ListenField Co-founder and CEO impacting farmers’ lives with precision technology for sustainable farming
By Ashim Neupane
Rassarin Chinnachodteeranun, Ph.D, has become a well-known name in the AgriTech world and she is now one of the most sought after speakers on the topic of precision technology for sustainable farming.
ListenField, the company she co-founded, aims at using big data to support the livelihoods of farmers in the field and solve the challenges faced by consumers of agricultural products. Behind her Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms, or the complex Machine Learning expertise, Rassarin also brings a passion for sustainable farming and uplifting the livelihoods of farmers for huge social impact. She is a driven entrepreneur who spends her weekends navigating the agricultural fields of Thailand talking to farmers, learning and implementing the solutions she and her team develop and design.
After graduating from AIT in 2007 with a Master’s degree in Computer Science and Information Management, Rassarin went on to earn her doctorate in Japan from Chubu University’s Graduate School of Engineering. Her research topic at Chubu University related to collecting data for analyzing soil quality, big data analysis on climate, and farm management data for enabling farmers and stakeholders to manage farms and production better. It was a project supported by Japanese government to reform agricultural systems. Her dedication and initiative became the foundation for launching ListenField and Listenfield services. Rassarin founded the company in Japan in 2017.
Asked why she cares so much about farming and applying her data, AI, and machine learning expertise to benefit sustainable agriculture, Rassarin says: “I am from rural Thailand. My home is surrounded with vast farmlands. I want to bring the experience from Japan to improve farming and farmers’ livelihoods in Thailand. Farmers are the people who produce food for us, but they have to face various degrees of uncertainness that makes their lives unpredictable. Farmers are apprehensive about the future. Our ‘Farm AI’ application, for example, helps farmers to reduce loss from climate uncertainties, manage their farms precisely, and upgrade their living standards. Currently, we have connected 20 organic farming communities and over 10,000 farmers who are utilizing the data.” She adds, “Farmlands and fields should be a source of income for farmers rather than sources of debt.”
ListenField is growing, and growing fast. Besides involving herself in the technical details and products, Rassarin is managing a multinational team of data scientists, AI engineers, community managers, and others. Working over the weekends and holidays is common for this young start up co-founder and CEO. The multicultural experience she gained at AIT, and Japan, has given her an edge to work and collaborate with her team from diverse nationalities and academic backgrounds, she says.
One suggestion she gives to all students and graduates is to work hard and work with energy and passion, she says. “We give up on our dreams too quickly,” Rassarin said. If you want to build the next unicorn, she suggests that you go for it, exhorting entrepreneurs to work with joy and stay focused on their goals, believe in themselves and the people around them. She believes that in the new normal of the coronavirus pandemic it is not only about social distancing, it is about the pressing need to collaborate more with each other to create social impact.