Romulo Neri: An Irrigation Geek transforming Agriculture

Romulo Neri: An Irrigation Geek transforming Agriculture | The Enterprise World

Irrigation and crop productivity go hand-in-hand. Today, people are on the constant lookout for advanced ways of carrying out the process of agriculture and irrigation. However, proper knowledge about the irrigation process is necessary when it comes to expecting optimum results. Romulo Neri, CEO and Founder of AgroNeri Sistemas De Irrigacao, carried out a deep study of irrigation and water requirements to avoid water wastage and to execute optimum irrigation. He studied this as he noticed rural producers didn’t know how much and when to irrigate their respective crops. They weren’t getting any services, and no technical support, for both agronomic concerns and irrigation, which resulted in lower productivity. 

AgroNeri’s vision is to be a reference in irrigated crops in the world, contributing sustainably to food security. It aims to disseminate efficient and sustainable irrigation technology aligned with agronomic aspects, taking special care of water resource management. It values truth, ethics, commitment, and family. AgroNeri delivers the best products and values the families of whoever is involved in the company, be it the employees’ or customers’ families.

Stirred up Development

AGRONERI’s growth began since its creation, with a well-designed structuring of its values and purpose. The company was born to innovate the segment sustainably, aligning agronomic knowledge with irrigation technology, and consequently gaining its due space in the market. Its remarkable rise was the dimensioning of the largest fixed conventional sprinkler irrigation project that automates livestock farming in Brazil, a continuous area of 500 hectares, just 2 years after the company was founded. Still, in 2012, Rômulo felt the need to increase the company’s operations, taking exceptional work to all producers who lost productivity due to the water deficit.

He wanted this expansion to be coordinated and very safe to guarantee the quality of AgroNeri’s methodology. He then designed an expansion using the franchise method and registered the brand. 

However, Romulo Neri understood that this was not the time to franchise the brand, and decided to mature and capitalize on the company before the franchise expansion process. In 2022, with the company’s brand consolidated and capitalized, with a very strong presence in more than 14 Brazilian states and businesses in 5 countries, it then decided to resume the expansion process through franchising, a business model with 12 years of proficiency.

In 2023 AGRONERI became the largest Irrigation franchise network in Brazil, with international recognition, and today it has more than 1,000 candidates interested in buying AgroNeri franchisees throughout Brazil. It is already preparing to internationalize its brand and methodology, aiming to take its exclusive way of working in irrigation to the world.

“The Complete DROP”

AgroNeri’s biggest advantage is operating irrigation technology in a technically ethical and responsible manner. Realizing the importance of water, efficient irrigation systems are designed that will increase productivity and maintain sustainability. Adopting a customer-focused and responsible approach, AgroNeri takes care of the entire production process from soil management, exclusive irrigation project, fertility management, irrigation management for high efficiency and better management of water resources, and financial viability of the enterprise. The company contributes to the best water management resources for the efficient and rational use of water, raising the level of sustainability, and providing food security by yielding higher quantities of food. 

The company considers itself “the complete DROP”, as irrigation is just one link in the entire production cycle, the drop of water used in irrigation must carry together: efficiency, water management, agronomic management, fertility, sustainability, productivity, and economic viability. 

AGRONERI Solutions

  • The Complete DROP irrigation Livestock 
  • The Complete DROP Irrigation Agriculture 
  • The Complete DROP irrigation Landscaping
  • The Complete DROP irrigation and dust removal Sport 
  • The Complete DROP dedusting Confina
  • The Complete DROP Nebulization Comfort 

Agricultural Specials 

  • AGRO Credit 
  • Business plan
  • Drinking Fountains Project 
  • Pasture Project
  • Pickets and Rotation Project 
  • Soil Analysis
  • Bromatological Analysis of Pasture 
  • Irrigation Audit

Triumphing over Challenges

Every successful business has to face its share of challenges along the way, and AgroNeri is no exception to this. Romulo Neri mentions the initial challenges were due to a lack of constant resources, alongside a lack of trained professionals with commitment. At the same time companies in the segment were injecting thousands of resources into marketing to sell their equipment. For higher sales figures and a lack of ethics towards irrigation technology, other companies vulgarized a predatory sale of equipment without responsibility for water use efficiency and rural producer productivity. 

Another challenge for Romulo Neri was to make rural producers aware that irrigation technology depends on the tripod of “technical project, equipment, management”, which must be very well designed to achieve high results. Due to extremely aggressive resale policies simply aiming to earn revenue from the sale of irrigation equipment, the majority did not size an irrigation project specifically for the area in question, did not prioritize quality equipment, and were not concerned with the productivity of rural producers. 

The reason behind AgroNeri’s success is its well-developed guidelines and the way it develops each irrigation project. It is completely exclusive and devoted to each client and also takes care of all aspects involved in the clients’ production chain. AgroNeri is committed to and adopts each client’s sense of urgency for productivity, determining factors that differentiate it from other companies on the market, placing it as the best option when on-boarding an irrigation system. 

