Indian startups and organisations have come up with new ways to help farmers get real-time, accurate data or access to resources that will help them keep and grow their harvest.
Here are the five Indian innovations that can become a helping hand for farmers across the world.
1. Subjee Cooler
Vikash Kumar Jha and four other IIT-Bombay students created the Subjee Cooler in 2017, an affordable and low-maintenance vegetable cooler that allows farmers to harvest their produce when they want and store it for a period that earns them a higher price
About 200 farmers in the two states have benefited from Jha’s team’s initial model, which was sold in 2019 following two years of testing and research.
The Subjee Cooler is available in the market through its startup parent, RuKart, and it costs between Rs 40,000 and Rs 45,000, depending on the size. However, it is a one-time investment that requires no electricity, only water, and has no recurring costs.
A woman entrepreneur named Maithili Appalwar, 24, CEO of Avana Technologies, created a water conservation plan for impoverished, marginal farmers that, in her estimation, has helped increase their income by 98%.
The Jalsanchay team uses recyclable polymers to build man-made ponds on farms for a fraction of the price of conventional water conservation techniques.
The three-year-old company has built 13,505 ponds in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana. These ponds have helped save 54 billion litres of water.
3. Flying Farmer
This technology has been developed by 45 students and 5 faculty members from Punjab’s Lovely Professional University (LPU) to assist farmers with two primary issues: weed detection and pesticide application.
The Flying Farmer is a wireless sensor and drone-like tool for mapping and assessing biomass and yields.
These pre-programmed drones may also spray herbicides in particular locations on the land. According to LPU’s director of innovative projects, Pratham Mittal, “This is advantageous in two ways.” “One, it prevents pesticide waste, and two, it also stops their usage.”
With their infrared sensors and computer vision algorithms, these drones can also find the exact location of weeds and send that information to the farmer so that he or she can take action right away.
A sensor called Shool was created by two engineering students from Raipur’s National Institute of Technology and Ahmedabad’s Nirma University to help farmers who have either little or no access to technology that can provide them with precise and real-time microclimate data (the climate conditions of a small area).
This smart sensor has been used in farms since 2019, and according to Harsh Agrawal, co-founder of NeerX, the parent startup of shool that is currently being incubated and mentored by CrADLE, the business incubator of Ahmedabad-based Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, farmers have been able to prevent pest infestation, improve water and fertiliser retention, and increase productivity. According to Isro and the Indian Agriculture Research Institute, shool has undergone extensive testing and validation and has a reported accuracy of more than 97 percent.
They cost between Rs 15,000 and Rs 50,000 for a business-to-government or business-to-business customer, depending on the area of the field, the type of crop, and the topology of the land.
Skylo is an end-to-end machine data solution that has benefited truck drivers, farmers, and fishermen by providing them with the most recent information, enabling them to make better decisions and save time and money.
It works with everything from tractors and fishing boats to mining equipment or electrical grids. The launch took place in December 2020.
The little device Skylo joins machines so they can begin sharing data. To enable consumers to act right away, this data is then made accessible to them via a desktop or mobile device.
“Imagine fishing boats that send SOS signals while at sea; sensors that inform about soil nutrition in real time; trucks that provide early warnings before breaking down. Skylo is working with multiple governments, industries, and individuals to test and deploy systems that do these things and much more,” says Parth Trivedi, CEO, of Skylo Technologies to Forbes India.
Using Skylo, farmers can learn more about their operations by sensing things like soil pH, irrigation, and moisture levels, as well as sensing and measuring agricultural equipment and usage habits to keep their machines in good shape.