Startup of the week | Cropin – Applying Data Analytics in Farming

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CropIn Technology, a Farm Management-Monitoring-Traceability (agriculture data and analytics) business solution provider based at Bangalore and provides SaaS based service to Agribusinesses in India and abroad. Cropin is enabling partners to analyze, interpret and gain real time insight on crops and farms, so as to be able to take corrective measures on time.

It is well known that the agriculture sector in India employs over 40% of its workforce, yet it contributes to only 11% – 13% of the Indian economy. Also, the sector has had a bleak growth rate of 2% – 3% CAGR where majority of the farmers are exploited to extend where they either migrate as unskilled labor to the cities or end up committing suicide, leaving their family at the mercy of none.

All these factors, seeded a thought to collate millions of farm data which was widely available and were unexploited and marry the same with technology to create few meaningful solutions, benefiting not just the agro eco system but helping farmers do better with their aspirations and prosperity. The idea was to bring digitization and further increase productivity, provide weather analytics for timely decision making and provide crop traceability to the last mile of consumer.

Running on this idea Cropin has been providing smart solutions based on collection of numerable farm data and converting them into valuable insights for farmers and various companies.

 

Three main products of CropIn Technology are:

  • SmartFarm: The mobile and web based application helps companies to monitor the crop sowing and growth, the predicted harvest and helps generate plot score based on features such as crop stages, harvest, plot geo tags, pest alerts raised vs sorted etc. This application gives a comprehensive picture including weather analytics which helps farmers in case of expected blight, frost and helps ascertain loans from various banking and NBFC’s for crop insurance.
  • SmartSales: An intuitive sales effectiveness application which caters in providing solution for Agro chemical and Input seed enterprises. The application’s core features include providing ground sales visibility, tracking sales points, stock and order updates, payment status, field force effectiveness, tracking their rural marcom activities and demo effectiveness with farmers.
  • mWarehouse: An application which ensures complete inventory mapping and complements the SmartFarm application regarding produce traceability. mWarehouse application is GS1 integrated and accessed via barcode/QR code and ensures inventory optimization post-harvest along with ascertaining the MRL levels prescribed while qualifying customer orders which are customized in nature.

Utilizing analytics and data science to improve the way farming is done in India

The idea is to collate available data from the field and store it their servers. With this available data, they do data mining to determine effectiveness of crop planning based on prerequisites such as land required for cultivation, irrigation planning such as drip, sprinkler etc. to help predict harvest in later stages to minimize losses. The team also generates heat maps which determine the crop conditions, blight or pests if any, the chlorophyll content on the leaves and overall provides near to real time insight, Post-harvest inventory management and most importantly:

  • Help create produce traceability (where even a direct consumer can find out that the fruits and vegetables he/she is buying can be traced back to the farmer and field) and
  • Assist farmers get farm loans by assisting the banking – private and public banks and micro financial institutions in providing credible information of the geography and farmer credibility, to prevent bad loan situations and help farmers get adequate and transparent crop insurance.

Major challenges being an agri-based startup

Being the innovative startup creating value solutions, they aim at maximizing yield from the limited or even shrinking farming landscaping hence ensuring farming sustainability. The biggest challenge is that of adaptability. Majority of companies working in the Agrochemical spaces, Organic farming, Contractual farming, Input Seeds have been working with old book keeping practices. And any drastic change towards digitization, is viewed with skepticism. Specially with their field team, who believe that by use of the application, they are being merely tracked and their performance is being evaluated, ignoring the bigger picture.

The other challenge is that of mobility & communication. With the current limitation in penetration of broadband and mobile communication, the reach gets limited.

Cost Competitiveness is another big hindrance. In context to the Indian farmer, the current plight is not very good. The government policies have not been very friendly to them causing various concerns such as exposure to IT and affordability.

The growth story so far

CropIn has already connected 500,000 farmers to technology, manages over 1 million acres of digitized farming and has solved over 50,000 farm management issues. All this across 7 Countries globally and 18 states in India. CropIn currently works with over 70+ clients and ensures crop life cycle management of over 50+ variants of crops, and these speak a testimony to where we stand in last 5 – 6 years.

Source: “http://bit.ly/2hBRgld”

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