them to send the price list to me."
Ecuadorian farmers who would like simpler farming and faster payments can download the app and create their accounts for free.
Producers in other countries can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us how we could help them.