A Trailblazer in Irrigation

Romulo Neri believes in various positive factors when it comes to leadership. He keeps the employees motivated, maintains an exciting work environment, and values each employee through meritocracy. Commitment, truth, ethics, and creativity are the principles that he practices and values the most. When collaborating, he utilizes the best natural quality of each collaborator, thus providing conditions for greater performance, total freedom, and harmony.

He ensures that his leadership is reflected throughout AgroNeri. Each employee is in sync with the company’s principles, motivating individual creativity with forecasting of adversities. 

Innovation is the Key to Profits

Romulo Neri says, “Create, invent, try… just start, inertia creates a false illusion that is impossible” 

Romulo states that innovation is a part of his DNA as he considers we must constantly innovate, create something meaningful, and never copy. We unavoidably face risks, but he believes in giving a second thought about the time of risk-taking. Every innovation and creation has certain risks, which govern the success or failure of the project. However, a well-crafted project, with a period of maturation, withdraws all weak points, and minimizes the risks, thus maintaining the stability and profitability of the company. According to Romulo Neri, the fear of taking risks does not provide great victories. “We must raise the standard of the unforeseeable, take evaluated risks, and achieve great victories,” he adds. 

Innovation and Adaptability

Romulo’s passion for agribusiness makes him an eternal student and critic of the entire production process. He keeps analyzing at each stage and seeks to create sustainable solutions. He loves to create, invent, and try. He continuously devises strategies to sustainably solve all the customers’ needs. He identifies weaknesses and strengths and thus creates innovative tools to contribute sustainably to the customers. 

Remolding Methods with Technology

The irrigation system technology aligned with “The complete DROP” efficiency provides a perfect experience for the customers, as the company remarkably increases productivity, with consequent profits in the order of U$5,000.00 (five thousand dollars) per hectare next year in the activity of beef cattle farming. It contributes directly to sustainability by reducing the need for large areas with low productivity. 

AGRONERI is remodeling the traditional way of working with irrigation. It approaches each irrigation project as if it were its own. The company doesn’t do anything that it would not find correct for others. The company won’t sell what  wouldn’t buy for yourself.. With the AgroNeri Irrigation franchise network, it is getting closer to the customers and their demands day-by-day. The company doesn’t just want to earn profits. It wants to bring agronomic and irrigating efficiency to the customers, increase productivity with sustainability, and provide high profitability. This is its objective with “The Complete DROP”, and it is what moves the company every day.   

An Ideal Mentor 

Romulo Neri constantly communicates with his employees. He conducts regular performance reviews to identify employees who excel in their roles, with frequent feedback meetings so that employees understand their areas of excellence and those that can be improved. He takes into consideration employees’ technical and interpersonal skills to possibility engage them in special projects that allow them to demonstrate their skills and leadership. 

Romulo Neri has a dedicated Individual Development Plan (IDP) for employees based on their skills, interests, and career goals, providing training opportunities to improve employees’ technical and behavioral skills. All employees are internally mobile so they can explore different sectors and develop a more comprehensive understanding of the organization. 

Recent Achievements and Handling Risks

AgroNeri marks the success of its franchise expansion as it has seen a huge demand for entrepreneurs wanting to acquire the AgroNeri franchise. It understands that the huge success is due to the consolidation of the brand in the market aligned with AgroNeri’s vast know-how. It is a business model tested and approved for more than 12 years. It chose the right time to launch the franchise.

The world needs greater food production with efficiency and sustainability. As the population grows geometrically, so does the food production arithmetically. Thus, AgroNeri needs to produce more with less, and it acts precisely in this process. 

AgroNeri runs through risks all the time. However, it manages to mitigate them by predicting and anticipating certain actions. It always projects every situation to obtain more assertive predictability of each situation, thus reducing possible unplanned risks and adversities. The company carries a teaching from Romulo’s maternal grandmother “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can accomplish today” (in memoria Ondina de Oliveira Farias), and this mitigates many risks because new challenges appear every day.

So if you have everything organized, you have already resolved yesterday’s challenges, you are more prepared to resolve today’s challenges, and thus eliminate risks.  

Future Growth Plans

AgroNeri is in the process of expansion and constant creation. It is developing software entirely dedicated to rural producers, where it gathers crucial information for decision-making with high levels of assertiveness. It results in minimized problems in the management of the farm. In 2024, it aims to launch the “@mais” software that will bring in a revolution in farm management, providing soil, plant, irrigation, fertility, and finance data to rural producers and consultants, thus making decision-making more assertive in farm management.

Decision-making on the farm is often the responsibility of employees who do not have specific knowledge of a given decision, thus causing a low level of assertiveness. The company aims to create a completely cloud-based environment with specific and real instant information, in the palm of the producer and consultant’s hand. 

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